Sylvia Grace Borda

Sylvia Grace Borda

An unknown fact to many, Finland contains half of the world’s arable land north of the 60°N latitude. Under the sponsorship of the Helsinki International Artist Programme, artist Sylvia Grace Borda, is producing a body of work offering intimate insights into Finland’s agricultural resources and peoples. Only recently has Finland shifted significantly away from an agrarian-based country where nearly 60% of the population was involved in agricultural production up until the mid 1950s. Her portrayals of farming reach far beyond the romantic stereotypical notions viewers might hold ranging from new perspectives on Lapland to intensive farming or green house production.

Sylvia Grace Borda has been producing socially engaged and contemporary artwork for over a decade. She works in photography, video and emergent technologies to study, research, and respond to changing urban and rural landscapes. Much of her work consists of carefully composed images varying from stereo-works to multi-dimensional tableaux produced in Google Streetview.

In her latest photographic opus, This one’s for the farmer, she portrays the social realities of modern life farming. Her work borrows from painting and historical photographic vocabularies in which she pays homage to specific historical references. While using art history as a foundation to inform her production, Sylvia collaborates with communities to accurately produce narratives that become contemporary portraits of our time and provide reflections on wider social conditions.

Sylvia Grace Borda is an actively engaged artist, curator and lecturer in Canada and Scotland. She is currently a Research Associate at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada and an Honorary Research Fellow and Media lecturer at the University of Stirling, Scotland.

Solo exhibitions include Camera Histories, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow (2013-14); Aerial Fields, Surrey Urban Screen, Canada (2013-14); Churches: Coming to the Table, Belfast Exposed Gallery (2012); Interrogations of the Camera, & Other Works, A&D Gallery, London, UK; Cameras and Watercolour Sunsets, CSA Space Vancouver (2010); A Holiday in Glenrothes, Royal Institute of Architect’s Scotland Gallery, Edinburgh (2008); EK Modernism, CSA Space (2007); New Town Passages, EKAC Galleries, Glasgow (2006); Minimalist Portraits, SAW Art Gallery, Ottawa (2005); and Every Bus Stop in Surrey, BC, Surrey Art Gallery, Canada (2005).

Sylvia Grace Borda has received a number of public grants and awards including the BC Innovation and Media Grant (2013); City of Richmond Public Art Commission: ArtHouse (2013-14) and No.4 Pump Station (2010-11); Public Works Association of British Columbia (PWABC) 2011 Project of the Year award for No 4 Pump Station and Best Public Works Project for the Province of British

ACEC Award of Excellence, Canada (2012); Cultural Capital of Canada Artist status award in combination with Cultural Olympiad project status for the Winter Olympics (2008-10); the Innovation Award, The Lighthouse Gallery Glasgow (2006); and the Urban Culture Award (through the Millennium Commission, Cities of Culture Liverpool) for 2005-07.