Kristin Sjaarda’s primary subject of focus in her photography practice is the flora and fauna that live and thrive around the urban environment of her downtown Toronto neighbourhood. Informed by the style and still-life subject matter of the 17th century Dutch Golden Age painters, and the Dutch history of her own family lineage, Sjaarda creates images that are reflections of both her heritage and the city where she lives and works. Her lush floral images are ultimately printed and presented at a larger-than-life scale that presents her fragile subjects as powerful, provocative, and immersive experiences.
“This series of photographs takes as its the inspiration the paintings of the Dutch golden age which were created in the spirit of optimism for a new age of scientific discovery and exploration. The series I have created is offered as more of a cautionary tale that alludes to what we are losing in bird and plant diversity due to urban sprawl and the same march of progress that the Dutch championed in the 17th century… My goal is to hook viewers with a compelling, dynamic image that tells a story about our relationship to nature in the city.”
Kristin Sjaarda’s recent exhibitions include shows in Toronto in December, 2019; Montreal in November, 2019; Hamburg and Miami in November, 2019; Toronto in February, 2019 and October 2017.
She currently lives and works in Toronto, ON.