Masthead - line only
Sarah Alford BA '03, BFA '04
I am in the practice of re-imagining what it means to know the world. As an undergraduate studying jewellery and metalsmithing, I learned it was once believed that the entire universe was made of light in varying densities. The more reflective it was, the less dense it was—lighter. All that winter on my walks home from the studio I looked for signs of this, and they were abundant, salt strewn streets, snow, frost, the drops of water, broken glass…. It changed how I saw jewellery making. I became more interested in adornment as an act, rather than as an object. However, as I became less focused on making, I understood how fundamentally important it was that I had learned to make things well. I came to understand what Walter Benjamin meant when he imagined that the reconstruction of the world will require an act of craftsmanship, an act in which we skilfully and artfully bring together the broken pieces of our history. Making is a form of understanding what might be, and I have also come to see how it forms an understanding of history, value and place. 

I contextualize my work within art practices that look to community, process, and intervention as meaningful sites for uncovering lost emancipatory moments and for growing political awareness in the present. My work, however, is often undidactic, ephemeral and asks viewers to suspend their beliefs and to place themselves somewhere between citing and siting.

Alford-RememberSeedGerm

Remember the Seed Germ: For Louis Sullivan (detail), 2010. Hot glue. Chicago, Illinois

Alford-PortraitTomStabnicki

Portrait of Tom Stabnicki (from Cosmos for a Flawed Sidewalk), 2008. 24 carat gold leaf, found light, found sidewalk. Chicago, Illinois

Alford-DrawingLine

Drawing the Line (from Alliance a collaboration with Peter von Tiesenhausen), 2007. Demmitt, Alberta