Sara Spencer is a fourth-year BFA student and artist from Slave Lake, Alberta. Her main medium of expression is video-based work, including installations.
Spencer spent some time working after high school and before starting her BFA program. According to her, she felt a strong draw to pursue her artwork through education: “I’ve always been really interested in it, but I was pursuing other paths. I had been working for a long time and decided that art is what would make me happy, I really wanted to learn it and dive into it. I put the application out and got accepted, and here I am.”
Throughout her post-secondary education and personal endeavours, Spencer has had experience with a wide array of forms, including painting, charcoal drawing and other traditional visual arts mediums. According to Spencer, she “has a lot of fun exploring all different kinds of forms. I don’t really like to stick to one.” Primarily, however, the work she currently creates is self-described as “cinematography and abstract filmmaking”. Spencer recalls that in the beginning of her degree, she predicted that she would prefer the more traditional forms over the media-based ones: “I was expecting to hate the media courses like digital drawing, filming, photography and all that, because I was not tech-savvy. But I had a great teacher and he really encouraged me. I dove into it and found that I really enjoyed it.”
Her work right now draws from her personal life, memories and childhood: “It’s very experience-based. The viewer must experience it in person. At first glance, it’s installation-based. I really work based off of feelings that I get. The work that I’m creating right now is based on feelings of anticipation. I’m documenting moments where I’ve felt anticipation and I dive into those moments. I’m especially exploring habitual behaviours and moments from my childhood that have carried on through adulthood.”
Her main inspirations include Canadian artist Pascal Grandmaison and Irish cinematographer Robbie Ryan. The project that Spencer is working on right now for the BFA Year End Show is an installation that involves a 12-foot lightbox and a 25-minute video piece. After graduation, Spencer hopes to apply for artist residencies to continue pursuing her practice.