Meet A Member - Sarah Danays

Meet Sarah Danays from Whitstable, Kent who moved to LA eight years ago to pursue her fine art practice. She’s a sculptor and photographer.
Sarah Danays in her Venice, LA studio
by Sinisha Nisevic (April 2013) 

Was there a particular reason you chose LA ?
I fell madly in love with a Frenchman, Marc, who only wanted to live in LA. So I followed. He runs Zinqué, Venice, just around the corner from my studio.

What do you miss most from home?
My friends, old buildings and a good curry.

What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? 
That it would be a lonely city for me. Moving to LA was actually one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It took me a number of years make to real, strong friendships. Something that had always come so easily to me back in the UK. It was making friends here that changed my view of the city - particularly Alison Rowe of Merrily & Keane Communications (Specialists in Arts Support, whose services I cannot praise highly enough). .
Also, as I began to understand the city better, I noticed that unlike back home where (some) people seemed to be waiting for you to fail, in LA they were waiting for you to shine.

What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus Whitstable?
Proximity. Everything’s so close and easy to get to simply by walking. Here everything’s so very far apart. I consider myself deeply lucky to be based in Venice where you can, pretty much, walk everywhere.

the beach in Whitstable, Kent
photo by E.Lee

Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us? 
Dhaba on Main Street, Santa Monica. Probably the best lamb saag I’ve had.*
photo courtesy of Dhaba Facebook Page
And such charming, intelligent service and a beautiful outdoor area to eat. Oh, and Hama Sushi happy hour at the Venice circle (every evening between 4 - 7pm). This place is always such a joy.

What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here? One of my favorite quotes is by the French writer Anais Nin, who lived for much of her life in LA, dying here in 1977. Anais said “life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given? Reach out.

Lastly, how can we find out more about you ? Are you working on anything at the moment ? I’ve just installed an exhibition in the UK at the Harley Gallery, Nottingham entitled ‘Sarah Danays’ Arms of The Portland Vase’. It’s taken me two and a half year’s to complete. Work started in my Venice studio, and was finished on site at Welbeck. It opened on 18 June and runs until 14 August 2016. 

I’ve also recently been selected as one of 19 artists to show at MOAH, Lancaster this November. It’s a group show entitled ‘The British Invasion’ celebrating the best of British artists working here since the 60s, and spearheaded by David Hockney. 

'Sarah Danays' Arms of The Portland Vase' Harley Gallery, July 2016.
The Yorkshire Post, © Scott Merrylees

*Editor tip - 
Pick up your picnic dinner from Dhaba on your way to the Santa Monica Beach, for the Twilight Concerts at the Pier!


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