Sarana Haeata is a WA artist whose work spans across illustration, ceramics and the written word. She celebrates human diversity with a big dose of girl power. The paintings currently in Bivouac focus on the power of the female form with an interest in minimal line work.

We caught up with Sarana to chat about her new work and artistic life.

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We’re so happy to have your artworks gracing the walls at Bivs. Can you walk us through how this collection came about?
Thanks! I began toying with the idea of simple line drawings about a year ago. I wanted to create some more design focused works that could make a bold statement in a home setting - I think I was also really interested in limiting myself, as in limiting my colour palette and seeing how few markings I could make on the paper while still communicating a message.

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We love the simplicity of these paintings. They’re different to some of your other artworks. Any reason for this change?
I’d been working on a lot of quite dense artwork for some murals and kids illustrations, so I began craving large, spacious, ‘mature’ (for lack of a better word) art. I tend to have different art styles that I’m in to and explore at different times, although I never leave a particular style behind. I more just put in on hold until I feel like doing it again.

You paint, illustrate and create ceramics. Is there a discipline you prefer?
Ha! I wish. That would make my life much more simple. But no, I actually need all of them equally. Even though I feel like these disciplines are quite separate from each other, in a working sense one area tends to feed off another. So I can take breaks from painting and renew love for drawing, then I’ll transfer over to ceramics. I think if I did just one of the things I’d end up hating it. Maybe I just have a really short attention span...

What would you say are your top 5 creative inspirations?
Music is a big one. Other artists, live shows - either gigs or theatre works. Written works - usually kid’s books (they’re the best).  Dance is also a big inspiration for me.

Photo credit: Rhianna May

Photo credit: Rhianna May

You have three kids and one on the way. We’re impressed with how much work you get done. How do you balance showing up for your art and raising young children?
With great difficulty sometimes! Creating is kind of my default setting, so although I find that I’m busy a lot of the time, I also really enjoy what I do. Having said that I have to be pretty strict with myself about when I work. I no longer do anything outside of the kids school hours, and really the bulk of my art is created during my youngest’s nap time. I also have a ridiculously supportive husband and very hands on grandparents so that helps a bucket load.

Do you have a routine?
Yes and no, my routine is pretty much: baby awake -  play, see friends, have nice time. Baby naps - get as much done in the studio as humanly possible. Try to eat somewhere in there as well.

Image credit: Rhianna May

Image credit: Rhianna May

Tell us about your awesome studio – a train carriage!?
Yeah it’s a lovely 1950s wooden train carriage that my husband found on gumtree and we had plonked in the backyard. It’s definitely a necessity to have a studio at home while the kids are young, but one day I’ll move to a studio away from home and we can renovate it into some kind of sanctuary mecca.

You’ve exhibited before. But is it still a thrill seeing your work showcased in public?
Yep, I always find it equal parts nerve-wracking and exciting putting my work in front of the public, no matter what kind of show it is!

What’s new on the horizon (other than your new bubba!)?
I’ll be teaching some ceramics workshops at the beautiful Stackwood, I’m also working on my first kids book which is exciting! And I’d love to paint a whopping big mural in Hamilton Hill but I think I’ll have to push the baby out first before I get to that. But I’ll keep you posted!

You can follow Sarana Haeata at @saranahaeta or see what she’s up to on her website.