Elliot My Dear and the whimsical artwork

27 June 2019

In this edition of 'Stories from the market', we talk to Sarah Elliott about her love of painting and her work that she sells at the market every Saturday.

Look out for future editions as we focus on the people of the market, their stories and their products, uncovering their secrets and passions.


Above: One of Sarah's endearing and whimsical brooches.

All the pretty things

For Sarah Elliott, being at the market every Saturday is a privilege. She views Salamanca Market as a shared space, like busking – dynamic, interactive and vital.  

'It doesn’t get more full-on than doing an outdoor market in Tasmania. I work at home all week and then my latest work gets feedback immediately – it’s so rewarding'. 

Apart from being able to reach a huge cross-section of people and introduce them to her art, it’s the conversations that resonate with her.  Sarah finds discussions can be quite intense, with people who are affected by, and connect to, her art.

‘You can’t do that on such a broad basis at a gallery or any normal retail store,’ she says.  ‘I get instant feedback from new and long-term clients that most artists miss.’

Her space at Salamanca Market has evolved over time. Initially selling dresses, she then added paintings, which are now centre stage. 

Sarah’s love of painting and art comes from a long family line of artists – from her great grandad in Lancashire, to her mum in Hobart. 'It’s a language I’ve known all my life'. 

'It’s intuitive and I don’t tend to be too literal when painting a person. I look at the way someone feels and the space they occupy. I leave a space of time to let ideas and impressions filter and sort. It’s hard to put into words – like music – it’s about a feeling.  

‘I don’t tell stories with the paintings, it’s more about the viewer, but the sentiments are the same. People have their own way of reading symbols and interpreting what’s on the page. They ask me so many questions, but the less I explain, the happier I am. I don’t want to reduce any image to a mere concept or to my story or interpretation. It should be larger than that, and usually is. 

'I do a lot of commissions for people who talk to me about an idea or a person and send me pictures. I have people who come back every two or three years and see what I’m up to.  

‘They talk about my work being calm and in a space away from their stressful lives. I had someone say that she has 10 or 20 prints in her corridor so when she enters her house (she’s a lawyer) she goes into instant calm.  My clients are very encouraging – I’m lucky.’ 


Above: Sarah and some of her wonderful whimsical prints.

Find Sarah at Elliott My Dear, stall 148.


Above: More of Sarah's timeless work, including some original prints.

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