Tuesday, June 12, 2018


In the weeks and months following my husband's stroke in June 2017, I spent most of my daytime hours at the hospital. When I returned home in the evening, after looking after our three pets, I would sit in an exhausted daze, my mind alternating between frantically racing around, or totally void of emotion.
In an effort to turn "off" my worry and feelings of helplessness, I turned to my hobby of photography. I wasn't up to traipsing around the outdoors with my camera, but I used my photographic library to create images that depicted my feelings.
Some of the images are composited self portraits, pictures of myself inserted into situations of my own creation. I call this series "Stroke of Emotions". Five of the images from that series were featured in the Picturing Health exhibit at Viewpoint Gallery in February 2018.
Some of the images are composited with pictures of trees and birds, a more symbolic representation of similar emotions. This series is called "Roots + Wings". I created this series for a solo exhibit held at the Margaret Hennigar Public Library in Bridgewater, also in February 2018.

I have compiled images from both series into a book I call Stroke of Emotions. I have written the book based on a presentation I made about using art to help heal. The presentation was well received by 40 people and several people encouraged me to write a book. The book contains the images and verse I created for the exhibits, as well as personal anecdotes about the stages of emotions I dealt with as a result of this health crisis.

In the coming days, I will post excerpts from the book. If you'd like to view it online, click on this link.
Stroke of Emotions by Sara Harley
Stroke of Emotions by Sara Harley

Feedback from presentation:
"All stunning! Beautiful and moving text to accompany images."

"Very moving, heartfelt, touching, inspiring presentation. Fabulous artwork and compositions. Loved the words with each image."

"Wonderful, from her heart. Could help others to understand or give words to their struggles."

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Exhibit booklet

One important thing I would recommend to anyone having an exhibit is to prepare a catalogue or booklet of all your images, along with a bit of information about your exhibit and about yourself. Have this available for people to purchase, especially if you will be having an opening or making a presentation during your show.

I didn't do this for my first solo exhibit....mistake!

But I did do it after the fact, and it did come in handy.

The two series I created (Stroke of Emotions and Roots+Wings) were featured online by PhotoEd Magazine at the end of April in honour of Mental Health Week. Here is the link if you'd like to read it: http://www.photoed.ca/single-post/2018/04/22/Sara-Harley-Stroke-of-Emotions

I decided to send a copy of the booklet to the editor as a thank you....a small expense, but one with a big impact. The booklet was featured on their instagram account and the editor kindly sent me the photos they used. It's always great to great some extra exposure.

Roots and Wings booklet by Sara Harley

Roots and Wings booklet by Sara Harley

Roots and Wings booklet by Sara Harley

If you would like to view the booklet online click on this link and then click on "Preview".