Sharon Alward is a performance artist. Her works explore issues related to postmodern religious thought. Through her performances she invites her audiences to question dualistic thinking and to experience a bodily dimension of knowledge. Specifically, her research questions the metaphysical, moral and epistemological role of the contemporary artist through the use of ritual symbolism. Her interdisciplinary investigation into art and religious thought is focused on the performative body.
Sharon Alward received her BA from the University of Winnipeg in 1975, her BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1983, and her MFA from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1985. In 1982 she received a Painting Fellowship to Yale University. Alward's spiritually based performances and video tapes have been exhibited in museums and site specific locations around the world. She has been nominated for an Art Pace Fellowship and a Blizzard award. Her video works have been exhibited by the American Film Institute and the Canadian National Screen Institute.
Recently she was cited as one of 100 influential and innovative Canadians in MacLeans magazine for her work as a Canadian artist.
Professor Sharon Alward is a Full Professor at the University of Manitoba School of Art. As well, she is a Senior Fellow and former curator of St. John's College. Alward has been awarded several teaching awards for outstanding teaching and has been listed three times in Macleans Magazine as one of the most popular Fine Arts studio professors of the sixty Canadian Universities in their survey. Alward was a Lector and Administrant for over a decade in the Anglican Church, Diocese of Rupert's Land.
“Affirming feminist ideas of bodily dimensions of knowledge and the ethics of care as social praxis, my creative practice explores ritual and witnessing as a process for reasserting social connectedness and collective memory, and as a means to transcend suffering and provide opportunities for wholeness and healing.”
- Sharon Alward