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Meet The Artist: Rachael Sarra

Brisbane Street Art Festival has turned Stanley Street Plaza into a vibrant canvas, with new murals lining the street from two incredible First Nation's artists.

Today we sit down with one of the artists, Rachael Sarra, to find out what inspires her and her artwork.

Tell us a bit about yourself!
I am a very proud mixed raced, Goreng Goreng artist based here on Yuggera/Jagera Country. I graduated from QCA in South Bank with a Bachelor of Design and have spent the last 11 years exploring different ways to express myself through art and design.

As a multi-disciplinary artist, designer and businesswoman, your creativity seems to know no bounds… is there a particular creative outlet you are most drawn to?
I feel most comfortable working digitally and really love how you can bring digital works to life in so many different ways. There are no limits on where you can take digital work.

Your works often challenge and explore themes surrounding society's perception of what First Nation’s art and identity is. What inspired your work in Stanley Street Plaza?
As a First Nations woman from Goreng Goreng Country, I acknowledge that I am a guest here on Yuggera and Turrbal Country and so I wanted to reference my relationship to place but also acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which my work sits. The Maiwar is significant to local mob and plays a huge role culturally. It also is a place where we now see a gathering of a diverse range of people, and I wanted to celebrate that through place. First acknowledging that it is Aboriginal Land and water, but also celebrating the diverse stories that come through South Bank.

Your works help create a visual representation of First Nation’s Culture in a style that is feminine, fun and engaging…can you speak more to this?
My style is very contemporary. I am inspired by my history and my culture but the way I see myself in my work is through a different application than what we have done for over 60000 years. It's a resolution of the traditional themes that I grapple with. The colours I use are also chosen based on the psychology of each colour and how that relationship can make us feel. I want us to have tough conversations but ultimately, I want people to feel engaged and drawn into my work to ask those questions.

What excites you most about street art?
Street art is where I challenge myself most both physically and mentally. It's not my full-time job, so I always feel a sense of pride after finishing murals.

What do you love most about Brisbane Street Art Festival?
Festivals like BSAF are incredibly important. Art can save lives in ways a lot of people don't understand and to have art so accessible to everyone, regardless of your background, means or experiences, is powerful. The festival allows the community to engage with unique and diverse artists and stories and hopefully inspire the viewer.

Do you have any advice for fellow budding artists?
Sometimes you just have to wing it and experiment a bit. The hardest thing sometimes is just getting off the couch and starting. Make art with whatever means you have and just find your feet as you go. That's the best thing about art. There is no right or wrong answer. It's just art.

To view more of Rachael's work, click the link here... 

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