Put aside your phone and look up to the sky instead. That’s the message from award-winning British artist Sarah Kudirka, whose work is focused on buildings, objects and words.
Currently on show in Canary Wharf is a series of her paintings about sky-gazing while walking around the city an idea she captures by putting paint on top of a Polaroid she has taken herself.
Sarah explains the thinking behind her mini exhibition in Canary Wharf.
Why do you feel it’s important to look up more and take in our ‘sky-setting’?
We are all busy looking down at our smartphones and it’s hard to switch off, even on your lunchbreak. I reckon it is important that we keep our eyes open and take a little time out from our concerns and worries, email and the news as well.
I try to do that by focusing on the sky above me and the end of the street I’m walking down, as we’re in the city it is usually squeezed between tall buildings. It can lift your heart and help you find perspective, if you just take a little time to breathe and follow the skyline above with your eyes.
Any warnings you may have for people looking up at the sky and walking around?
Well you do have to be very careful not to get hit by bikes or buses and I must admit that I once did trip over a broken manhole cover in the street and end up having stitches on my foot (but actually that was while I was texting not looking up or taking Polaroids!)
How did you come to create this project - what inspired you?
I started it in 2012, the summer we hosted the best ever Olympic games in our backyard. There was a positive buzz on the streets of east London and I was newly married, back from honeymoon and super-inspired!
What’s your favourite building in London?
I love cities and actually I really love the back streets rather than the landmark buildings. Honestly I have too many, but there’s a few blocks in the square mile that are favourites but they are not known by iconic names.
I used to work shifts on the Stock Exchange regulatory news service when it was still near the Bank of England and I’d look down from the canteen to draw the towers across the square mile.
Which one would you change if you could?
I would remove the silly set of windturbines from that ugly tower down by Elephant and Castle.
Oh and I’d like to make it possible for the public to get to the top of Canary Wharf, a few days a year at least. I love being up high.
Artworks are available to buy from £500.
Go to sarahkudirka.co.uk