The six images represented feature three bodies of work produced over the last five years. Each series touches on themes of perception, storytelling, sense of place, and collaboration.
The first two images relate to a larger body of work investigating dreams and their documentation. In image one, my entire night's sleep in my car is captured with a pinhle camera and the accompanying text relates what I dreamed during the exposure. Image two is from the series "The Book of Dreams" where I asked others to participate in a similar process, but in one shared book that is passed from person to person.
Images three and four are from a project titled "Saturday Mornings, The Diner" where I collaborated with Lindsay MacDonald and Lia Rogers to create an interactive diner booth. Visitors to the gallery can select a variety of video projections from three different diners via the jukebox selector box. I produced a series of photographic vignettes and portraits as part of this project.
The last two images are of an installation I created titled "My Banff". This was an exploration of what it means to live in a tourist town while maintaining a connection to place and community. The diorama is created with traditional hobby train materials and included small photographs with text relating stories of the local townspeople. The exhibition also included twelve large format portaits of 'locals' and a video filmed from the arm of a hobby plane that was flown above the town.
You Will Want to Come Back
You Will Want to Come Back 2002-2011
My approach to photography is primarily project based, with an emphasis on personal experience. This has been explored through projects that deal with relationship to place, memory and personal narrative.
You Will Want to Come Back is a series of western Canadian vignettes strung together as a loose narrative depicting a road journey. The starting point for this work was a love affair with small town restaurants I used visit on days off from tree planting or during climbing road trips in western Canada. These places represented a home-like atmosphere, while simultaneously offering the opportunity for anonymity.
The work continued with integration of other scenes chosen for their sense of expectation. A stage on which to act out the great western road trip movie – but it is decidedly Canadian. Humour, bleakness and beauty are the common threads which weave the tale.
The title You Will Want to Come Back references a sign that is posted on the side of the road in interior B.C. The reverse side of a sign that “Welcomes you to Yahk”, the text is both funny and sad – a fleeting suggestion caught in the rearview mirror. Yahk, being only a few kilometers long, posts the welcome and goodbye on two identical signs at the entrance and exit to town along the highway.
It is a pragmatic use of space and text, but can be read with a wistful tone. These words translate into the larger theme of series – cinematic traces of rural Canadian existence.
The Road North
The Road North
The Road North continues the themes of memory, traces, and narrative found throughout my art practice. Within this work, I explore loneliness, humour, and the remnants of human activity etched on the topography of the Canadian north. Resilience, making-do, the enormity of the wilderness and the sparse population within the region invite a different relationship to landscape compared to that found in the south.
Moving through the landscape by car is a luxury that affords time for contemplation as vast stretches of space are experienced in a relatively short amount of time. Scenes and places can be collected over hundreds of kilometres in a matter of days. I think of the highway as a line across the land – an imposition of order on a wild place.
The north brings with it light that stretches out and cools slowly through an extended evening, temporary-ness evident in ad-hoc structures or seasonal signs, and an expanse of uninhabited terrain that serves as a formidable reminder of our own mortality. Facing the reality of sweeping wilderness, it's easy to feel as if one is clinging to the road as some form of civilization – but the relationship is tenuous.
This sense of mortality is also reflected in the still lives encountered along the way. Arrangements of materials and objects form the detritus of culture : an empty ashtray or an expression of love organized in stones. The concept of vanitas, and its relationship to death and the transient nature of life, is also encountered in the form of car accidents and road kill found on the highway.
The images and scenes selected for this work are directly related to the solitary experience of moving through the countryside via the road and the residual evidence of human marks on the land.
The Book of Dreams, Sarah Fuller, Blurb Books, Canada, 2012 Flash Forward 2011, Maryann Camerilli, Magenta, Toronto, 2011 My Banff, Amy Fung, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, 2011 Wolves and Peasants 38%, Notes 38%, No Title 19%, Dreamers 4%, Eds. Annie Ratti, Andrea Lissoni and Cesare Pietroiusti, Mousse Publishing, Milano, 2011
My work is about multiple levels of perception, reality and narrative. I take a project-based approach to my work and photography forms the sketchbook of my practice, as well as the final outcome. This has manifested in multi-disciplinary installation work combining photography, video and text. Place take a central role, often with personal experience as a starting point. I'm thinking about vantage point and an experiential view of physical and psychological landscape.
I am interested in photography’s historical relationship to cinema and well as its implication in the notion of constructed landscape or the projections of memory and storytelling on landscape.
Sarah Fuller was born in Winnipeg and works and lives in Banff, Alberta. She earned a BFA from the Emily Carr University in Vancouver in 2003 after completing her first two years of study at the University of Manitoba, School of Fine Arts. In the summer of 2011, Sarah attended the XVII Advanced Course in Visual Arts Dream Seminar II with Susan Hiller at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como, Italy.
Most recently, she has exhibited work at Les Territoires, Montreal, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Latitude 53 Gallery, Edmonton, the Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary, and Three Walls Gallery, Chicago, Ill. Her work is held in public and private collections across Canada including the Canada Council Art Bank and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and she has received support for her projects from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Sarah will be presenting work at Truck Gallery, Calgary, Alberta and the Odd Gallery, Dawson, Yukon in 2013. Her work will also be featured as part of the exhibition " The News from Here: the 2013 Alberta Biennial" curated by Nancy Tousley and presented at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta.
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