Material transformations are what I have always been inspired by: the perpetual movement of everything, the unceasing emergence of beings and things which are all integrating one another to exist in new forms.
Paper is my focus. Since 2010, I have been fascinated with this material. Medium of human expression for thousands of years, paper also speaks of transition and renewed potentialities. Made in part from discarded ropes and fishing nets, the first paper was a reformulation. My most recent research, driven by the desire to connect with the source of the fibres I use, revolves around plants. I carefully observe plants as they grow and decay. Decomposing, they offer the fibre from which I compose.
Portraits and stains are recurring in my work as starting points to reflect upon notions of identity and authorship. In the studio, I constantly move back and forth between meticulous gestures and chance. I practice awareness through the act of looking. When I represent, I pay tribute to the uniqueness of what I can experience in every detail and every detail’s detail.
Sarah Bertrand-Hamel lives and works in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. She holds a Master in Fine Arts from Concordia University (2014). Curious and attentive to the materials she uses, she developed a great interest for papermaking, which became fundamental to her art practice.
In 2017, she was the first prize winner of the Valcellina Award (Italy) and of the Paper in Particular annual exhibition (United States). Her work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally, recently in Japan where she also studied Japanese papermaking as part of two artist residencies. Her works are featured in public and private collections, including the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (Canada) and the Museo national de la cerámica (Mexico).
Text by Karen Trask
Sarah Bertrand-Hamel: L’épaisseur du papier (The Thickness of Paper)
Hand Papermaking, volume 35, number 1
2020 NAHP Juried Exhibition
Materiality: Hand Papermaking in the Age of Isolation