Education

  • 2003, BFA, Emily Carr University of Art + Design
  • 2007, MFA, Parsons The New School for Design, and Concordia University

Creative work & Research

Sarah Ciurysek is a visual artist exploring the relationships we have with the ground. Soil figures prominently in works that reference graves, voids, and death, as well as the life-giving components of the earth. Sarah’s practice centres around photography and how it intersects with audio, film, and most recently, textiles. Installation is often used to disrupt and refresh the viewer’s experience of the ground: a photographic wall of soil towers overhead, vinyl photographs on the gallery floor are walked upon.

Sarah's core research interests include the relationship between image and object, the connection between the physical aspects of an artwork and the emotions it evokes, and embodiment and its relationship to time. She addresses places and subject areas that are often overlooked or undervalued, such as rural sensibilities and concerns, and women’s experiences. 

Exhibitions of Sarah’s work have been presented across Canada, and in the UK, Austria, and South Africa. She has received grants from the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, and Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Sarah was raised on a farm in Treaty 8 territory in northern Alberta, and she continues to work with the land there while studying relationships to place during residencies and exhibitions (most recently at Textilsetur, Iceland and Schleifmühlgasse 12-14, Vienna). 

  • Landscape Toner photographs printed on Tyvek Total size 9' x 8' (separated in 3 panels) 2011

    Landscape
    Toner photographs printed on Tyvek. Total size 9' x 8' (separated in 3 panels), 2011

    Installation: Unit/Pitt Projects, Vancouver. Image Credit: Blaine Campbell

  • Landscape Toner photographs printed on Tyvek Total size 9' x 8' (separated in 3 panels) 2011

    Referencing stability and instability in the ground, the three photographic panels of Landscape are seamless at their top and fragmented at their bottom. The rolled photos touch the gallery floor and reference the extending depth of the ground beneath us.

  • Fell 2, Silver gelatin photographs, 40”x 50”, 2016

    Fell 1
    Silver gelatin photographs, 40”x 50”, 2016

    Fell depicts the dark root balls at the base of fallen trees. The root balls resemble caves or black holes which, because they are almost body-sized, create a strong pull for the viewer, while remaining quite threatening. Their reference to voids connects the images to time and to death, conceptually linking them to the history and theory of photography.

    Fell was shot on large-format b/w film in locations across Western Canada. The images were printed by hand through a process that, because of the final photos’ size (40”x50”), was physically demanding and time-consuming, and which required me to travel to the Banff Centre to use their rare mural darkroom facilities.

    It is conceptually significant that the traditional photographic methods used to make Fell are dying. Disappearance is embedded in these images, through the process of their making, and through their subject matter.

    I gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Winnipeg Arts Council with funding from the city of Winnipeg, and the University of Manitoba Creative Works program.

  • Installation of "Fold in on itself" exhibition at Schleifmühlgasse 12-14, Vienna, Austria, February 2018

    Installation of "Fold in on itself" exhibition.
    Schleifmühlgasse 12-14, Vienna, Austria.
    February 2018.

    Left to right: Fell 2, Fell 1, Untitled