After winning an International Scholarship to the Colorado Institute of Art, Kristin Sjaarda went on to work as a commercial and editorial photographer for 25 years. Recently she has been photographing local flora and fauna in a series called “The Kitchen Window”. She has exhibited in Toronto, New York City, Miami, Hamburg and the UK, and has also conducted workshops and given talks about the intersection of art and biology. The eggs and birds in her photos are loaned to Kristin from the Royal Ontario Museum, and many of her insects are sourced from the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory. The images are a reflection of both her Dutch immigrant heritage and the city that she lives in, and are printed and presented at larger-than-life scale to render these fragile subjects in a manner that is powerful, provocative, and immersive.
“Using the style of Dutch Golden Age painters as a jumping-off point, and objects passed down from my Dutch grandmother’s family, I photograph flowers grown in my downtown Toronto neighborhood alongside the seasonal wildlife that lives, thrives, and passes through my urban environment. While the 17th-century artworks were made in an era of expansion and exploitation, these images strive to reflect what is now threatened by climate change” - Kristin Sjaarda