‘Artist Spotlight’ Of The Week: Sahasa

Howdy Nation! In today’s post, we are going to be featuring our ‘Artist Spotlight’ of the week: Sahasa. An artist and sculptor based in the Netherlands, Sahasa loves to use her fascination with octopuses and coral reefs to inspire her colorful creations. Today, we’ll be showing a few of her octopus sculptures, including her new series ‘Sculpted Reef’.

All videos and images are provided by Sahasa.

Sculpted Reef – Giant Pacific Octopus with a treasure chest

Meet Sahasa!

Sahasa is a European-based artist who has a passion for creating sculptures of coral reefs and octopuses. Her love for these amazing creatures began in 2017, and since then, has been bringing them to life using materials such as polymer and epoxy clay, paint, and more!

While she strives to create lifelike representations of octopuses, she also enjoys incorporating vintage and found objects into her pieces to add an extra layer of depth and intrigue.

She’s here today to give us an inside look into how she uses her skills as an artist and sculptor to create her mesmerizing octopus sculptures

Let’s take a look!

Azami – Blue-Ringed Octopus

Tell us a bit about your octopus artwork

“I’m thrilled to showcase a range of my artwork in this interview! I have 4 new series that I will be showcasing:

1. ‘Octopus Tea Cups’

My ‘Octopus Tea Cups’ series combines vintage tea cups, silver-plated teaspoons, and mixed materials with octopus sculptures, resulting in unique and imaginative compositions that honor the historical significance of these once-commonplace items.

Reef Dreams – Caribbean Reef Octopus

2. ‘Shelltopus’

My ‘Shelltopus’ series consists of small sculptures inspired by the resourcefulness of the Veined or Coconut Octopus, using shells as body armor and shields.

Shelltopus – Mototi Octopus

3. ‘Octopus Sculptures’

My ‘Octopus Sculptures’ series features free-standing sculptures highlighting the beauty and unique characteristics of different octopus species.

Blue-Ringed Octopus – Free-Standing Octopus Sculpture

4. ‘Sculpted Reef’

Lastly, I’m excited to be able to share the very beginning of my newest collection, ‘Sculpted Reef,’ where I aim to capture the octopus along with the vibrant colors and diverse life on our planet’s coral reefs.”

Sculpted Reef – Giant Pacific Octopus with treasure chest

What draws you in or fascinates you the most about octopuses? When did this start for you? 

“What draws me in and fascinates me the most about octopuses is their unique form and movements as well as their intelligence.”

blue ringed octopus GIF by sahasa

How did you first become interested in creating art featuring octopuses?

“I discovered octopuses as an artistic subject in 2017 while researching iconic reef species for my sculptures, and I stumbled upon videos of the Giant Pacific Octopus and Coconut Octopus. I was immediately intrigued by their intelligence, playfulness, and remarkable tool use.

To me, they are some of the most fascinating creatures in the sea, and I love capturing their beauty and complexity in my artwork.”

Shelltopus – Baby Giant Pacific Octopus

How long your work takes you to complete… Can you discuss any interesting or unique techniques you use?

“When creating my artwork, the time it takes to complete a piece varies depending on the complexity and size.

My ‘Octopus Tea Cups’ and ‘Sculpted Reef’ series require meticulous attention to detail and can take several weeks to months to complete. For my ‘Octopus Tea Cups’ series, I use an interesting technique that involves incorporating natural and organic materials such as:

  • Driftwood
  • Stones
  • Seagrass
  • Seaglass
  • Pearls
  • Gemstones

This helps create an unpredictable and creative compositional 360-degree puzzle that makes each piece challenging to balance but also gives each work a unique personality. It adds depth and texture to the artwork, bringing it to life.”

Octopus Tea Cup – Valkenburg – Larger Pacific Striped Octopus

Was this modeled after a specific octopus species?

“Not all of my octopus sculptures are modeled after a specific species, but when they are, I love to first do some research and learn about the unique behaviors, quirks, and appearances of that specific species.

I find that scientific research papers as well as videos are excellent resources for this, providing detailed information on a species preferred poses, which are linked to their behaviors, and of course the different color expressions for each specific species which can be very varied, for example as seen in the Caribbean Reef Octopus.

By studying these resources, I can ensure that my sculptures gain a life-like quality. Plus, learning about different octopus species and their characteristics is a fun and rewarding part of my creative process!”

What materials were used? 

“Polymer clay is an essential material in my creative process, as it allows me to sculpt my subjects. Paints, pigments and resin are other star players in this team. Aside from those, I use:

  • Vintage tea cups and other (found) objects
  • Shells
  • Substrate
  • Driftwood
  • Stones
  • Pearls
  • (Sea)glass
  • Gemstones
  • Crystals”
mototioctopus GIF

Who (or what) are your biggest influences?

“In addition to nature, I’m also influenced by the history of porcelain tea cups and what was once a significant object in our daily life rituals.

Tea has a long and rich history, and these elaborate porcelain cups were once an important part of that tradition. They were a pride and joy and often collector’s items, with a varied history behind them in terms of manufacturers and illustrative patterns!

I find that, especially using vintage tea cups and repurposing them into my artwork not only gives them a new life, but also connects my work not only to this cultural history but also each cup’s own story.

Pearl Seekers II – Larger Pacific Striped Octopus

By bringing together these influences I hope to create something truly unique and meaningful with my Octopus Tea Cups series.

My goal is to create artwork that not only looks beautiful, but also evokes a sense of wonder and appreciation for the world around us.”

Queen’s Rosina – Blue-Ringed Octopus

How do you know when a piece is finished? 

“For me, knowing when a piece is finished involves a balance between my initial vision and the piece’s own evolution during the creative process. I begin with a clear idea of what I want the final artwork to look like and work towards that goal, but I also allow room for the piece to take on a life of its own.

As I work on it, I will adjust the composition and make changes until I feel I have brought it as close as possible to my original vision. The piece will tell me when it’s finished – there’s a moment when everything clicks into place!

If that moment never comes, I will set it aside and revisit it later. Eventually, most works will reach completion this way.”

Shelltopus – Mototi Octopus

What’s the best website for people to discover your work?

“The best way to discover my work is through my website, my Etsy Shop, and on social media. I am most active on Instagram @sahasa.artist and regularly post shorts on my YouTube channel!”

Aynsley Red Roses – Starry Night Octopus

Do you have an artist statement?

“My goal is to create art that resonates on both an aesthetic and a deeper, thought-provoking level. Art that delights, sparks curiosity and brings a sense of joy and wonder to the viewers.

As a sculptor, I’m constantly inspired by the natural world, more specifically oceans and coral reefs. I am fascinated by the beauty, explosion of vibrant colors, textures and incredible diversity of life found on the planet’s reefs. Especially octopuses, a keystone reef species, have captured my imagination.

There are some 300 known species of octopus and many more yet to be fully described and researched. Octopus are known for being highly intelligent, exhibiting play, and using tools which is considered to require special cognitive abilities.

I am particularly drawn to the gracefulness of the octopus, and I strive to capture a sense of their movement in my work. I aim to highlight the octopus’s intelligence, adaptability, and dexterity through sculpture with a high level of detail, using a mix of vintage, found, and new materials.

Throughout my works, I aim to celebrate the diversity of life and color on the reef!”

Reef Dreams – Caribbean Reef Octopus

Thank You For Joining Us For Artist Spotlight!

First, we want to give a big thank you to Sahasa for allowing us to showcase this beautiful octopus on OctoNation. To continue supporting Sahasa and their octopus sculptures, make sure to follow them on Instagram @sahasa.artist!

If you want to educate yourself some more about all sorts of different cephalopods, take a look at our encyclopedia. Or, what we call it, our Octopedia!

Connect with other octopus lovers via the OctoNation Facebook group, OctopusFanClub.com! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the conservation, education, and ongoing research of cephalopods.

Click here to Adopt an Octopus!

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