Sara Shields is a Toronto-based artist specializing primarily in works on paper. She graduated from the fine arts studio program at Centennial College in 2010. This is where she first began developing her distinctive take on figure drawing, a consistent element found throughout the years she has been practicing. Shields has exhibited in various solo shows, group shows, and art fairs since graduating. Her drawings have been acquired by private library and head office collections, as well as purchased by clients located around the world. Her drawings are currently available through the Art Gallery of Ontario's Art Sales and Rental Program.
Shields’ most recent pastel figure drawings seek to reclaim the feminine form from societal stereotypes and expectations. She presents it not in the context of an externally judged “beginning” or “ending” point, but in an eternal present which is the moment being experienced by the viewer, a timeless middle ground typically ignored in our polarized society. Shields shines a light on what is found in between conscious moments in the arena of relatable human experience and emotion. She presents the inherent beauty of imperfection, intricately delineating the pathways to inner and outward healing.
Shields’ latest work represents a new direction – a collection of free-form mixed-media paintings which are more deconstructed and abstract than her figure drawings. Here Shields has expanded her perspective, seeking to reclaim the environment from destruction by a disposable society, envisaging a world in which the human species either never existed or has ceased to exist, a world that never knew or has forgotten the concept of disposability. This past/future world is created through layers of familiar patterns and textures, presenting flora and fauna in an asymmetrical panorama of stability and chaos.
The viewer is challenged by the parallel visions embodied in Sara Shields’ art: both the feminine and the world at large set free from the constraints and ravages of our materialistic consumer society.