Visual artist, Sarah Larnach, may be most commonly associated with her friend and collaborator, Ladyhawke, but there’s more to her than making Ladyhawke look hot while driving off a cliff. We talk to Sarah about love, music, future projects, boobs… oh, yeah, and her incredible art, too.
SICK OF THE RADIO: For a lot of people, their first introduction to your work was your collaboration with Ladyhawke – both the album cover and the video for “My Delirium.” Whose idea was it for that video? Or was it just something that organically flowed from both of you and fell into place perfectly?
SARAH LARNACH: The video was a bit organic, and bit forced collision. I had written a naive treatment for another video, after the first few Ladyhawke videos didn’t reflect the imagery that was becoming familiar to Ladyhawke followers. I hoped my treatment influenced Ladyhawke to make the decision that the “My Delirium” video should feature my artwork. We then looked for directors who would be happy to work with me and my artwork for the video. When we found the right directors, Frater, they created the storyline and I took direction from them about what elements to draw and paint.
SICK OF THE RADIO: There is so much intense beauty and passion in your art. How old were you when you realized that you were fated to be an artist in some form or another?
SARAH LARNACH: I might have been six or seven when I first wanted to be an artist – I planned an exhibition and wanted to stay home from school painting and drawing, just like my Mum. I now recognise and recall feelings that were stirring back then; firstly the drive to ‘make stuff’, and even more dramatically – the feeling that everything else was getting in the way of my creations, and what I really wanted was the time and freedom to work on my ‘projects’. I was the only girl in my year-level who didn’t play netball – I tried it for half a season, but thought it was an annoying use of my time. Unfortunately I didn’t think it could really be my job – this was a probably a result of Mum repeatedly saying, “promise me you’ll never be an artist.” I changed my mind at about age 21, when my Mum, the hypocrite, was working as a fulltime artist. You were right about the passion element – I am passionate about creating, and experience intense devotion to my paintings as I’m making them. My first ‘series,’ at about age 7, was of monsters and fan art of Hogan form “Hogan’s Heroes” and Peggy from “Hi-de-Hi.”
SICK OF THE RADIO: What inspires you most on a daily basis?
SARAH LARNACH: I love to watch music videos for their story telling, and to look at portrait and wildlife photography for the same reason… these are things I will do to get ideas flowing in my brain. I make art that makes me laugh a little, and that I hope my friends will enjoy. I think about the creative journeys of my favourite artists and directors when I’m feeling under-whelmed by my own progress.
SICK OF THE RADIO: You do a lot of gorgeous watercolors of women’s body parts. Do you have a favorite part you like to paint or draw?
SARAH LARNACH: I love to paint denim-clad legs the most, and after that… the abdomen and boobs! I like that I often have a secret entrusted to me, as in “here is my body, and I know you will be kind with what you portray.” I love the eyes and lips too, but only after a painting is finished – they keep me in a cold sweat during their execution. Because the eyes and lips are so expressive, they’re crammed full of important information and detail, and thus, labour and concentration-intensive to render.
SICK OF THE RADIO: What bands and/or albums are currently on rotation in your life right now?
SARAH LARNACH: Fleetwood Mac is my number one, all time, life long, favourite band, and I listen to them all the time. Neil Young, Roxy Music and Patty Smith are my other classic favourites. Lately I have been enjoying a bit of post-disco 1980′s soul from Womack, and Womack and Boney M, and I cant explain it, but… Dolly Parton, of all things. And as for new music, I really like what I have of Kele [Okereke], and Nicki Minaj; and I’m still regularly thrashing The Gossip album from last year, Music For Men.
SICK OF THE RADIO: When was the last time you wrote a love letter?
SARAH LARNACH: Uh oh… it has been too long, because I cant remember. I think… maybe… yeah! It was October of last year. Because this is how I best express myself, the ‘love letters’ were two paintings of my dearest. (I just got in trouble for needing to ask when this last occurrence was… I’m going to have to ‘pull my socks up’ on the issue, apparently.)
SICK OF THE RADIO: Do you have any new projects in the works for the end of 2010/beginning of 2011?
SARAH LARNACH: I am going to move into a much bigger studio and make much larger works, with the aim to exhibit in London and Japan in early 2011. And the artwork for the new Ladyhawke album is just getting underway too!
By: Amanda Chatel
Ladyhawke’s “My Delirium”: