Using heavyweight drawing paper and cardboard, South Carolina’s Sara E. Farrington creates everything from furniture to light switches in her “Model Home” installation.
The artist: Born in Greenwood, SC, in 1987, Farrington grew up mostly in Myrtle Beach. Her mother was an art teacher, and making art was something Farrington always did.
At Coastal Carolina University (CCU), Farrington earned a BA in studio art and an MAT in art education.
After college, Farrington taught at various public schools in Horry County through 2016. Then she moved with her husband to attend UNC Chapel Hill, where she completed her MFA in visual arts in 2018. As part of her grad work, she started the installation entitled, Model Home.
Describe Model Home: It is a site responsive sculptural installation of furniture and accessories made of white heavyweight drawing paper and cardboard.
The company/studio: Sara E. Farrington, first started in Chapel Hill, but now is based in the Myrtle Beach area, where the artist is also a high school art teacher and adjunct professor at CCU. Farrington’s studio is in a shed next to her house.
The art & materials: White, heavyweight drawing paper, cardboard armatures and adhesive. Sculptures are to-scale furniture and accessories, including lamps, electrical outlets and picture frames.
After leaving grad school, she began making the armatures of the larger pieces of furniture rather than recovering found furniture. This was a game changer in the work, allowing the pieces to be portable and for pieces to be interchangeable.
Why paper: It is part of her background as a drawer but also because of the fragility, impermanence and vulnerability of the material.
Why white paper: Because of the never-ending expectation of keeping a home clean. The white color also allows viewers to reflect their own style and color into the work.
“The overwhelming amount of this color from floor to ceiling creates a sense of sterility, conformity, blankness – and a clean or erased slate,” said Farrington.
“The model home is a reference and a metaphor for the American ideal, the perfect home.”
The inspiration: Visits to model homes in new communities when she and her husband were considering buying their first home.
- Light switches ($400 to $600), depending on the number of (single, double, triple, etc.)
- Plants ($500 to $1,000) depending on the plant style and size. See image on right.
Other favorites: Drawings of Model Home. Originals are $50 to $200. Prints are also available on her Society6 store (https://society6.com/sfarrington)
Fun or special commissions: Made a plant with wallpaper last year.
Big break (s):
- Daniella Krysa from The Jealous Curator, a contemporary art site, featured her work a few years ago.
First solo show after grad school in 2021 at the Myrtle Beach Art Museum.
- Also interviewed for the show “Making It” on NBC, but was not chosen for that season.
What’s next: ArtFields the last week of April. ArtFields is an annual art event, showcasing Southern artists, in Lake City, SC, where the whole town becomes an art gallery, in stores as well as in its many galleries. It’s a juried event and has competition cash prizes. (artfieldssc.org)
For commissions: sara-farrington.com
- Instagram: @sara_farrington