In my work I use discarded materials and objects to materially think through and reflect on my experience of the world around me and the legacy that current generations are leaving on the planet. For my sculptures and installations, I collect broken, dirty or half decayed objects I find in my urban surroundings, along the roadside or at recycling facilities. I am interested in these as remnants of today’s consumer oriented society and as carriers of meaning. I’m also interested in the concept of liminality in relation to these materials, and how objects which are dirty or decaying can be unsettling or uncanny because they linger in between the recognisable and the unknown, between the dirty and the clean, between having had a function and being useless, or between the living and the non-living. In my exhibitions I often imagine a post-human world, where the remnants are witnesses of a time that has passed, sometimes even taking on a new life.
Sara Bjarland was born in Helsinki, and lives and works in Amsterdam since 2007. She graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 2007 and in 2012-2013 she participated in a studio programme at Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent. Residencies include the European Ceramic Work Center in Oisterwijk, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios in Dublin and Kunsthuis SYB in Beetsterzwaag. Solo exhibitions include Constant Eruptions at Hopstreet Gallery, Brussels (2020); Uncertainty and Ground Conditions at DASH, Kortrijk (2019); Tre studier i metamorfos at the Finnish Institute in Stockholm (2014) and Forsaken at Hippolyte Studio, Helsinki (2012). Group exhibitions include The Sound of No-one Listening at Corridor Project Space, Amsterdam (2019) The Prophecy of Bees curated by Julia Geerlings, at Kunstfort at Vijfhuizen (2016) and Invasive Exotics at RAM Galleri, Oslo (2015). In 2019 she was one of the five short listed artists for Below Zero Prize for Finnish artists in collaboration between the Finnish Institute and Beaconsfield Gallery in London. Her first publication, Groundwork, was published in 2019 by Art Paper Editions.
Sara Bjarland is generously supported by Svenska Kulturfonden 2020-2022.