WHAT’S IN MY ARSENAL explores the intertwined narratives of what it is like to be a woman who has given a life of service, in support of her country, within an historically male bastion. The resulting work is multi-layered, delving into personal memories of tragedy alongside the more light-hearted stories and strong bonds of friendship. The work could be seen as perhaps risky and somewhat controversial but was created in a spirit of encouraging healing and conversation. It is filled with symbolism and layers of meaning, confronting the tensions between innocence and evil, and drawing strength from a personal toolbox to uncover an array of emotional snippets that expose a personal perspective few have witnessed.

After a lengthy career as an Army Officer, my artistic practice has been my saviour, a way of dealing with trauma, yet I am torn between using art as a sanctuary or using it as a tool to confront some tough narratives. Both are an emotional outlet, yet juxtaposed, with each in conflict with the other. There is a tension at play that often shifts my focus. My work is polymorphic, always searching for the underpinning meanings. It consists of soft sculptures made from used Australian military uniforms, intricate large-scale watercolours and spoken word performance. Or at least it did when this was written as it is creative diversity and constant experimentation and learning that I desire most.

instagram: @sarah.vandepeer


LinkedIn: @sarah-vandepeer-0a5719170


Invisible woman watercolour
Sarah Vandepeer, ‘The Invisible Woman’, 2023, watercolour
Watercolour of boys
Sarah Vandepeer, ‘We Don’t Play Cowboys and Indians Anymore’, 2023, watercolour
Watercolour hand
Sarah Vandepeer, ‘A Hand in War’, 2023, watercolour


Selection of watercolour works
Sarah Vandepeer, ‘What’s in my arsenal’, 2023, a selection of watercolour works on 640gsm paper, 56 x 76 cm
Memorial bench
Sarah Vandepeer, ‘My Memorial Bench’, 2023.
Sarah Vandepeer, ‘Memorial Wreaths’, 2023.
Hook rug
Sarah Vandepeer, Making a hook rug wreath, 2023.
Sarah Vandepeer, ‘Memorial Bench’, 2023 [Work-in-Progress]
Cushions - Soft Sculpture
Sarah Vandepeer, ‘Cushions’, 2023
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Sarah Vandepeer