Sarra was born in Coventry, to her father, an engineer and musician; and her mother, a writer. She grew up on the outskirts of a small hosiery town where she spent her formative years playing in wild habitats, blackberry fields, cow ponds and brooks, near where she lived. Together with other local children; She had free access to the natural world.
In the early 1980’s, Sarra’s father brought home the families first computer. Together with her brother, She spent many days producing simple motion using BASIC copied from the pages of Spectrum magazine, only to watch a border flash and a ball bounce across the TV screen. She also became interested in adventure games such as the Hobbit. Borrowing Tolkien’s book from the local library; she drew maps and compiled lists of action words to solve this epic adventure…but that’s another story.
Sarra’s brother went on to work with computers in the car industry and became involved in the local Demoscene whereas Sarra went back outside to play in nature, grow trees and make things only to later hack lotus 1-2-3 to set up surveyors systems while sculpt and painting in the evenings.
Sarra returned to Coventry University later in life where she initially chose to study Fine Art and Illustration. However, she soon discovered Animation as her primary art form. Her early influences were artists such as William Kentridge, Theo Yansen and Len Lye, as well as eastern european animators such as Jan Svankmajer, Yuri Norstein and Lotte Reiniger.
In these early years, Sarra trained in drawn Illustration, CGI Animation and produced puppets, props and sets for the stop-motion animation industry. Many of these projects went on to be nationally recognised recieving awards which include D&AD New Blood, Student Award for Film Craft Animation and The Campaign for Drawing, Big Draw NADFAS Award for teaching animation to secondary school children. Along the way she was fortunate to work with some exceptionally talented people on projects that were awarded a British Animation Award and Golden Panda as well as receiving nominations for Annecy Animation Festival and BAFTA.
Sarra is interested in the border between real and virtual environments, between the physical and digital, focusing on immersive experience. Sarra’s experimental work has been screened in London, U.K., USC, Los Angeles, USA, and Hangzou, China.
Sarra is currently experimenting with the Unity Game Engine to further explore how virtual and physical environments by examining how ‘wayfinding’, ‘mental modelling’ and ‘proprioception’,support the participants sense of immersion.