Light on a Woman Artist

Marie Bagi presents to you,

 Sara Miguens 


The flower Engeneer
Agressive Expression

Today, I’m introducing the visual artist Sara Miguens who’s living in Vila Franca da Xira, near Lisbon. We met for the first time on Instagram while I was looking for woman artist in Portugal. Then we met in the garden of the Gulbenkian Foundation, a beautiful green place in the middle of Lisbon. We found a nice space where we could seat surrounded by plants and people who were with famly or friends. A very incredible moment in which I discover her talent and her sparkling personality. 


Sara was born in Evora, Alentejo, Portugal, not far from Lisbon, and where we can see ancient roman remains as a greek temple dedicated to the Godess Diana (Ind Century). She had a great education at home but also at school, she says. Her mom is a chemistry teacher and her dad works in the automobile business. Since she was a little girl, Sara dreamed of becoming an actress, but her parents encouraged her to take a degree in another area first. She choose Audiovisual and Multimedia at the Escola Superior de Comunicação Social, where after the course she specialized in photography. After she finished, she spent a year preparing to run for the National Theater Conservatory. She attended private lessons, workshops and intensive courses at the dramatic art schools “In Impetus” and also at “ACT”, in Lisbon. At the age of 24, Sara start a new degree. Three years later, with Erasmus in the Czech Republic, she graduated in Theater at the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema. This was the period when the artist got to know herself better, realized who she was and what she wanted. Curiously, she discovered that she didn’t like to expose herself on stage, above all she didn’t like to show vulnerability through the words of others. Sara told me about the last play in which she said goodbye to the art world, it was in a Shakespeare play - "Midsummer Night's Dream", in which she had more than a thousand people watching. She found that she liked the creation and the process better and not necessarily expose herself to an audience. Sara realized that it wasn’t what she wanted to do professionally. The artist needs space to express herself, she says that creating is like breathing. She likes also controlling situations and not being controlled, she is really clear about it – we laugh. She shows only what she wants in her way. She took the graduation at the Conservatoir but remained frustrated anyway. She stayed one year without doing any audition. She continues saying that in the Theater’s world, you can’t trust anyone. She wanted to do partnership but no one trust anyone in the art’s world. 


At the age of 27, she started working at Clinique as a beauty adviser. She learned the characteristics of each product and all the special effects she could do with make up. Sara used the dead time in the store, to draw ideas on small notepads– she could published them – and not only. In fact, she tried make-up colors on her skin and started to self-photograph herself. Finally, she left the make-up store for teaching theater for children from 6 to 9 years old until last month when the school ended. She did online lessons during the covid lockdown. During her teaching activity, she, of course, continues to go deeper into her researches  in her own creations. She feels at her best while she’s creating. This feeling is the most greatful in the world, she says.


A visual artist, she says, can use any pattern, texture, color, mix everything, recreate, create something new and turn it into art. The photographies, she makes, are an auto-reality. She can create her own pieces of art in her own world. Trying colors on her skin but also other daily objects. Once she used flowers that her boyfriend gave to her. The petals covered her face and add some mascara – see image. Like this, the flowers can still forever through this magical photography. She continues saying that she’s not only using make-up but also materials from her routine like objects destined to garbage but reused inside her works. She’s always creating with happiness and also in the a mess, she says laughing, meaning taking stuffs from the floor an using it for creating. While she creates, she lives the moment intensely and makes the most of it, it is through Art that Sara lives in the here and now. Most of the time, she is her own human canvas but she also ask to people to pose for her. It was my case. Looking at me after the discussion, she asked me to pose for her because she had an original idea to achieve. So we met another time at her tiny and beautiful studio. We didn’t have a lot of time but she succeded to produce something incredible. You will discover the result anytime soon. It was the first time that I was used as a human canvas. It was an amazing experience that I could repeat. Sara has this sensibilty which brings her to some results extremely deep. She can capture the most relevant aspect of you in one photography. Sara is also able to show what’s peculiar on your face. It’s a beautiful advantage and she knows how to show the peculiarities. 


My meetings with her were really specials and, since the beginning, we have a great connection. I’m looking forward to continue to work with her because she has a lot to offer to herslef and to the public.  



Author : Marie Bagi, Contemporary art and Philosophy, PhD.


Published on September 30th 2020.