Hemstock was born in the Nottinghamshire mining Town of Kirkby-in-Ashfield.
Her early education centred on the sciences, gaining an honours
degree and PhD in Biology from Kings College London. It was during
this time that Sarah met sculptor Brian Wiltshire, a chance encounter
which further encouraged her interest in wood carving and sculpture,
an effortless progression from studying nature to working with natural
materials. Sarah went on to study wood carving with John Farthing
and completed an art foundation course at West Nottinghamshire College,
Mansfield, where she met Nadim Chaudry.
A major influence in Sarah’s work has been her ongoing development
work, with NGO’s in India, Peru, Fiji, Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati,
Vanuatu and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her NGO work has always dealt with
communities, promoting sustainable development and has involved
projects as diverse as rehabilitating Inca agricultural systems,
specifically terracing and irrigation to making diesel from coconut
oil in the South Pacific. Sustainable development work intrinsically
involves working with natural renewable resources such as wood and
other biomass and forms a basis for her interest in natural sculptural
materials and forms.