Cara Sanders, artist, Owlet

People told me being an artist wasn’t a realistic career pathway. But art was something I loved wholeheartedly ...

For Cara Sanders (aka Owlet), art isn’t just a hobby and passion – it’s her life. Growing up in the Kimberley, Cara is now a proud Gold Coast local and has become renowned for her gallery works and commissions, which can be found all over the country. Cara is one of four artists selected to showcase their works in an all-female exhibition called Under The Milky Way which is currently on display at the Level Up Studio + Gallery in Coolangatta. With International Women’s Day around the corner, girl power is on our minds, so we thought we’d have a chat to Cara about the unique relationship women have with the land and ocean, and how she ditched the ‘9 to 5’.

Let’s throw it back to the beginning. What first inspired you to become an artist and what’s your earliest memory of creating art?
When I was a kid I loved to draw. I was always encouraged to do it. Even out for dinner I always took my colouring in books with me. People told me being an artist wasn’t a realistic career pathway. But art was something I loved wholeheartedly. I remember working a 9-5 job and feeling lost. I asked my mum if she has any regrets in life, and she replied “I wish I’d expressed my creativity more when I was younger”. That was it! So I decided to quit my job and just go for it! I haven’t looked back.

You’re renowned for your original pieces under the guise Owlet. For those not entirely familiar with your work, how would you best describe your style and how your pieces come together?
My works are based on dreams, experiences and emotions translated across the canvas with rich contrasting colours, built up with textures and elements of nature. I have reverted to pure instinct about how I want to feel in the process of painting rather then how I want a painting to look.

Where do you find yourself drawing inspiration from?
My inspiration is drawn heavily from my sense of connection with the land and sea, and growing up in the Kimberley.

You’re currently part of a group exhibition named Under The Milky Way with four other female artists, which is on display at the Level Up Studio + Gallery in Coolangatta. What can the public expect from this dynamic bunch?
It means a lot to be a part of an all-female exhibition; showcasing alongside Rebecca Cunningham, Aimee Moy and Nat Popovski. The four of us have our own unique styles but still share a strong sense of connection to country. When the public view the exhibition they are able to step into the shoes of each artist and experience the spirit of Australia as we see it… and feel it!

Can you tell us a little about what you’ve put together for the exhibition?
This collection focuses on the relationship women have with the land and ocean. A deep connection that allows us to tune in, hear stories, feel strength, flow and vibrations. My works are a visual representation of just that.

 Finally, what words of wisdom you live by?
Anything is possible. You just have to believe in what you are doing. My life moto has always been ‘believe and achieve’.

You can view the works of Cara Sanders, Rebecca Cunningham, Aimee Moy and Nat Popovski at the Under The Milkyway exhibition at Level Up Studio + Gallery until Sunday March 31.

Image credit: Nicola Lemmon


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