Artist in Focus: Sarah Ketelaars

by Jun 14, 2021Artist in Focus0 comments


Sarah Ketelaars, Terlingua, West Texas – 2020

Sarah Ketelaars; British photographer has just returned to the UK, after a period of time living in Houston, Texas. Sarah started her career as a journalist. She has been published in trade, local and national newspapers, and now, with her focus on photography, features work in books, magazines and within the music industry. Sarah has exhibited widely, her work is on show internationally. We caught up with Sarah to talk about her art, the source of her inspiration, and what’s next for her creative practice as she settles back into the UK art scene.

We asked Sarah about her inspiration and where the root of her creativity stems from.

“I’ve always loved photography, but it wasn’t until quite late in life that I decided to go professional. I went back to study and received my diploma in photography at the age of 40”.

“There’s a wonderful quote from photographer, Ralph Hattersley: ‘We are making photographs to understand what out lives mean to us.’ This resonates with me. I have an endless curiosity about the world around me and the people in it, this keeps me creatively engaged. Photography provides a way for me to process my experiences. Even if I never exhibited another image again, I would not stop making images.”


Frank Playing Piano – From the series ‘Windows’ 2020

A few of Sarah’s favourite things…

“My favourite piece of work is usually the latest project I’ve done. So at the moment, it’s my ‘windows’ project shot throughout 2020 during the pandemic.”

“My favourite part of running a creative business is being my own boss; however it’s also my least favourite thing about it! It reminds me of the Buddhist teaching: ‘The good news is: you’re free! The bad news is: you’re free!’ – There’s so much truth in that.

“The other thing I love about being a photographer is the people I meet. Photographing writers, artists, musicians and creatives is always such a joy. I’ve met so many fascinating people through my portrait work.”


Artist in Residence Katie Sollohub at Turner’s House – 2014

Developing and adapting through challenging times…

“My style is always evolving, as is my work.” explains Sarah as she continued to share her own set of challenges. She told us that she became ill just after getting her photography diploma. She was diagnosed with a rare auto immune disease which dramatically impacted what she was physically capable of doing.

“I suppose living with an auto immune disease is the biggest challenge I’ve had to face. It hugely affected the kind of work I could do. However, in retrospect, its also been a blessing. It’s meant I’ve had to be adaptable and work at my own pace, and it made me shift from ‘bread and butter’ work such as weddings, to my own fine art practice as I had no choice.”

Perhaps this creative fortitude and flexibility has also helped with the success of her latest project. Sarah explains: “2020 was actually a really good year for me. I was sheltering in a high rise apartment in Houston, Texas with my husband. Something about the intensity of the experience pushed me to a new place creatively and I produced a body of work I’m proud of. This has won awards and been exhibited in the UK and the US, and is my most successful project to date.”

I Feel The Ancestors Near – from the series ‘Windows’ 2020

We are delighted to welcome Sarah into our community, and showcase her work within the SOL Design Collective Online Gallery. 

“I heard about SOL Design Collective from a friend who knows Jan, but it’s only been recently that I’ve really understood what they do. The Five Day Creative Kickstarter Programme and the Creative Coffee Mornings have been invaluable in helping me take a more business minded approach to what I do. Working as any kind of artist can be a solitary experience at times, so I’m also enjoying making contact with other artists in a mutually supportive environment.”


Storm Over Houston – 2019


What’s next for Sarah?

“I have an image in the Shutterhub Open which was delayed due to Covid but should be opening soon (venue to be announced). Next year, I am planning a couple of small shows in my studio, and a bigger solo show at Gallery 35 North in Brighton which will show some of my US work. I am also updating my website, and launching a brand new online print store!”

If you would like to view more of Sarah’s work, you can do so by clicking hereWe would like to thank Sarah for taking the time to chat with us, and sharing her story. All the best for the future Sarah!

If you would like to find out more about SOL Design Collective, the work we do in supporting and celebrating artists and makers or how to showcase your work within our ONLINE GALLERY, please visit

Supporting artists and makers to build a thriving creative practice.