Sarah Joy Stoker

Deeply preoccupied by and committed to ecological health and justice, I am a settler living and working in art and movement practice. With the utmost respect and gratitude, and deep sadness for what has come before and continues today, honouring the land, water, sky and animals of the unceded ancestral homeland of the Beothuk, Mi’kmaq, Innu, and Inuit territories on this, Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland, and Labrador).

I am deeply affected by what continues to happen to and in this world. For over two decades my work has been an expression of grief and a reaction to the destruction, injustice, greed, excess, insatiable want for more and the complacency and apathy that are epidemic. As we find ourselves in the free fall of the world’s ecological, climate and extinction crisis, with a pandemic for good measure, I continue to work, hoping to instigate reflection, introspection, and aggressive mobilization for change. I work hoping to facilitate commonality of thoughtful and sympathetic sentiment and processing around this intense period in our world and communities. How do we grieve for loss of habitat, species, and ways of life? How can we reach beyond lamentation for personal and collective loss?

My practice lives in the realms of contemporary dance, interdisciplinary performance, and installation. From They cut down trees so you can wipe your ass and blow your nose with the softest tissues ever (1999), to Rocks on (2005), Sapiens lay here (2007), When the birds fly happy (2011), The worth of (2014), to Once we were trees (2019), a film adaptation of the staged work, Our heart breaks (2018), I believe art is an active force in life and should be used as a vehicle for action, engagement and provocation.

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