Sara Shakeel - adding sparkle everywhere

Ahead of her London exhibition titled The Great Supper, I met up with the wonderful Sara Shakeel to talk about her journey as an artist and how that has led to her solo show at the Now Gallery at Greenwich Peninsula.

Sara was a wonderful guest and I was impressed that she has achieved so much in so little time, having worked as an artist for less than three years.

A view of the table covered in crystals

A view of the table covered in crystals

SIX things I learned from Sara

  1. She originally trained as a dentist and after failing her exams she took up art as a way to find her way out of the disappointment she was feeling.

  2. After sharing her work on Instagram she found that people were really enjoying her art works which she created digitally using photo editing software. Then someone commented that she was not proficient in Photoshop which til that time was a software she wasnt familiar with. She taught herself to use Photoshop and a year later she was messaged from Adobe HQ who wished to use her images to celebrate their reaching 1m followers on Instagram.

  3. She developed a unique style that looked like crystals over her collages, and had celebrities following her work including Sarah Jessica Parker, and the Swarovski family.

  4. Her career has seen her travelling around the world, recently designing a cover for Grazia Italia, editorial work for Playboy magazine, working with international brands and visiting the Swarovski factory in Austria.

  5. Sara was playing around with physical crystals and covered an egg with them and at the same time imagining her work being developed into larger sculptures. The call from the gallery came a few months later, and she was commissioned to develop the sculptural pieces for the exhibition.

  6. Sara believes that contentment, gratitude and self belief bring the good things. As a spiritual person she understands that these foundations lead to happiness and creativity, and success follows.

The Now Gallery has high glass walls which let in wonderful light and has been the site of some brilliant exhibitions in recent years including the most instagrammable Camille Walala in 2017.

The exhibition is titled The Great Supper and Sara has created a whole dining table complete with food, cutlery and other tableware covered in crystals. She talks about the process in the podcast.

For Sara’s exhibition an intimate space has been created by the clever use of black curtains. The guest is invited to enter through the curtains into the exhibit giving a sense of privacy of a dining room, and intimacy with the art work and also a sense of being a guest at the table. The curtains further create a backdrop that means that all attention is on the sculpture with the spotlights angled to maximise the sparkle & bouncing light off the exhibit. Alot of attention has gone into the displaying of the work and the successful arrangement with the enclosure. The show is certainly worth visiting if you are in London. It is right outside North Greenwich station on the Jubilee Line.

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Close up of the crystal covered food and tableware

Close up of the crystal covered food and tableware

Crystals everywhere!

Crystals everywhere!

The egg that started the ball rolling for Sara’s road into sculpture

The egg that started the ball rolling for Sara’s road into sculpture

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Tissue Roll by Sara Shakeel

Tissue Roll by Sara Shakeel

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Follow Sara on Instagram @sarashakeel

Read the Forbes article about Sara here

Now Gallery - The exhibition The Great Supper by Sara Shakeel 15 May – 23 June 2019, Now Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10.

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