Sarah Martin is an artist living and working near Toronto, Canada. She studied fine arts at York University and has shown her work nationally and internationally.
Sarah's work explores the concept of memory. She is interested in the deceptive nature of memory and the way photographs can act as trigger points for a viewer's memory. Through photography and painting she explores the way personal and collective memories can meld together and be manipulated. The notion of memory runs through her current two bodies of work; Glamour and Vintage ViewPoint.
Sarah was highly influenced by the infamous essay by Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. In it, Benjamin challenges notions of reproduction and how photography captures a moment, yet the reproduction process strips away the moment, removing it from its original context. He argues, “reproductions are lacking one element: presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be”.
Through her application of painted layers on top, she creates a new moment for the photography, giving it a place both in past and present. Sarah looks to steal a captured moment in order to keep it memorialized in the past. Yet she jolts the viewer back to the present with the painted layers applied on top, leaving the viewer hovering somewhere in-between past and their present thoughts.
Whether it is a moment of time imagined or real, the power of memory and it fragile nature is what Sarah continues to explore and manipulate throughout her work.