Sara Girletz


CAAF Residency st[art]@art central, March – April 2013




Sara Girletz grew up in small town rural Alberta. Her work originates from a painting background and today she is currently maintaining a multidisciplinary art practice. She began her formal art education in the fall of 2007 at Red Deer College and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art+Design in spring 2011.

To date she has participated in an array of both collaborative as well as solo projects. These include exhibitions with the Untitled Art Society White Dwarf Gallery, Calgary, Alberta; Marion Nicoll LRT Window Gallery, Calgary, Alberta; Art Gallery of Calgary; Art Central, Calgary, Alberta; and the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, Red Deer, Alberta. One of her most beneficial opportunities to date is undergoing an artist residency abroad during winter 2012 at the Burren College of Art located in Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, Ireland. This past summer 2012 she also took part in the inaugural group exhibition entitled The New Alberta Contemporaries in the newly established Esker Foundation located in Calgary, Alberta. Sara Girletz currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.



Initially my art practice roots back to the usage of mixed media, found objects, raw love for material and the consumption of process. I combine this with the practice of photography as a reference, medium, tool, and means of documentation. At times my work has been based loosely on the aesthetical relations between manmade structure and the weathering organic nature of land. In addition I enjoy the investigation of displacement, personal physicality, home, manmade structure, landscape, human presence, memory as well as depictions of family within these concepts. Recently my art practice has taken on displaying representations of my identity in relation to my altering surroundings. Conceptually, We’ll never run dry of love or anything. is meant to be seen as one step further from documentation. It is the preservation of important concepts that go into the making of my art. In the end it will be the presentation of preserved documented memories of my family and connections to home showcased in a domestic collaged nature.

We’ll never run dry of love or anything. is a compilation of small scale paintings and photographs; both taken from family albums as well as recent photos of dilapidated architecture. The installation will also be comprised of small found objects and mason jars of varying sizes containing photographs submerged in vegetable oil. All of these elements will sit upon shelves, made out of old, weathered, planks of wood, which I have scavenged overtime from abandoned prairie houses scattered across the Alberta landscape.

I have attended openings held in this space and upon observation I plan on having the shelves on the wall to the viewers’ right when they first walk into the space. I also plan on having the title of the piece, We’ll never run dry of love or anything. stylistically painted on the wall which the viewer sees directly in front of them upon entering the space. This will provide an ideal introduction to the work and also invite them in to approach the small scale pieces that make up the installation. I will have three shelves each measuring approximately four feet in length. The shelves will stack vertically with approximately 12 inches left between them. The reason for this spacing between the shelves is to be able to mount small paintings (measuring no larger than eight by ten inches) on the wall in between the shelves. This makes the measurements of the whole installation to be approximately 4 feet wide by 4 feet tall. I also plan on having mason jars of various sizes strewn on the shelves. The mason jars will be sealed and contain nostalgic imagery of my family preserved in vegetable oil. This method of presenting photos comes off very much antique and vintage. The vegetable oil adds an evocative sepia tone to the photos. The jars will sit on the shelves in front of the small paintings, which will contain imagery of old architecture and other representations of what comes to mind when I think of the term home. The glass of the mason jars will also add a distorted look both to the photos contained in them as well as the paintings behind them. This compliments the general concept of the piece, that being memory and how when remembering things it often appears as a type of distorted image in our minds. We’ll never run dry of love or anything. is a means for me to collect all visual symbols dear to me and combine them into a contemporary art piece that is outwardly conveys the relationship of object vs. image.

This work is both familiar and new territory as far as imagery and construction of the installation. A new approach I will be taking is creating work that is not of a large scale. I am very excited to start assembling my ideas on a smaller scale. I feel working with the space in which the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation provides in Art Central will force me to work in a smaller scale. I have only worked in spaces that are of larger scale and because of that I always took advantage of being able to make larger work. Because of this my work has always approached the viewer due to its insurmountable size. The work which I will be producing in the St[art] studio space will instead allow the viewer to approach it and therefore form a different relationship with it. I am very excited to get feed back on this potential altered reaction. In addition to the viewer’s relationship with my work I am excited to really take the time in a new space and develop my new-fangled thoughts and relation to the work I will be creating.