Sara Gates Makes Some Print-Happy Art
“I’ve been making art ever since I can remember. I started out with painting and still think of everything I make as a painting,” says Sara Gates, the Pratt Institute-trained designer behind the fly, hand-dyed bag line Cook & Gates. And though many of her creations these days can be flung over your shoulder—we’re talking hard-working totes and duffles—she’s done some much larger-scale works, too. Here, she brings the big guns.
“This was another large-scale collaboration I did with three other artists for an installation at the Live With Animals Gallery in Williamsburg. We built everything from scratch (yes, the entire house!) and even had a backyard, which we seeded with grass. It was really cool to walk into the gallery and be faced with this house in the middle. It took me about three weeks to complete—working nonstop.”
“When I started my screen-printing studio Kingsland Printing, I struggled to figure out how to make my own work around that. These paintings come from desperation, to some extent—I made them around the studio, sometimes by accident. The one on the right is paint and off-spray ink from where we wash out screens. The one on the left was actually just water and dye that I put on canvas on the roof. It’s really interesting for me to see the patterns that emerge from accidents of intention.”
“This graphic, black-and-white painting is a screen-print of a piece that I hand-dyed. My favorite part about dyeing is how you can do the same thing over and over but get different results every time, and what I love about screen-printing is how you can get identical patterns every time. It’s really interesting to combine them in this way—I’m playing off the limitations and nuances of these opposite practices.”