I travel extensively. From the time I was a child, I dreamed of seeing the world. One of my greatest joys, wherever I am, is to simply walk outside in the bright, broad daylight when all the activity of life happens, and explore, observe, and photograph. I like to document. Most interesting to me are the varied ways people live. I see beauty in their unique features and the way they cook, dress, and move about their daily lives. I find scenery exoti, and compelling. I find wonder in the history and structure of buildings and marketplaces.
I blame my sense of adventure on my parents who constantly encouraged me to go anywhere I wanted to go, and I blame my fascination with exploring even the most mundane things on my 7th grade teacher who, one day, taught the entire class while standing on top of his desk. He encouraged us to sit on top of our desks as well. “Perspective,” he said, “is both mental and physical. If you change one, the other can change as well.” I’ve never forgotten that statement, or the actual history lesson he taught that day. In fact, that small change of perspective, and my parents’ encouragement to explore, influenced much of how I look at things in life and that is reflected in my art.
What I think sets my work apart is that what many people pass by or view as ordinary, I see as interesting, because I look at things from a different perspective – sometimes from behind or above; sometimes very close, and sometimes I focus on only a segment of the subject. And, because I am sometimes privy to subjects for only the fractions of seconds they come across my lens, my work tends to leave viewers with questions: Where are these people going? What are they thinking. . . seeing. . .selling? What is behind this door? What is around the corner? What has this texture? This color? This shape? What does the rest of that world look like? With my photographs, I like to capture the mystery of the scene, but I prefer the viewers use their own perspective to try to solve it.
When Sarah Alexander was four years old, she told her mother that when she grew up she wanted to write and illustrate children’s books. She spent her school years sampling as many creative outlets as she could - - photography, drawing, painting, tie-dye, batik, ceramics. . . Sarah graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Writing and Design (close enough to writing and illustrating children’s books) and then spent the great majority of her adult life like so many creative people do - trying to fit a square peg (her) into a round hole (corporate America). She was very good at her job and it afforded her the luxury of travel, one of her favorite pastimes. It just wasn’t as fulfilling as she would have liked.
Sarah finally left corporate America. When she did, she was fortunate enough to be able to combine her love of exploration and her passion for photography into a new career. While Sarah sees interesting photos in everything from the exotic to the ordinary, her favorite subjects are the people, food, scenery, and architecture unique to each location. She also has a strong appreciation for the artistry of antique automobiles.
Over the past few years, Sarah has been fortunate enough to have her images illustrate the catalogs of various travel organizations. Her work has been displayed throughout Washington, DC at numerous businesses and, in addition to her continued participation with the Foundry Gallery, will soon be seen at the Ratner Museum in Bethesda, MD. Sarah’s images have also hung in the John Hart Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and are featured in the book "Visions of Santa Fe." Her photographs were selected to hang in the offices of a major energy and research company in San Diego, CA, and Sarah has a small line of greeting cards.
In addition to travel-related photography, Sarah has recently begun restoring old photographs. The process is extraordinarily detail-oriented. It forces her to focus on the minutia of the various time periods and to examine the subjects in question to ensure that they are restored as close to their likenesses as possible. Each photograph captures a person who lived and loved and worked and passed on beliefs and knowledge. She believes that it is truly an honor to bring their personal histories back to life.