Canadian Fine Art Photographer Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart (@sageszk) explores the experience of what it’s like to be a young millennial in present times. Sage is mainly a self-portrait artist, which stemmed from her introvert like nature. Sage has always had a difficult time with maintaining human relationships. She uses this to her advantage, channeling her inner-self and including animals as subjects in her images. Her work is a search for meaning in the ordinary of day-to-day life. Her series Urban Stream is informed by experiences that many young people can relate to such as the growing concern over the environment, climate change, and the amount of excess trash and food waste.
Sage plans, styles, and collects all the props and trash used in her images, working as a one-woman creative team to make her photographs. In her series Urban Stream, trash and found items are used in conveying a narrative of “short fairytales that are influenced and informed by the experiences of being a young adult in the present day.” One image titled Urban Bath is reminiscent of the swan princess and shows the subject positioned in the water between two swans. Her costume, hand-made entirely from plastic wear shows the juxtaposition between the natural elements and manmade trash that end up in our waters. Another of Sage’s images in this series titled Hair Envy is reminiscent of the intense wildfires we have seen around the globe. The viewer is confronted with a dozen burned, bald Barbie dolls. The destruction of the scene presented - a young woman soundly sleeping while her hair is caught ablaze, informs the viewer of the amount of destruction sustained by wildfires in recent years.
Sage is a graduate of Concordia University (Montreal) where she received her BFA in Animation. She has won several awards and grants for her work including an Emerging Artist Grant recipient from the Ontario Arts Council, 2021 and Best in Photography and Digital Media from the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, 2020. Her work has been exhibited Canada and internationally. Sage lives and works in Toronto.