Sharon M. Alward
"The ritual symbol is an enacted symbol... whose meaning is not so much conceptualized and then expressed in gesture, as something that dawns upon those who carry it out. For that reason ritual will always be more than doctrine-in-action, as encounter will always be more than its description."
|MFA (Los Angeles)|
|Visual Arts Fellowship (Yale)|
Sharon Alward is a Canadian video and performance artist. Her creative works reference performance, installation and ritual as sites transformation. Interested in activism and the role of the artist, Alward explores ritual as a means to subvert social constructs, cultural norms and collective memory and as a process to transcend suffering, provide opportunities for wholeness and as a process for healing.
Recent projects include MATADOR - an interior space as a consolidation of historical social constructs and those who were redacted, and ZUMA - the social construction of shadow mothers (video/performance) as both a physical place and a metaphor for ambiguous loss. Alward is also currently working on EXILED MOTHERS (Canada Council Film and Video Production Grant), a video/performance journey of reconciliation examining the social construction of relinquishment, adoption, and motherhood.
Cited as one of the 100 most innovative Canadians in MacLean’s magazine she has exhibited throughout Canada, the U.S., U.K., France, Spain and the Netherlands, including the Liverpool Tracey Biennial, LACE in Los Angeles, the American Film Institute, Western Front, and the National Screen Institute. Sharon has been nominated for an Art Pace Fellowship and a National Screen Institute Blizzard Award for best Experimental Film.
The recipient of numerous grants and teaching awards, she is a Full Professor at the University of Manitoba, School of Art, and a Senior Fellow of St. John's College.
Sharon Alward, August, 2001.
Sharon Alward, Totentanz, 1990.
Sharon Alward, Ugly But Not Inferior, 1997.