- ARTIST STATEMENT -
Sarah Treanor is an artist in love with the human spirit and the power of creativity. The narratives in her work are strongly autobiographical. Having grown up in a family that dealt with alcoholism as well as having lost both of her parents and her fiancé by the age of 30 – she has a highly developed sense of empathy as well as a powerful curiosity for what makes us resilient. Her work is a reflection of her inner work, a reframing of these themes of grief, dysfunction, abuse and finally – growth and transformation.
From a very young age, Sarah discovered ways to empower herself and reframe her struggles through fantasy stories – both in the work of others and in the creation of her own. This has informed a unique and subtle otherworldly feel to her work – often times challenging the viewer to wonder if the work is in fact a photograph, or a painting.
“There is something I’ve always loved about a degree of fantasy that feels possible or relates to our true human experiences. I believe that blending the real with the unreal helps to re-frame our struggles and our stories so that we can have a different vantage point of them. It creates a gateway to transform our view of ourselves and the world around us.”
Sarah’s photographic process is very solitary and meticulous - allowing her to connect deeply to the feeling of the moment or the story she is telling. She utilizes her drawing and sculpting skills within her process, preferring to create her own props and physically build her images out when possible.
Sarah holds a BFA in Communication Design from the University of North and attributes aspects of her style to this background, which encouraged great attention to detail and strong yet simple compositions. She has exhibited her photography throughout the US and been featured in several photo annuals in recent years.
Sarah also works in connection with Soaring Spirits International - an organization for widowed people. She has been a weekly writer for their blog since 2013, chronicling her thoughts on grief and her experiences of navigating life after the loss of a partner. She hosts a creative grief workshop for SSI’s annual conference in Toronto - helping others learn creative ways to tell their own stories and make meaning from their pain. Whether in a photograph, a talk, or a workshop, her goal is always to use creativity to share the lessons and gifts she has gained from her life experiences.
KIND WORDS about my ART & TEACHING
“Your images give voice to the usually voiceless emotions of grief and transition. Beautiful. Captivating. Eerie. Gut-wrenching. Amazing.”
— Robin W.
“I stumbled upon your beautiful blog whilst searching for creative inspiration. Thank you! What a magnificent, moving and real heart felt creation, beautifully written and presented.”
“Your art work and your writing makes my heart beat a little faster – I am so taken in to your story with awe and with empathy. Your art work resonates with my journey – although different than yours. There is something universal when the path is dark and empty. Thank you for sharing your journey, your love, your soul work, and your art.”
— Mary Rose T.
“I’ve experienced so much of my own grief, supported others through their grief, and been exposed to many stories of grief that I’ve been feeling the need to encapsulate the experience in visual terms. Your photography and your words have captured what I was looking for.
Grief comes in many forms, and humanity needs the sort of raw honesty that you have shared here. Your blog is among the most well written and visually gripping I have yet come across that touches on an aspect of life that brings great pain and discomfort to have to acknowledge. But your words and images speak to that pain and discomfort, and in turn create a balm of understanding for the wounded seeker.”
— Stephanie L.
“I think the reason your photos resonate with me is because I see their central theme as vulnerability, even more central than death or loss.
What do we do when we’re naked, defenseless, without the means to communicate or connect? We do what we can with what we’ve got. This is what you’re doing with your art–and it’s beautiful because it completely exposes your vulnerability.”
“I have experienced deep loss in my life and Sarah’s photographs spoke to me personally about grief and healing. I work as a psychotherapist supporting women who have experienced perinatal
trauma, so I chose the photograph “Sanctuary” to hang in my office and to share with my clients. Magnificent work Sarah! Thank you.”
— Michele G.
“Your writing is as beautiful as your amazing photographs. Always inspired by your courage and energy. Love.”
— Naz L
“I became a widow at the age of 29 and I just want to thank you for the way that you are able to capture anguish in such a beautiful way. It has transformed the way I see the process in which we are unfortunately going through. You’re creativity has sparked mine and that has given me hope... something I haven’t felt in a very long time.”
— Andrena M.