Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Sarah Fortais

Dr Sarah Fortais was a Visiting Research Fellow in 2022-23 and an Artist-in-Residence at the Centre for Outer Space Studies in 2021-22.

Dr Sarah Fortais is a Canadian artist and researcher interested in bricolage: disassembling, repurposing, and modifying existing objects or ideas to generate new understanding. Fortais received a PhD in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art (2018), where she built spacesuits for animals, borrowed NASA moon rocks, produced the first graphic representation of every animal that has left Earth's atmosphere, and created strategies to observe and define what it means to call a person or thing ‘cool’. Fortais has also created a copy of an Apollo A5-L pressure suit out of materials sourced from the streets of London, and has produced a series of performative mission simulations and exhibitions, including 'Voyageur' (with Nikolas Ventourakis) for, "Hors Pistes: La lune: Zone Imaginaire à Défendre", in the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2019). She received the Kenneth Armitage Sculpture Prize and the Westbury Arts Centre Graduate Residency, Milton Keynes, in 2016. In 2018, with Dr Dawn Gaietto, Fortais put together an interdisciplinary conference focussing on the nonhuman (titled:"Rendering the Invisible Visible") at University College London, and was awarded an Octagon Grant. Currently, Fortais is the Specialist Casting Technician for Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, and delivers lectures on themes such as cool, bricolage, the non-human, copying, mapping, spacesuits, and defamiliarization. www.sarahfortais.com