A decision to move to the US had a huge impact on the work of Melbourne born and raised artist and printmaker Sarah Amos. “I felt that there was no going backwards but only leaps and bounds in a forward direction,” she says. “Anything seemed possible to me in the early years when living in New York; it was viable to have a career as an artist who worked on paper. I was determined to make a go of it and not come home without some small success in hand, only problem was I never came home so strong was the pull of future personal career potential that I thought Australia could not offer me.” Sarah has now been based in the US for 24 years but admits that she is homesick for Australia. Each year she spends several months back in Melbourne, and shows her work locally every two years. Her latest exhibition Complex Geographies is at Flinders Lane Gallery until 19 September.
Which five words best describe you? Motivated, passionate, inquisitive, intuitive, dedicated.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My career really took off when I attended Tamarind Institute of Lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I then went on the heels of graduating from Tamarind to New York to work in lithography as a master collaborative printer. Collaborative printmaking then became my full-time profession, which took me on from New York after three years to the largest art colony in the US - The Vermont Studio Center in New England. I continued on for 10 years there as the master printer and worked with over 200 artists, helping them to make the very best prints they could. It was an incredible education and experience one that I value highly and was better than any MFA around. I then left over 10 years ago to concentrate on my own work fully and have never looked back.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To trust my instincts, work hard and do not give any attention to what others think about your work.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Graduating from Tamarind Institute and being awarded the Joan Mitchell Painting Prize in 2014.
What’s been your best decision? To give up a steady paycheck and dedicate the rest of my working life to my work.
Who inspires you? My family, El Anatsui, Peter Doig, American Outsider Artists, Vermeer, and 300 more.
What are you passionate about? Textiles from around the world, soft sculpture and African masks and architecture.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My maternal grandfather, who was a landscape water colourist and mural artist Len Annois.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would love to collaborate with the master weavers and make one of my pieces into a full size tapestry at the Australian Tapestry Workshop.
What are you reading? The autobiography of Sally Mann, the American photographer.