Artist of the Week: Sakura Hochegger

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This week Brighton Journal spoke to local artist Sakura Hochegger. Sakura’s work explores elimination and unknown possibility through both colour and texture. She describes the most exciting moment of her creative process as when the unexpected happens, and that just “a flash of colour or a crack on the pavement” can leave an impression on her painting. We discussed Sakura’s current projects, her inspirations and favourite things to do locally. Keep reading to find out more about Sakura’s vibrant work.


What are you doing today?

I have been painting this morning and this afternoon I will be spending time with my son.


Describe where you do most of your creative work.

In my studio.

I don’t want to go to school. Oil on linen

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve worked on?

With many of my paintings I had very exciting time painting! All different, but when unexpected happens that’s the best exciting moment for me.


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What made you decide to become an artist?

I think I have always had a need to create and to become an artist was not a conscious decision. But I originally studied fashion design at St Martins, I was only 18 years old and I think I was too young to decide what I really wanted to do.

Into you. Oil and pigment on linen

What are you currently working on?

Lots of small paintings and drawings.


What are the key themes in your work?

Elimination and unknown possibilities!


What would you like people to notice about your work?

I would like people to feel my work and not necessarily notice anything in particular. I have been told from viewers my work is emotional or energetic and that made me happy. I would like to connect with viewers in this way, more like heart to heart. If it’s possible, I would love to move people’s emotion. 

I can’t believe it’s the end of 2018! Oil on canvas

What attracts you to the medium you work in?

Colours! I often think in colours. I thought everyone thought in the same way until a year ago when I attended a lecture and they talked about a condition called synaesthesia (people who think or taste in colours). Working with the paint and its mediums takes me back to my childhood when I used to play with mud and dead leaves, I think it’s the texture! I was immersed in playing for hours even by myself. I have a really fond memory of those times. I often use linen to paint on and also canvas and jute. I really love the fabric, the texture of the weave, how the paint brush bounces on the surface etc. I think my fashion background has influenced me there.


What equipment could you not do without?

My paintbrushes.

Les Fleurs du mal. Oil and pigment on canvas

Who or what inspires you?

My family, friends and my everyday life and memory. Often a flash of colour or a crack on the pavement leave an impression, they often come up in my painting. I also read Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida, D.T Suzuki and Alan Watts, they inspire and help me to understand my work and myself. When I studied MA fine art at University of Brighton, my fellow students and tutors inspired me a lot.


How is your work affected by living in this area?

Living in Brighton gave me peace and space for me to dive in my work.

Childhood fear. Oil on linen

What’s your favourite thing to do locally?

I love looking around in vintage shops and visiting cafes with friends and family. Brighton has amazing vintage shops, my love for vintage started from when I used to live off Brick Lane in East London where they are full of markets. Going for walks by the sea is one of my favourite thing to do as well!


What’s your favourite gallery (or place to see/experience art)?

I love visiting Tate modern, I have a lovely memory seeing exhibition with my mum. I also love Leopold Museum in Vienna. I visit there every Summer. Another favourite gallery is Gallery 46 in London, run by my old friends who I met when studying at St Martins.

Letting go, y and I. Oil and pigment on linen

If you could collaborate with one artist, from any time, who would it be and why?

I don’t have a desire to collaborate with another artist at the moment but I would love to have a chat with the painter Alice Neel.


What’s your favourite colour?

Orangey red.


To find out more about Sakura and her work, take a look at her website and Instagram

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