Reception: Friday, April 25, 2014
In the UAS Main Space
In The Summit, Sarah Burwash presents a body of watercolour drawings that draw from personal and primary source research to give voice to dormant and disguised histories and to examine how these might be portrayed through human interactions, social behaviour, and relationships to wilderness, gender, and physicality.
Grounded in research gathered from journals, memoirs, and biographies of women who were persistent in forging new social order, Burwash explores the stories of past generations and their reliance on community, resourcefulness, ritual, spirituality, and tradition for survival, turning to those who came before her to create narratives that uproot her own personal mythologies.
Composed of both physical and emotional landscapes, The Summit draws attention to disconnected relationships with nature, illustrating both harmony and discordance through the portrayal of humans within their surroundings. Nature is used to reflect human emotions and psyche, focusing on their relationships to life and death, light and dark, masculine and feminine, as well as the interdependency of these complementary forces. Burwash's work challenges the binaries we construct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves, through dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, and the past and the present fuse.
Sarah Burwash grew up in Rossland, British Columbia, and graduated from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, in 2009 with an interdisciplinary BFA. Using various media from collage and animation to ceramics and installation, Burwash produces work that most often takes the form of narrative exploration. Her work has been shown in Canada, the United States, and Europe and is included in private and public collections internationally. She has participated in residencies across North America and abroad, most recently in Suldal, Norway, and at the Banff Centre. Burwash lives in Nova Scotia, working full time as an artist and freelance illustrator.