Sarah Sands Phillips
1984
Toronto
Canada

Lives in Tokyo, Japan


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Métis artist and poet. My practice is grounded in materiality and engaged in an interdisciplinary, process-oriented investigation of intuitive sites of presence and absence, intention and the skin.

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UNDER SUN
00:06:01
Single Channel 8mm on digital video 
2015 


Under Sun was made by splicing together light leaks from assorted reels of found 8mm footage. The light that was captured is from anywhere between 1935-1965. It has been slowed down to better highlight the unique painterly abstraction of every frame, while frayed edges, hair, and dust draw attention to the film as material. Made with the support of the Ontario Arts Council.


Under Sun has been included in group exhibitions Let There Be Light (Angell Gallery, 2018), and Soon Comes Night (Birch Contemporary, 2017). For past exhibitions please see below.


To view Under Sun, please send your request to sarahsandsphillips@gmail.com 





Let There Be Light
Angell Gallery
1444 Dupont St #15
Toronto, ON Canada M6P 4H3
May 11 - June 16, 2018

Curated by Bill Clarke
Artists: Isabel M. Martinez, Liz Nielsen, Katarina Riopel, Tim Roda, Alison Rossiter, Sarah Sands Phillips, Jim Verbur






ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present Let There Be Light, a group exhibition curated by associate director Bill Clarke, which features work by seven Toronto and New York-based artists who produce photo imagery using in-camera and darkroom processes. A Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival Featured Exhibition, the show runs from May 11 to June 16, 2018 with an opening reception and artist talk on Friday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m.

I have seized the light – I have arrested its flight! – Louis Daguerre

Ever since French artist Louis Daguerre’s experiments in the darkroom in the 1820s, and his compatriots Étienne-Jules Marey and Georges Demeny’s techniques of capturing human movement 60 years later, scientists, inventors and photographers have searched for methods of creating images that employ light as something other than a tool to illuminate an object or a person situated before a camera. By the 1930s, Man Ray’s adaptation of the photogram (into what he termed ‘rayographs’) had removed the camera’s shutter from the picture-making process altogether.

Writing in On Photography in 1977, Susan Sontag relegates Ray’s photograms, as well as work by László Moholy-Nagy, Alexander Rodchenko and John Heartfield, to the level of “marginal exploits in the history of photography”. However, forty years later, and despite the advent of digital technologies, many artists continue to produce images using analogue processes that capture the spirit of these innovations in their handling of light as a material, and the camera and darkroom as tools and sites of experimentation.

Tim Roda and Jim Verburg sensitively employ ‘outmoded’ equipment, such as photocopiers and pin-hole cameras, in their work. The delicate regulation of light by Isabel M. Martinez within the camera and the careful exposure of vintage photo papers by Alison Rossiter in the darkroom result in floating dream-like abstract forms. Fleeting light effects migrate between the digital and analogue realms in Sarah Sands Phillips' and Katarina Riopel's works, while Liz Nielsen’s arrangements of layered and coloured transparencies produce vibrant and playful images. Each artist, in their own way, beautifully demonstrates that the poetic potential of light remains an enduring area of artistic inspiration and experimentation.

– Bill Clarke







Soon Comes Night
Birch Contemporary
29 Tecumseth St, Toronto, ON M6J 2H2
birchcontemporary.com

July 27 - August 26, 2017

Curated by Rebecca Travis with accompanying text
Featuring artists: Steven Beckley, Martin Bennett, Sarah Sands Phillips

Review by David Saric here
Documentation by Rebecca Travis



Under Sun
Installation view
Soon Comes Night explores images as an unfixed entity – between light and dark, abstract and representational, constructed and incidental. Painterly and photographic processes of abstraction, erasure and physical manipulation reveal alternative ways for imagery to surface over time, encouraging a prolonged act of looking and contemplation of duration. The title of the exhibition is inspired by a common engraving on sundials - in Latin ‘Mox Nox’ or ‘Soon Night’ - which reflects the work’s sense of time, and its hinging between definitive states.

Martin Bennett’s Timed Expansepaintings emerged through a process of dismantling his pictorial Static Image works, focusing on the interplay between positive and negative space, and areas of abstraction and image. The source material for the Static Image paintings are photographs taken during lengthy walks at sites in the UK, Italy and Canada, which are then put through various processes of disintegration – Xeroxing, re-photographing, slide-projection - before the painting process begins. The Timed Expanse series’ vicarious link to photography (as a painterly decoding of these Static Image works) is upheld with each work’s uniform white border, which echoes that of a traditional photograph print. Studying the Timed Expanse paintings, forms begin to emerge but are not prescriptive of a certain subject matter; rather the ‘imagery’ is caught mid-development, much like an exposing photograph in a darkroom. A unifying element throughout Bennett’s practice is the finishing process of sanding the painted surface, pulling certain areas of application to the fore, while receding others.

Sanding is also key to Sarah Sands Phillips’ ongoing series Photographs of Canada, in which she selects photographs from books documenting Canadian landscapes and gently rubs away the image until only an echo of its skeletal structure is left behind. As the primary image is eroded, an alternative, underlying one is revealed, suggesting the long-term instability of landscape, memory and the photographic surface.

The film Under Sun is also created from found material, in this case a splicing together of light leaks from assorted reels of 8mm footage, captured between 1935 and 1965. Along with trapped dust, hairs and blemishes on the film, Under Sun’s spectral colour palette becomes a compositional element of painterly abstraction within each frame, pulling imagery from perceived blankness.

An intimate gaze is key to Steven Beckly’s varied practice. Here, three photographs (two of which were taken during his recent residency at the Doris McCarthy Artist-in-Residence Centre) are presented on translucent film, which hangs, bows and curls from the architectural fabric of the gallery space. The work’s sculptural presentation invites a connection with the body and allows for the imagery to reveal itself from a variety of perspectives, while its organic subject matter – hazy dusk, a horizon line – is ripe with potential for otherworldly transition. // Rebecca Travis