BY: LEANNE BENN
By the time Sarah Terrill was around sixteen years old, she knew that her creativity had a meaning and could speak volumes in becoming an expression of herself. Though Sarah hid her art expression and suppressed it for many years, it took her various life struggles, setbacks and one negative marriage for Sarah to finally turn to art again. Like any artist, Sarah was insecure about her work, and not just her work but about herself and all the negative attributes life brought her way.
For Sarah, the painting was just a personal release and a form of therapy. It was only when a close friend saw her small 8 by 10 dimly lit acrylic on canvas things changed, Sarah started to believe in herself and her design talent. It was through the support system of her proudly proclaimed ‘rock,’ her two children, Marcel and Tianna that in 2009, Sarah introduced her artwork to the world in her first solo show and she realized that her work was actually that great that people were willing to invest in it and she could make a living for herself.
Through it all Sarah persisted and kept a brave face, many people did not know the behind the scenes struggles and drama in Sarah’s life. On the verge of losing her apartment, and after losing her job that same month, in May 2014 she pursued her artwork seriously and contacted Cadillac Fairview, to commission artwork for their Shops at Don Mills Art in the Square event. Sarah herself designed the proposal and was successful and led a team of fourteen artists to carry out this event. Though she was going through so much turmoil in her personal life, she persisted and up to this day, upon looking back it’s hard to believe she found the deep strength within to push through and complete her project with success.
From a six-year-old girl growing up in Georgetown, Guyana, Sarah made her imprint in Canadian art through her passion and drive. Once Sarah had the belief in herself she knew what she needed in her life, her own gallery. She always envisioned in her head her art hanging proudly on white walls with shining pot lights, that’s all she wanted and in February 2017, White Walls Art Studio was opened.
It took time for Sarah to get to where she is in her life right now and it was only possible through her strong support system of family and close friends. One such friend is Reagan Hayward, who is Sarah’s mentor, art consultant and overall good friend that pushed and engaged in Sarah’s work and business ideas. Miss Hayward is also the executive Director of Beaux- Arts Brampton where Sarah will host her next show.
Sarah praises herself as a self-taught artist abstract artist specializing in acrylic paintings for residential and commercial spaces. Sarah deeply believes that her art is a reflection of herself and her moods; her inspiration comes from everywhere and everything. While going through dark phases in her life, Sarah often painted with dark colours and as things changed in her life she found it easier to experiment with bold and vivid colours and textures. It is Sarah’s hope that her art can touch at least one person in this life and one must never give up.
After every burden comes a blessing and Sarah is not through dealing with emotional darkness in her life. Last December she lost a man who taught her how to love again and to be secure in herself again, her boyfriend, Simon Abernethy. After losing Simon, Sarah pushed through and turned to her art, her way of expressing herself in periods of darkness. Her upcoming collection, The Blue Calm is a tribute to her late boyfriend with an homage to his favourite colour blue. This event on April 28th will mark some form of closure for Sarah as she pushes on in her journey. Other than owning her own studio, Sarah works at the Thorncliffe Neighborhood Office another place of support and motivation.
Sarah would like to thank Sadia Zafar, Ahmed Hussein, Mohan Doss, Catherine McNeely and Mariam Becker amongst a few of the supportive names. If there is one thing you do in this life, it is to believe in your passion, whatever it may be and never give up. For more information and upcoming events visit whitewallsartstudios.com.