Burrard Arts Foundation presents [green heart emoji] by Sara Gulamali. Gulamali’s work explores a post-colonial navigation of the hyper-visibility or invisibility of Muslim women using green screen technology. For the artist, green screens and the colour green more broadly reference the notion of otherness and the othered body within her practice—a nomadic space that can become anything or transport you anywhere. As we encounter the ubiquitousness of screens and technologies, Gulamali’s interest in digital spaces, and how screens can become proxies for the body, increases. The green screen becomes not only a tool but a material to perform in and create with.

Throughout her practice, Gulamali takes inspiration from her family’s diasporic history and its relation to her own identity. As a visibly Muslim, female, British Pakistani based in Vancouver, Gulamali considers her own journey and how these parts of herself influence her being. While working with these themes can produce introspective and personal work, Gulamali also considers how individuals from marginalized communities may embody otherness by asking “how does it make us feel, especially when navigating spaces that aren’t always made for us in mind?”

Presented as part of Capture Photography Festival, [green heart emoji] features work created during Gulamali’s 2022 Winter Residency at BAF—reflecting on the artist’s recent relocation to Vancouver, and how she in turn, navigates this new beginning. The six photographs featured in this exhibition were all taken in and around the lower mainland and centralize a bright green material draped over several prominent figures and a body of water. This series of photographs signals a shift in the artist’s perception of green; since moving to the west coast and experiencing its lush climate and terrain, Gulamali’s relationship to the colour has expanded. In bringing her practice, and the green screen, into this new environment, the artist stakes her claim and finds her voice again.

Photography can be considered a voyeuristic and finite medium that can exclude the viewer; to negate this potentially limiting conversation into something much more mutual and participatory, Gulamali’s presentations often involve immersive components. For this exhibition, a spotlight casts a colourful glow from the ceiling. As the viewer moves centre gallery, they are immersed in a faint wash of green, transforming them into a participant and performer within the artist’s landscape. Though Gulamali felt like an outsider upon her arrival to Vancouver, she provides an inclusive and contemplative space for her viewer.

Gulamali’s image-as-title confronts BAF’s typical gallery procedures and systems as they pertain to website, vinyl, and didactic templates. The artist’s decision here aligns with some common threads in her practice, particularly around challenging institutional frameworks and space, while at the same time, firmly prioritizing her perspective.


Sara Gulamali


BAF Gallery
2-258 East 1st Ave
Vancouver, BC

Exhibit Dates

Apr 1 to Jun 11, 2022


Apr 1, 6-9PM