Sylvia Grace Borda is a member of a growing field of artists tackling cultural policy through the visual arts. She is a sought-after and respected voice at the forefront of culture-led and social economic as well as community development and engagement projects in Canada and the UK. She has worked nationally and internationally in senior roles in the creative and cultural industries for seventeen years. She recently lead an artist in residence program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University examining the role of art and science learning today, and participated as a member of Women4Climate Change.
She continues to expand her knowledge and interest in culture, technology and entrepreneurship having attended the trail-blazing global Remix London UK Summit, and completing residencies as part of the Frontiers in Retreat program in the EU for art and ecology.
Sylvia Grace Borda has been an artist and Research Associate (2008 -2016) at University of Stirling, Scotland, and a former, Associate researcher (2008-2013) at at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada.
Sylvia studied both at the University of British Columbia (UBC 1991-1996; 1999-2001 MFA) and Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD 1993-95 BFA). Her ability to think laterally across media in regard to how conceptual strategies can be introduced into art, photography, and installation were heavily influenced by her then tutors at UBC Jeff Wall, Ken Lum, and by guest lecturers such as Ian Wallace and Dot Tuer.
She held positions as Senior Photography Lecturer (Salford-Manchester University), MA Convenor in Photography and Imaging (Queen’s University Belfast), and Associate Researcher in New Media (University of British Columbia). Sylvia is the author of “The Artist’s Photographic Book: Towards a Definition” in Photography and the Artist’s Book, MuseumsEtc Publishers, Edinburgh (2012) and “Comments on Skinning our Tools (2003)“ in Banff New Media Institute Dialogues Euphoria and Dystopia, Banff Centre Press and Riverside Architectural Press (2012). She continues to lecture widely on photography, new media, and imaging in Canada, USA, the UK and the Baltics.
Sylvia has exhibited and lectured over the last 15 years, and for 2008-2010, she held Culture Capital Artist of Canada status. She completed in recent a series of video vignettes produced by unmanned aerial vehicle or done imaging technology, examining landscape as part of a commission at the Surrey Art Gallery Urban Screen Programme in Canada. Working with the arts community, developing audiences, and engaging people in participating in cultural activities is what also continues to inspire Sylvia in her arts practice.
She is also considered a pioneer in Canadian digital media arts. Sylvia's use of Google Street View technology started in 2013 when she started to collaborate with John M Lynch, a Google Trusted Photographer. She worked with John to complete Farm Tableaux (2013) and Mise en Scene (2014). Since the production of these artworks Sylvia is being recognized as the first to create artistic content within the Google map engine. For her efforts to author in the Google Street View engine, she was awarded the Lumen Digital Art Prize (2016) for Net Art.
Her work has been exhibited and published internationally, with group shows in London, Taipei, Montreal, and Los Angeles and solo exhibitions in the UK, Canada, and Italy.
She has received a number of public grants and awards including British Council Arts Council Funding (2021), artist in residence, Darts Hill, Canada (2021), BC Arts Council (2020), inaugural artist in residence Kwantlen Polytechnic University, BC (2019), inaugural artist in residence, Minoru Centre, City of Richmond, BC (2018) Frontiers in Retreat, EU Visual Arts and Innovation (2014-17), BC Innovation and Media Grant (2011-12), Creative Communities Grant, Province of British Columbia, Canada, Surrey Art Gallery Urban Screen Production Grant, City of Richmond Public Art Commission: No.4 Pump Station (2010-11), Cultural Capital of Canada Artist status award in combination with Cultural Olympiad project status for the Vancouver Winter Olympics (2008-10), the Innovation Award, The Lighthouse Gallery Glasgow (2006), and the Urban Culture Award (through the Millennium Commission, Cities of Culture Liverpool) for 2005-07.
Sylvia is currently living and working on the shared, unceded and traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, in Vancouver, BC, Canada
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