BEHIND THE LENS

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sarah ferguson B.A., B.F.A.

 ARTIST

My art practice has evolved a great deal since I became a practicing artist in 1996. For as long as I can remember, my work has always revolved around human rights issues, issues of social injustice, and the psychological aspects of human existence. Over the past five years, I’ve devoted my art practice to exploration of digital culture, the critique of advertising, and its subconscious effects on the psyche.

 

Much of my art also relates to my experiences, as a queer woman. My “otherisation” from my own sex, as well as from the queer community, and my own culture has given me a unique perspective of what “femininity” means. I take my inspiration from several well-known female artists, who have addressed the concept of advertising from a feminist perspective over the past few decades, including Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, and Cindy Sherman.  

 

The tools used by corporations to promote their advertisements are the same ones I use to create my art. The techniques I use to create my images parallel those of advertisers. Photoshop is one of the dominant forces through which their message travels. Though the adaption of these tools in my art practice could be perceived as controversial, they do not mimic advertisements. I use images, gleaned from a number of sources, to expose feminine/human/animal virtues which are often considered taboo: anger, physical asymmetry, and the grotesque. In essence, my art hijacks the language of advertising, and uses it to critique how we view and overlook the messages it promotes.

 

Recently, I have begun to branch my practice into the fields of photography and performance art, as a means of embodying the virtues and concepts that I’ve been exploring over the past few years. By transforming my intellectual explorations into physical ones, via my body and performance, I hope to emulate my observations and discoveries with the aim of promoting a sense of awareness in the viewer, and myself.