Artist Spotlight: Sarah Joy Stoker



1. Is there a piece of art you are drawing from/inspired by?

Not really. There are always many things that help me to consider and reconsider. There are many books and pieces of art but not any one in particular. Getting a full book read would be a miracle. Last one read was short easy read, Learning To Die: Wisdom in the Age of Climate Crisis by Robert Bringhurst and Jan Zwicky.

2. What have been your biggest challenges and inspirations creating during the past 2 years? Clarity of intention and motivation have been a challenge as, like everyone, I negotiated my reactions to the pandemic. Also of course actual logistics. Trying to create a new work with artists in four different provinces and one international, that was simply impossible. Inspirations were other artists, friends, and community organizations and how they were managing to continue with forward momentum.


3. Has the experience from the past 2 years created new patterns in your life, new routines? If so, what are they?

I decided at the beginning of the pandemic to sell my home and buy and renovate an old house out of town. My business (Pony Locale, Pilates studio) was closed for many months and I felt drawn to a substantial (little did I know) project that I could focus on and try to do independently, without grants or travel or any of the things that were so out of reach. So, major new patterns and routines have been intense and constant work rebuilding a house while also trying to keep a brick and mortar Pilates studio open during a pandemic, which on its own has been wildly challenging. I am 13 months in and counting. Also trying for deep and deliberate slowness within extensive stress and challenge.

4. What are some comfort foods that have soothed your soul during the pandemic?

My mother’s cooking and leftovers kept me alive during the pandemic/house reno as I lived with no kitchen, in a deconstructed old house for about eight months. Since having a kitchen, but still working on the house I live on toast and pasta, and I find them very comforting.


5. What are you looking forward to?

A break from the extreme stress and pressure I have created for myself. Having time to rest and be calm. To be able to refocus and concentrate on creative projects, be with family and friends more, relax, read books, and swim. I really miss the time and opportunity to be in water.


3) Any past, current work, or work in progress you'd like us to share?

Currently working on the group project that has been quite long in beginning, with Lois Brown, Lori Clarke, Ruairi Donovan, Dani Oore and Tammy MacLeod with the possibility of a few others. Some of us worked a month ago in NL, more will work again in Ireland in August and then the fall in NL. Hoping to have something to show next year.


I have also started working and am eager to continue on a new solo with sound and media by Elling Lien. I have been included in a newly launched website mapping artists creating work across northern Turtle Island focused on climate and ecological crisis, called Climate Art Web. caw-wac.earth. I will also be heading to the Arctic Circle residence in spring of 2023, something that was to have happened two years ago.


No social media, but, gutsink.nf.ca



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