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Artist Statements

Sand Landscape (c) Kristen Sard 2020.jpg

Sand Landscape 2020


In my macro work, I’m fascinated with the transformative beauty found within overlooked or forgotten elements such as sand or charred coal. I use a medium format digital camera equipped with a macro lens to delve into and capture the secret worlds that reveal themselves as the camera is allowed to get closer.

Each image is a composition, meticulously crafted through focus stacking and compositing dozens of photographs, allowing a sense of immersion. Inviting the viewer into a meditative exploration of the surreal landscapes I create in the studio. Although predominantly monochromatic, occasional dots or swaths of color punctuate the darkness, allowing for some relief and something to discover. My Intention is not to represent coal or black sand but rather to create a place of fantasy rooted in the strangely familiar and evoke a sense of wonder and curiosity. Printed as large as possible, they transport the audience into an unknown world in which they can observe the intricate patterns and textures and lose themselves within these peculiar places. As I study and photograph the structures, I learn about them and I experience their core strength and resilience, they are no longer just charred pieces of wood. I want the viewer to experience the same. I imagine how these dreamscapes could be environments for my figurative work.

Tullee Bird (c)Kristen Sard 2020.jpg


I photograph the figure by capturing their reflection and the environment in which they pose. The reflections are beyond the control of the individual (myself, the model and the set). This allows the photograph to be spontaneous, and also heightens the natural improvisation that the sitters indulge in whilst posing for the photograph. I create the costumes, makeup, backdrops, and the environment. The models and sets are vulnerable and subject to whatever impression the reflection creates. For all of its artifice and distortion, the final image is one that would be unreachable were the subjects allowed conventional control of the image they present.

Tullee Bird

Tullee Bird 2019

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