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Emotive Feminist Art

Toronto Artist Sarah Zanchetta Discusses Her Inspiration and Process

— June 1, 2019 — Business
Sarah Zanchetta is a multidisciplinary feminist artist currently based out of Toronto. She is a recent graduate from OCAD University and the youngest artist at Power Ball 2019 -- The Power Plant gallery's annual event that aims to empower local and emerging talent.

Teaming up with sponsor Bumble Bizz, Toronto's The Power Plant gallery has chosen Sarah as this year's featured emerging artist who will spotlight her work alongside local greats. Her activation 'Sweet Digs' will grace this year's Power Ball: 21 Club celebration and is inspired by the adventure of a new relationship.

1- Tell us your name, a bit about yourself, and what inspires you?

My name is Sarah Zanchetta, I’m 22 years old and based out of Toronto, Canada. I recently graduated with a BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCADU. Currently, I am working two jobs; one at Gwartzman’s art supplies and the other one being my artistic practice. I grew up in a male-dominated society like many women my age. The strong matriarchs in my life taught me to always stand up for what I believe in, and this continues to fuel my artistic practice. The injustice women have faced over hundreds of years, the fights they have won, and the fights which are still ongoing is what inspires me. I am using my art to record my experience as a woman in 2019, and all the years previous. In hopes that if we record our own history, our wins, our losses, and our challenges, we can continue the change we need in this world.

2- Tell us about your favorite recent project? (can also focus on a project that was especially meaningful/challenging)

It would have to be my current project called “Sweet Digs” for the Bumble Bizz x Power Ball collaboration. I was chosen out of a nationwide competition by Bumble and the Power Plant Gallery to make an installation for the prestigious event called Power Ball. It is an amazing opportunity for an emerging artist like myself, and one that I am very thankful for. This installation is one of my most challenging works to date. There is over 250 yards of fabric, 300 balloons, and 538 conversational lines. The amount of materials means a lot of late nights and a lot of coffee. It has made my home studio incredibly busy, and I love it. “Sweet Digs” is a challenge because of the fast turnaround time. If you told me a year ago, that I would be building an installation for one of the biggest art events of the year, in one month - I would have never believed you! It has allowed me to push my boundaries, and find new strengths. I cannot wait for you all to see “Sweet Digs”, I think it might be my best work yet.

3- How do you reset to be creative?

In order to reset my creativity, I need to get out of the apartment. I currently have a home studio, and even though I would not change it for the world, it means that whenever I am home, I am usually working. I am lucky to live by one of the largest parks in the city, which gives me the space to explore. It allows me to be with nature, to unplug and just breathe for a bit. I try to do this at least a few times a week, even if it is only for an hour at most. Letting my mind have that time away from home, lets me relax and my thoughts can wander freely.

4- Has there ever been an instance where another industry or artistic medium has influenced your work?

My entire body of work is influenced by exterior industries and artistic mediums. It would be naive to say otherwise. There is not an instance where I wasn’t influenced by outside sources, and I love that about my practice. Currently, I am exploring the male gaze through the social media lens. I could not do that without social media being so intertwined with our everyday lives. It is an industry that my research is based out of, and where most of the material comes from. I am lucky as an artist to live in a time where I can be influenced and inspired by the world at my fingertips.

5- What's the most unconventional thing you've done to gain creative inspiration?

Now I don't do many unconventional things to gain inspiration, or at least to me they don’t seem unconventional. Like I previously mentioned, my work is derived from social media. So to gain inspiration I spend a large amount of my time-consuming content. This means scrolling, swiping, and liking my way through several different social media apps. I screenshot what I like, write down commentary and continue. For most spending a few hours on social media is considered a waste of time, for me it is research.

6- How have you seen experiential art evolve in the last 5 years and where do you see it going?

The evolution of experiential art is extraordinary, and I do not see it slowing down anytime soon. This form of immersive art allows the audience to become part of the art piece. As technology continues to improve, artists will only be able to push the boundaries more. I believe it is the future of art, at first like many others I was also hesitant about it. However, the ability to fully immerse your audience within your concept. To create an experience unlike anything else before it is thrilling. I will continue to push my practice in this direction and to be further amazed by what my contemporaries are creating within this field as well.

7- How important of a role does emotion play in your creative process and final product?

Emotions fuel my creative process heavily. The base of my practice starts with research, and if I don’t feel passionate about the subject matter then it isn’t for me. A lot of the time my best research begins with this gut-wrenching feeling that I don’t want to stop talking about. From being excited to furious, my emotions play a large role in my artistic practice - which I hope is evident within my final product.

8- Tell us about Sweet Digs and the message you hope to send with the activation?

“Sweet Digs” is a large colorful installation; inspired by the adventure of starting a new relationship. The experience of meeting someone new, and the journey you take together, even though you don’t know the final destination yet. There are twists and turns that will lead you down this path. Writings of previous conversations on the walls, and plans you made float overhead. It is about trusting your gut and being excited again about those butterflies in your stomach. I hope the audience leaves with a few butterflies that give them the fearlessness to try something new in their everyday lives. Even if it isn’t starting a whole new relationship, but maybe just making the first move towards one.
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