Sarah May has an interdisciplinary visual art practice without any neat categories. She worked across commercial and editorial set design and styling within fashion for 12 years collaborating with a wide range of brands and creatives. These constructed theatrical "worlds" framed by the camera had mark making, colour and gesture at their core with an aim to leave an imprint of the body in space however subtle. Whilst on set ,the transformational aspect of a 3D space to a 2D picture plane of a photograph and the capturing of the visual experience through a lens, led to an investigation into the bodies relationship to object and space.
This body ( visible/invisible) is central to her personal studio practice. She is concerned with the intimate relationship of material to the body and how one encounters this physically. Gesture and performance are key themes and she draws on notions of choreographic instructions and the haptic to investigate space/body/object and how they connect within a variety of sites. She views the studio as a mini theatre that recovers shadows of the temporary sets that are no longer lived, like an archive of props waiting for their turn to perform.
Her future creative endeavours aim to incorporate a stronger emphasis towards a movement led approach to making, alongside nurturing a collaborative practice that frames a deeper engagement with landscape, fashion ecology and bodily listening.
Sarah has self published two photographic books. "Cuttings" in collaboration with photographer Annie Collinge, and "Ideas for Other Pictures" in collaboration with photographer Leandro Farina. Both books were launched alongside site specific exhibitions.
Sarah is a lecturer and tutor at The London College of Fashion, UAL, teaching on the BA (Hons) Fashion Styling and Production course and one half of interdisciplinary collaboration Chalmers and May. Working with a wide range of creatives they offer bespoke arts education that encourages participants to embody their own creative processes and engage with subject matter at a material level. They have contributed to a new publication ( Jan 2020) "Leap into Action- Critical Performative Pedagogies in Art and Design Education" edited by Dr Lee Campbell. ( Peter Lang USA)