Sara Bjarland
Uncertainty and Ground Conditions

20.10 -15.12.2019
Thursday - Sunday: 14:00 - 18:00


In her recent sculptures and installations, Bjarland uses discarded objects to investigate overlaps and encounters between the natural and the artificial, the living and the non-living, between object and organism. She scans the trash piles on the street corners of Amsterdam and visits recycling centers, collecting things like dead house plants, broken household items, Venetian blinds, bent drying racks or twisted rebar iron. She sees these objects as leftovers of our consumer culture and as important carriers of value and meaning, and her work is also a way of recycling, preserving and caring for these materials. The material and its potential to transform into something else is always her starting point, and her working process is highly intuitive and associative. Sometimes appropriating or transforming the objects, sometimes casting them into materials like ceramic or bronze, Bjarland tries to extract new meanings and explore other possible lives for them, often imagining the objects as future inhabitants or artefacts in a post-human world.

For her solo exhibition "Uncertainty and Ground Conditions" at DASH, in the Academy of Kortrijk, Bjarland will present several new works, including ceramic work recently made at the EKWC. The title is taken from a book about soil sanitation, and reflects the artist’s interest in the ground as a starting point; what is left on the ground, what might get buried in the ground, and what might rise back from the ground in the future.
The exhibition coincides with the recent publication of Bjarland’s first monographic book Groundwork, which contains hundreds of photographic notations and observations as well as images of her work, giving insight into her working process and her world of associations. The book is published by Art Paper Editions (Ghent) and will be available at DASH during the exhibition.

The exhibition will take place in the framework of LANDSCAPES 2.0. A course along Art and game design at 5 locations in the city of Kortrijk. LANDSCAPES 2.0 is all about creation at the interface between tradition and innovation, between craftsmanship and art. Inspired by the masterpieces of the city of Kortrijk's painting collection, students from the renowned game design school DAE, designed a series of new interactive environments. These are confronted with multimedia installations by contemporary artists working on similar themes and techniques.

Sara Bjarland is a Finnish artist living and working in Amsterdam. She graduated from The Slade School of Fine Art in London in 2007, and attended the HISK in Ghent in 2012-2013. Residencies include EKWC in Oisterwijk, TBG+S in Dublin, and Kunsthuis SYB. Recent shows include Galerie Dudok de Groot, Amsterdam, Past Events at Hopstreet Gallery, Brussels, Rumination Tale at Plan B, Amsterdam, The Prophecy of Bees, at Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen (NL), and Fem studier i metamorfos at The Finnish Institute in Stockholm. She was recently shortlisted for the Below Zero prize for Finnish Artists, initiated by the Finnish Institute and Beaconsfield Gallery in London.