Sasha Miller

Sasha Miller
University of Regina (SK)

I am fascinated by human complexity: by the physical body, which is constantly placed under scrutiny in our society, and the emotional connections that shape our sense of self. As a multidisciplinary artist, I employ painting and printmaking as tools to convey the intimacy, vulnerability, and resilience that emerge as we navigate through our experiences and relationships. Through a detail-oriented practice, guided by close collaboration with my subjects, my paintings embrace the physicality of skin, embodying reality, while my prints harness the tangibility of memory and familial connection.

In every painting, my intention is to capture women openly and honestly. Inspired by contemporary artists such as Emma Hopkins and Aleah Chapin, my work includes details that are often labeled as imperfections. I am not interested in creating objects of flattery. Instead, I want to portray my subjects faithfully, capturing their individuality, while simultaneously creating a series of work that increases representation of the female body. According to Carla Rice, a Canadian professor and author, “most women, regardless of their appearances or difference(s), [see] their bodies as measures of their value and worth as women, and even further, as integral to their very sense of self.”¹ This series, Up Close, magnifies specific portions of the body, displaying blemishes, cellulite, veins, and stretch marks. These details are often the source of insecurity and are given the power to consume individual identity. By taking the time to include rather than conceal each marking, I want to reveal their significance as indicators of time, resilience, and individuality.

Formally, these paintings are constructed with intent. The grounds are circular, allowing for a fluid display on a gallery wall, and are constructed using natural wood panels and frosted mylar: both remain visible when viewed at a close range. The wood grain of the panels heightens texture and mimics the intricate patterning of skin, while the mylar mimcs the skin’s innate translucense. Each piece in this ongoing series is its own investigation. Colour, form and detail are informed by reality, yet abstraction is illicited by composition. The tightly cropped images in Up Close provide an alternative perspective of the human body, focusing completely on the skin’s subtle nuances through compositions that elicit ambiguity and invite contemplation.

Sasha Miller is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice focuses primarily on printmaking and painting. Raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Miller was born in St. Gallen, Switzerland—a location that has had a direct influence on her practice. Miller’s process is heavily detailed and inspired by close collaboration with her subjects. The combination of her familial history along with her interest in subverting socially constructed ideals of women join together in shaping Miller’s artistic practice, as she examines themes of intimacy, resilience, and human connection. Miller holds a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Regina.