Artist Statement

Sara Brooke

I was exposed to abnormal yet beautiful shapes, lines, and movements for the 13 years of my life as a serious ballet student. I did not quite grasp why these three things resonated with me until college when I was on a break from dance. While studying art in Italy for a semester, I realized that it was the combination of the negative and positive space created within dance that I found intriguing. It was then that dance became my ultimate muse.

In fall 2021, I moved to New York City for art therapy graduate school. This program exposed me to the direct link between emotional, mental, and physical experiences with the art product and process. Through my classes and my internships, I was exposed to hundreds of images created in art therapy by clients spanning from children exposed to trauma, to clients with schizophrenia, to dementia patients, and so many more. This exposure inspired me to push the boundaries of my own art.

During my studies I learned about response art. Art therapists create art in response to client interactions or course material. I found the abstraction in these exercises superficial. As a result, I began to apply my dancers to these pieces because I realized that the emotion that can be expressed in the dancer’s shapes was stronger to me than abstraction.

The dancers I depict are a reflection of my own personal experiences. In many ways, my art created during and after graduate school are pieces of response art that reflect important moments in my life. My artwork will evolve as I move through life.