About Sara

Colour My World by Sara Harley


Sara Harley has carried a camera for many years, documenting life and training her eye to capturing the unusual. Her entry into a more poetic style of image making began when she moved to Nova Scotia and dedicated more time to her artistic practice. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, she began writing inspirational verse to pair with her photography. This eventually led to her newspaper column In Focus, where she shared her love of photography and inspirational writing in a weekly newspaper column.

In 2017 her family went through another medical crisis, and Harley turned to creating composited artwork to help her through the emotional turmoil. The result was her widely acclaimed 15 image project called Stroke of Emotions. Five images were featured in the Picturing Health exhibit at Viewpoint Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and six images were published in Seeing in SIXES 2018, a book curated by the publishers of LensWork. The project was awarded Nominee in the International 5th Annual Fine Art Photography Awards, Conceptual Photography and was also featured in the Mental Health, Photography + Healing issue by PhotoEd Magazine.
 
Since then, Harley has created more projects focused on emotional healing. Roots+Wings (2018) paired verse with images created using the symbols of trees and birds. Differentiation (2018) followed, another series of emotional images paired with verse. A year long project called Trailings (2021) followed, and linked creativity, nature, and mental wellness. Sixteen images from Trailings were featured in a 2000 word article published by On Landscape Magazine in 2021 (Issue 232).

Following the same theme of linking creativity to wellness, her project Haven was created during the Covid pandemic. The collection was selected for a solo exhibit at the Chester Art Centre, Chester, Nova Scotia for the month of May 2022. Seven images from the portfolio gave her the honour of receiving Rfotofolio's Work of Merit in 2021. Open Show Pasadena/East LA selected a 20 image portfolio from Haven for their presentation This is a photograph because I say it is, where Harley was a featured speaker. Selected images were included in an exhibit by Labyrinth Gallery, UK, and printed in Salt & Citrus Magazine's Volume II Issue II as well as Understorey Magazine's Issue 17: RE Nature. The Haven project was featured in the May 2022 issue of smART Magazine, as well as the online Photography and Art magazine Tagree, published in Germany.
 
Sara's photographs have been exhibited in many group exhibits, local and abroad, and she has hosted solo exhibits Roots + Wings (2018), Flight of Fancy (2021), Trailings (2021), and Haven (2022).

Her photographs have been used on book covers, including books by Margaret Atwood, Isabel Allende, and the fund raising book Inside: Thoughts from a Pandemic, published by Nevermore Press, a fundraiser for the South Shore Regional Libraries. Her work has been published in many magazines including 
PhotoEd, Understorey, Uppercase, ON Landscape, Tagree, smART Magazine, Salt & Citrus (cover), Humana Obscura, The Antigonish Review (cover), and Wander Magazine.
 
A diagnosis of lung cancer in 2022 was unexpected and shocking. Since her surgery and recuperation, she has been experimenting with many ideas and is currently working on a new series with hopes of a solo exhibit in 2024.