Sarah Cherin

Artist Statement

The body is something that has always been a great interest of mine. As a photographer, people have always been my main subject, and after photographing a person in the nude for the first time, I knew that was what I was supposed to be doing. I am interested in capturing the uniqueness of each body and what the body is capable of doing. Using one to several bodies, I like to create abstract and unique shapes. 

After photographing so many nude individuals, I had a great interest to experience being nude in front of a camera, so now I often am one of my own subjects. I used to be a very modest person, but being one of my own subjects has made me much more comfortable with my own body… heck I’ll get nude anywhere these days. I find comfort in nudity and I enjoy interacting with people with a similar mindset. 

I usually choose not to pose my subjects. I enjoy seeing how people handle themselves in the nude and let them do what feels best for them. In the occasional cases where I do pose my subjects, I enjoy pushing abstract poses and seeing what interesting shapes can be made with the body. 

I enjoy working both in and out of the studio. I feel very connected to nature, so I often bring my work outdoors. Shapes in nature can resemble shapes of the body and I enjoy bringing them together. 

As an artist, I recognize that my work is perceived differently by each viewer. I embrace these varying views and believe that it creates a more intimate relationship between viewer and art. The one thing I would like my viewers to understand is that my work isn’t sexual, it is an exploration and celebration of the human body. 

Along with working with the nude, I also became interested in photographing myself in my everyday life with everything that comes along with it. I enjoy photographing moments throughout my day just as they are, no posing or altering any of my surroundings. When I feel an inkling to take a photo, I stop where I am, grab my camera and photograph exactly what I see in the moment. If it is me performing the activity I will set up a tripod to catch a third-person view of how I interact in the space.

I am sharing two projects that I worked on over the course of my final year. In the fall semester, I worked on Nature Nudes. This series consists of the subject matter that I worked on during most of my time at university. In the spring semester I worked on At Home, a series where I captured my everyday life as it is without any posing or ideal backgrounds. 

I am showing both projects because I believe it demonstrates a shift in my practice where I got away from just the ideal moments of the human form in nature and instead captured a more realistic representation of myself in everyday life.

Project One: Nature Nudes

Digital, Fall 2020

Daisy Lake Nude

Back facing the camera, a nude person with short brown hair lays on a fallen tree
Two nude people, one with long brown hair and the other with short brown hair lean on a fallen tree
Back facing the camera, a nude person with short brown hair with a piece of driftwood in their arms squats on rocks in front of a lake
Backs facing the camera, two nude people one with short brown hair and the other with long brown hair lay on their sides on a fallen tree in front of a lake

Beach Nude

A nude person with long red hair lays on the beach on their side with another nude person with long brown hair standing in front of them
A nude person with long red hair lays on the beach looking at the camera, just the torso to the top of the head in the frame
Two nude people, one with long brown hair and the other with long red hair lean against a large rock on the beach
A nude person with long red hair squats on a rock  looking at the camera on the beach

Project Statement

For me, the artistic process is about the experience. Running around in the nude in nature is empowering to me especially when accompanied by another like-minded person. Creating art with someone else is something very special to me. 

When working with both of these people, the poses came very naturally and we just moved around and tried new things. Both my subjects and I would give ideas on what to do and I love that collaboration. The photos where I am included were all done using a tripod and self-timer. The self-timer shots are difficult to set up at ideal angles so I also included precise shots solely of the individual subject where I had better control.

Project 2: At Home

Digital, Spring 2021

A person wearing a white long sleeve shirt and brick red corduroy pants puts on their sweater next to a bed, in front of the bed a nude person lays with their legs in the air and hands behind their neck on top of a green crate with a blanket on it in a bedroom
Back facing the camera, a nude person with shoulder length brown hair squats down and looks into a refrigerator in a kitchen. In the foreground an orange tabby cat stands on a chair
Back facing the camera, a nude person with shoulder-length brown hair looks outside a window at a person with short brown hair that is doing yard work. Next to the person, there is a table with plants on it
A person with short brown hair leans over a railing outside and trims a raspberry vine
A nude person with shoulder-length brown hair takes a white turtle neck out of a white dresser. The frame is from the knees to the top of the head
A person with brown hair in just in dark pink underwear puts on a white turtleneck in front of a full length mirror
Two people, one with short brown hair and the other with shoulder-length brown hair each sit in a chair on the grass in front of a railing and peel grapefruit

Project Statement

In the past, I have been focused on getting the most ideal backgrounds and poses in order to achieve the most polished end results. At Home breaks away from my previous conventions in photography by capturing impromptu frames around the house, capturing the everyday, mundane, and messy parts of life. This series speaks truths to the world around me and humanizes the subjects (myself and my partner) rather than abstracting us into the environment. 

Moving forward, I will learn from both my past photography and from this new experimentation to further diversify my art. I believe that the order in which I have progressed is important because I refined my skills with artistic photography first, focusing on composition, balance, and bodily form, and now apply those attributes to the reality of the world. It is in this balance between the structured art and the chaotic life that I find my art truly shines. With this new series, I am portraying my subjects in a more honest manner. I believe that this new method of capturing the experience brings life to my photos and develops a narrative for the viewer to follow.

Sarah Cherin

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Sarah is an artist from the United States who now calls Vancouver, British Columbia her home. She attended the Emily Carr University of Art and Design where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography in May 2021. Along with photography, Sarah works in other disciplines including ceramics, bookbinding, and illustration. Her photographic work primarily focuses on the nude human body and its interactions with nature and the environment. Sarah will often appear in her photographs as she uses herself as her own subject in most of her series. Sarah strives to normalize the nude and believes that the body itself is a piece of art.
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