Sarah Jane Szikora
Sarah Jane Szikora was born in County Durham in 1971. As a child, part of a large family, she kept herself amused by drawing and painting. After finishing school, which she didn’t enjoy, she attended Harrogate College of Art where she studied, photography, sculpture and graphics, later moving to Cleveland Art College where she specialised in illustration.
In 1991, Sarah set up her own business, making papier-mâché figures, but it was painting to which she returned, pleased and encouraged that her ‘big girls with attitude’ pieces sold surprisingly well. Her work has been seen in galleries across the UK and overseas and published as limited editions, greetings cards & jigsaws.
Sarah, who draws her ideas from observing people and human behaviour, often visited her father’s native Hungary where the larger than life people she encountered became an early influence for the characters she painted. Her aim was not to ridicule but promote the idea of a society that likes itself and where her people, the ladies especially, are confident positive characters, comfortable with their bodies.
She said, “Many things inspire me. Looking at great art is both a humbling experience and an invigorating one and generally fires me up for a new piece. Among my favourite artists are the awesome Stanley Spencer, LS Lowry, Renee Magritte and I love the surrealist paintings of Michael Sowa.”