14th March 2022
I’m late to the Sarah Harris party with this you pay she sprays blog. I’ve had a difficult winter with my health and it kinda got in the way. Anyway – here we are. You Pay – She Sprays is a riff on the name of her website which is in fact You Pay, I Spray and you can find it here.
I met Sarah in the flesh for the first time two days ago. But it did feel like I’ve known her for ages and that’s thanks to social media. And it’s somewhat thanks to social media that Sarah’s side hustle of spray painted murals etc took off. A few weeks someone posted in the Old Town community Facebook group that they had a wall on Belle Vue Rd crying out for a muriel and did anyone know anybody. I thought at once of Sarah, as I’d discerned from her FB posts her interest in doing that sort of thing. I mentioned her name, put her in touch with the guy concerned and the result you see below:
About the Belle Vue Road mural
The owner of the building/wall wanted a mural as he was so fed up with the tagging on it. He told Sarah that he wanted something that represented as any different elements of Swindon’s history as was possible.
As the Swindon Advertiser explains: ‘The scene she designed and painted features pigs being taken to the old livestock market, a tram running up Victoria Hill, a moonraker from the Swindon legend, Christ Church and the Domesday Book of 1086 which mentions Swindon.’
Despite the fact that Sarah says this is not her usual style, it’s safe to say that Swindonians are delighted with it.
Hard on the back of that commission she got another one for Long’s Bar – much more her style.
See more examples of Sarah’s work on her website here: https://www.youpayispray.co.uk/gallery
Like so many artists I’ve met, Dona Bradley being one, Sarah’s artistic bent wasn’t what you’d call encouraged by her parents.
As she told the Adver some years ago: ‘I loved art as a child. Absolutely adored it, to the extent that when all the other children were out playing in the street on a nice sunny day I’d be inside painting. And my mum would have to physically eject me from the house.’
Sadly her parents, like Dona’s, didn’t see the monetary value in art. So they strongly discouraged her interest in it. So a maths degree at Warwick university it was, soon followed by a successful career as a statistician in marketing.
Then followed years directing artistic urges into photography, painting pictures of bands on friend’s jackets and flags for festivals and more. But then a few years ago, during a stint working for WH Smith, a boss asked her to help promote sales of art and craft supplies. That awakened the creative urge in Sarah and led, cutting short a long story to You Pay She Sprays. Oops – sorry! You Pay, I Spray.
For some other Swindon murals visit this 2015 post about the Cambria Bridge mural. Then this from 2019:
And from 2021: