Island Mountain Arts is excited to announce an exhibition launch on Friday July 19th, 2019 at 7 pm featuring the work of Sarah Zimmerman (affectionately known by many as Saz), titled “The Fish Project”.
The exhibition will remain on view through Sunday, August 25th, 2019.
Sarah has been painting her entire life. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, the urban arena has long played an important role in her life. Since moving to Terrace, BC in 2000, the incredible bounty of the Northwest has become a constant source of inspiration for her. From rooster portraits to vibrant snails, her pieces are fun, vibrant acrylic messes that are also a nod to her surroundings. Her work is a whimsical exploration of her environment and sense of place.
“For me creating art is a way of expressing myself, exploring my surroundings and combining complex ideas in a visual medium,” Sarah says. “Art brings people and ideas together in a way that no other exercise can.”
She drew inspiration for this exhibition from the salmon and oolichan and their importance to the people of Northwestern BC, exploring the intersection of fish, culture and art. Sarah began the project in the Spring of 2017. Creating each piece was a multi-faceted process that involved sourcing or catching the fish, cleaning it, preparing it for printing, painting it and then pressing the prints onto thin paper. Then the prints were transferred to the wood panels using a gel transfer technique. Each painting on its own is a reflection of a small, but critical piece of the ecosystem.
The fish project includes a series of multimedia pieces that incorporate the old Japanese art of fish printing with a more modern gel transfer technique to transfer the prints of regionally harvest oolichan and salmon to wooden canvases.
The show also speaks to the relationship of fish to people, both settler and Indigenous. Sarah has collaborated on a multimedia installation piece which is a nod to the oolichan fishery and how regional Indigenous people traditionally processed this incredible fish. In collaboration with Gitxsan/Nisga'a cedar weaver, Jaimie Davis, this piece is a reflection of the one-time abundance of this Indigenous fishery and the fragility of its stocks today.
Sarah has also collaborated with Sto:lo artist Amanda Hugon on a series of oolichan block prints that speak to the social, ceremonial, food and healing qualities of oolichan in a series of pieces called liquid gold.
Sarah is excited to share this project with folks visiting the IMA Gallery and ArtsWells festivalgoers. She says, “Wells is one of those amazingly unique places that keeps drawing me back year after year, be it for art, learning, escape or music. Wells holds a special place in my heart and has been an integral part of my artistic journey, and because of that I am super excited to be showing the fish project at the Wells Gallery. It's exciting for me to share this project not only with the wonderful people of Wells but those incredible creative souls that make their way to Wells each summer, especially during ArtsWells.”