Born in Stoke-On-Trent, Sara Pope left school to study a degree in mathematics. However, she soon realised that she couldn’t ignore her creative side, and after completing her degree, began her career working in magazines as designer and art director, working for companies such as Hachette Filipache and Natmags. Following a successful period in publishing she followed her passion for shoes, and after being approached by avant garde fashion designer Robert Cary Williams to design a collection of shoes for his London Fashion week show, she decided to study a one year footwear Diploma at the London College of Fashion. She has since worked as a shoe designer for many high end brands, including Paul Smith, Lacoste, as well as freelance catwalk projects for brands such as Baby Phat, Gharani Strok and consultancy work for Jemima Vine (brand championed by Pippa Middleton).
Alongside her commercial work, Sara has spent time developing her art. Working in oils and acrylic, she makes use of bold, attractive colours with high shine gloss. Taking much inspiration from her commercial experience, beauty, consumerism and the media are now major themes in Sara Pope’s art. Her painting style imitates the slickness of advertising, whilst provocatively subverting its themes. She works in series or ‘collections’, painting a body of work with common stylistic elements and colour palette, as with seasonal collections in fashion.
Sara Pope is best known for her seductive paintings and limited edition prints of big, bold and beautiful Celebrity Lips. They pack a thought-provoking pop art punch. Beneath their glamorous gloss there is a hint of disintegration, raising questions about the ideals of beauty and the transience of celebrity culture. Lips have a fascinating attraction for Sara, sexy and seductive, symbols of femininity, yet communicators of language. ‘Our lips can communicate a multitude of emotions, and are integral to us reading a face. Yet when colour is applied to these lips, they become powerful, sexual symbols’.