Sarah Healy

Eyes on the City 2021: City and Memories

Artist Statement

In my photos, I explore Lefebvre’s idea of lived and conceived space. We as humans tend to use our built spaces for reasons other than their true purpose. Here, Viola (my roommate and model), uses the fire escape as a place to escape from her struggles and responsibilities. She finds her escape through smoking weed and thinking abstract thoughts. 

I was influenced by Philip Lorca Dicorcia and George Crewdson, both of whom have a very cinematic feel to their photographs. Crewdson especially drew my interest through his eerie, dreamlike night photography. He beautifully captures feelings of loneliness and isolation, feelings I hoped to capture. The way George Crewdson uses light makes his photos look like they could have been painted. I tried to create this effect by taking my photographs at night with very little light on the subject.  

Artist Bio

Sarah was born in a northern suburb of Chicago along with her five siblings. As a child, she enjoyed dancing and singing and putting on shows for her family. Starting in middle school she began doing gymnastics competitively and continued until the end of high school. Sarah has a difficult time when it came to college decisions but she knew she was drawn to cities. She visited a psychic and asked her where she would end up and the psychic proceeds to say she would be “surrounded by water”. Later in the year, Sarah and her mom visited the University of Denver which Sarah disliked very much. She was upset and her mom mentioned they should visit the University of San Francisco, a school she applied to on a whim. Sarah, not knowing her west coast geography, asked if San Francisco was near the water. Her mom looked her in the eyes and exclaimed, “Sarah, it’s surrounded by water!”. And that is how she ended up in San Francisco. 

During her Freshman year at USF, she enjoyed walking around different parts of the city and soon began to take photos of things that caught her eye. She never thought too much about it but she knew she enjoyed it very much. Today Sarah spends her time working at an ice cream shop, playing guitar, reading, and taking photos around San Francisco. She has a strong admiration for the arts. She is an Urban Studies major and hopes to continue to strengthen her Urban photography knowledge and skills.