All of my art is born out of a love affair with a place.
Name: Sara S’Jegers #
- Nationality: Belgian
- Lives & works in US-Belgium. Currently in Marfa, Texas
- Profession: Artist
- Signature phrase: "Hold on tightly, let go lightly."
I am Sara S’Jegers #
I am an artist and a traveler from Belgium. I have spent most of the last decade living and traveling through the US. I’m always looking for inspiration in places of exceptional natural beauty, and that is how I landed in Mallorca this year. I went to school for graphic design about a lifetime ago. But, I have been mostly drawn to painting, photography, printmaking, anything that is analog and tactile.
I found the perfect marriage of all of the above in the historic photographic process of cyanotype making. Cyanotypes are basically ‘blueprints’. They require no camera, just watercolor paper or fabric, and a long exposure time. Through a very simple process, they produce images that are Prussian Blue. This process has given me great freedom to go out in nature and capture shapes and light, moments in time really, and this is what most of my current art is based on.
Above: Sara in Mallorca, showing an artwork from the ‘Perfect Storm’ series
How do you relate your art to your life? #
I think any artist will tell you that their art is always intricately related to their lives.
In the last ten or so years, I have had a very nomadic and adventurous lifestyle. Very unconventional compared to what most of my peers back in my home country of Belgium are doing. I did exactly the opposite of what my culture taught me: I let go of the stability of having a set home, a set job, a set place. I let go of any striving or any career, and I embraced the uncertainty and the freedom of the open road. Intuitively, I’ve been drawn mostly to places of tremendous natural beauty. Whether I was in California, Hawai’i, New Mexico, Texas, or Mallorca, I ended up living in the most spectacular places, sometimes in beautiful homes, sometimes in sheds or rustic cabins, but always immersed in wild, natural beauty.
My art came out of my desire to share those intimate moments in nature with the world. For years, I had been looking for a language to convey my experiences. Having ‘strayed’ so far from a conventional life in society, I wanted the art to be a bridge back to society. But mostly I just really longed for ways to share experiences of beauty and peace, and hopefully inspire people to stray a little bit themselves. There’s enormous gifts off the beaten path!
How did your visit unfold? #
I came to Mallorca to make a video about my art. I had made contact with a local photographer whose work I really love, and I felt extremely excited to be able to work with her. We worked for two weeks, and I had planned to return to Belgium after those two weeks. But exactly around that time, a lockdown was suddenly imposed on the whole island. I decided to wait it out for a few days, but then my flight got cancelled.
Above: Sara working on ‘Nube’ on the beach at Caló de Ses Lleonardes, near Palma. Top right: filmmaker Laura Caldés.
Above: The little cottage Sara stayed in for four months in Llucmajor & Sara developing her cyanotype artworks on top of the pool during lockdown
So you think Mallorca is a place of inspiration? #
A lot of places I have lived in before, mostly in the US, are wild, spectacular, extremely spacious and sometimes even a bit dangerous. Compared to that, I think Mallorca is mostly very sweet and lovely, and very very beautiful. I experienced a peace here that was very conducive to creating. It was just amazing to be there throughout Spring and see so many different kinds of wildflowers take turns at blooming so abundantly. Not to mention the birds.
My favorite part of staying in the countryside was waking up and going to bed to the sound of so many chirping birds. It was the first time that I lived on an island and did not feel island fever (in spite of the lockdown!) And I love that there is such diversity in the landscape: there is the ocean, with pristine beaches, but also rugged coastlines, and then there are the Tramuntana Mountains, which are definitely spectacular.
The first moment of beauty on Mallorca that absolutely baffled me, on the first day that I had arrived in March, was to see the yellow marigolds, growing by the thousands in fields as far as the eye could see, and to see them dance around in the strong island wind, lit up by the pinks and oranges of the sunset. I just had to make some work in these fields, and this turned out to be the ‘Glebionis’ series. The flowers are also prominently featured in the film I made with Laura Caldés.
Artist Sara S'Jegers on Mallorca
With a backdrop of the island of Mallorca, Sara explains her process. Film by Laura Caldes
Sara’s Other Projects and Initiatives #
By the end of June, it was time to leave Mallorca, and to go check in with my family in Belgium. But soon after that, I returned to the US and I am now staying in the quaint high desert town of Marfa, Texas. I am slowly starting to work on some new work, and also spending quite some time on digitalizing all of the art I made in Mallorca.
Above: Sara’s rental car on Mallorca, (on right) cyanotype from the ‘Glebionis’ series in developing bath
- Personal Interview
#Mallorca #Majorca # Sara S’Jegers
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