Sally Thurlow is a multi-disciplinary artist living on the shores of Lake Ontario near Toronto. Her practice, based in sculpture, installation, photography and painting, invites the contemplation of humanist, environmental, cultural, and spiritual issues as they manifest in our daily lives. Thurlow’s material selections are chosen carefully, symbolic within the meaning of her forms, be they driftwood, woven fabrics, animal, vegetable, mineral, steel, fibreglass, paper, photography, painting, plexiglass, or robotic. For several years she has been exploring the dynamic range of archetypal figurative forms using driftwood, and other ephemera collected in her wanderings of inquiry often leading to vital juxtapositions. Thurlow’s latest work, Crossroads focuses on highlighting the natural world, contrasting it with manufactured world problems, and inviting the public to write their comments on the driftwoods via “bark” papers. This crossroads with her September 2016 Red Head Gallery exhibition, Systems Failure which evolved to a new kind of surrealism that included the manufactured, the machined, and the robotic.
In this previous Red Head Gallery exhibition, her forms grieved the breakdown of family, as well as larger groups: friends, corporations,political parties, to world organizations, in an ever-spiralling broken system. Here we were confronted with the visual force of four alienated characters represented by rib-cages - familiar yet uncomfortably strange... with expectations of each other.
Thurlow received a BA majoring in Fine Arts from the University of Toronto, finishing with Cultural and Environmental Studies at Trent University, with significant earlier studies at OCAD and George Brown College. She has given numerous artist talks and workshops at educational institutions and public galleries. Her work has been shown internationally and she has been the recipient of various Ontario Arts Council Awards. She is a member of The Iris Group and The Red Head Gallery, both artists’ collectives. Her work is held in private collections across Canada, and at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa ON.