Sarah Berners latest ‘Play Pen’

9 June 2013

Written by:

Sarah Berners is a Melbourne based artist practising in primarily in soft sculpture and it’s exhibition through both physical and photographic representations.

Studying painting at RMIT, Sarah started experimenting with sculpture and went on to complete her honours and masters at the Victorian College of The Arts.

Burners creative progression involves a prolific creative endeavour that results in enormous bodies of work which she cuts to down to just a handful for exhibiting.

The process begins with selecting materials, ranging from PVC and stuffing to lucid lycra. The material will often inspire the form; the resulting work resembles a soft appendage of sorts cloaked in black or nude. The materials and their resulting shapes border fetish and have something a distinct human element not immediately recognisable.

From here she works with photographer to create carefully constructed images of sculptures. Producing clean, vibrant and yet soft images that maintain the three dimension elements of sculpture.

Often the photographs produced will make the sculptures redundant and all of Sarah exhibitions are a combination of prints and sculptures.

The curating and hanging of the work is again a lengthy process where every detail is considered. To exhibit both prints and three-dimensional works in the same space without creating a separation requires a trained eye.

Her latest body of work titled ‘Play Pen’ is the result of over a year of work producing sculptures made from vinyl and lycra and amazing prints of model and sculpture.

The prints wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end fashion magazine editorial.  Studio-shot, clean and vibrant, with the right dose of provocative undertone that holds your eyes within their frame.

The sculptures slink and lay on the walls and ground, always in your vision from anywhere in the room.

Sarah has accomplished extremely well what exhibiting fine artists strive to do; present abstract work that is multi-layered and thoughtfully produced and still beautiful to look at.

Combining elements of simple voyeuristic pleasure and deeper lasting meanings is what makes this work stand out.

A must see, ‘Play Pen’ opened Thursday at the Area Contemporary Art Space in Fitzroy.


Maxwell FinchTHUMBMax Fin is a third-year Bachelor of Journalism student and the Photo Editor for upstart magazine. Follow him on Tumblr.

Photos – Max Fin