Since we last spoke…ah, won’t bother getting into it, check this out, Sarah Maple, you may have heard of her before, good on you, I am just catching up. If you heard of her before, why didn’t you tell me?
Her father is white British, her mother is an Iranian Muslim, and she went to a Catholic school in Eastbourne. “I always found it difficult culturally knowing where I fit in,” says the 30-year-old artist, who lives in Crawley. “I wanted to be a ‘good’ Muslim, but I was an immediate outcast for being mixed. And I felt guilty about that.”
She has found her way, and aren’t we glad? Well, no, not everybody is, to the point of throwing bricks through her window.
“I was at university and we’d go round doing crits, talking about each others’ work. Every time a man got up to speak, we’d be really supportive. But every time a woman spoke, we’d berate her. I realised I was complicit – subconsciously, we’d all taken on that conditioning. It was the first time I realised I might be held back by being a woman. The phrase ‘I wish I had a penis’ just came into my head. So I did that work based on it. When I took it into uni, although all the tutors liked it, everyone else berated me. Then I put it on MySpace and got all these amazing responses. People started sending me their own. That’s the moment I realised that, through humour, I could really communicate something.”
She has a book coming out, titled You Could Have Done This, which for me is the point of art, especially when people say “Oh, I coulda done that!” But you didn’t, that person did, regardless if you like it or not. Be inspired to move, even with something that rubs you the wrong way. More power to you.