Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart Canadian, b. 1995



Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart began experimenting with photography and self portraiture when she was 22 years old living in Montreal.  The decision to focus on self-portraiture arose out of practical necessity.  Certain works, such as "Urban Bath," proved dangerous to attempt and time-intensive, which made it difficult to find someone else to be the model.  Sage developed techniques for doing complex photoshoots by herself using a remote.  Her photoshoots often entail weeks of trial and error, conducted without a studio. Instead, Sage has mastered the art of synchronizing her work with the weather and time of day, utilizing natural light to illuminate her sets in combination with one or two consumer-grade flashes. Her photographs are often captured illicitly in public city parks during the early morning hours, predominantly in Toronto. Her work draws upon the performance art of Laurie Anderson's Duets on Ice and Chris Burden's early work for inspiration.  


Sage's first camera was actually a video camera which produced very small photos.  Employing a remote or timer, she captures multiple images in rapid succession.  Her body of photography consists of both single-shot images and manipulated images.  Drawing on the darkroom techniques of   photographers like Hannah Maynard and Ansel Adams, Sage sometimes employs panorama, multiple exposure, combination printing and masking to layer her images, using the series of images taken on set to create the final work.   Incorporating a range of techniques and drawing inspiration from notable photographers, Sage's work is experimental both on set and in the post production phase.


Sage's work makes reference to the contemporary advertising imagery found in bus stations and billboards, drawing inspiration from its vibrant colors and compositions. Her academic background in film and animation fueled a particular fascination with posters for film and TV. Sage's practice draws upon the work of Cindy Sherman by appropriating contemporary commercial aesthetics and styles, typically created by large teams of professionals working for prominent brands, to focus on fleeting emotions and mundane objects. Her work is inspired by, and is often in dialogue with, other contemporary photographers whose work is shared in online circles.   


Award and Exhibition Highlights

Art Gallery of Mississauga, ‘Viewfind(her)’ Mississauga ON (2022)

Canada Council for the Arts, ‘Explore and Create: Research and Creation’ (2022)

Portrait Gallery of Canada, ‘In Keeping With Myself’ Ottawa (2021)

Orillia Museum of Art & History, ‘Carmichael Canadian Landscape Exhibition’ Orillia ON (2020)

The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Award: ‘RMG Exposed Youth Award’ (2019)

Museum of Northern History, ‘Tranquility’ Kirkland Lake (2018)



Art Fairs