Sadia - Tucson, Arizona photograph by Jade Beall no reproduction without permission
Sadia is an installation artist working across a wide variety of media, including sound, still and moving images. She is also an award-winning record producer and writer.
Sadia began her career by becoming one of the first women in the world to be signed to a major label as a record producer. Sadia’s installation works include multiple elements of imagery and sound to create immersive environments, frequently incorporating manipulation or distortion of time.
She has an M.Sc. in Political Science and Economics from Birkbeck College at the University of London, an M.A. in Design Studies from Central St. Martins at the University of the Arts London, and a Ph.D. in Fine Art from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
Sadia has campaigned for peace and against racism in both print and broadcast media. She is a Senior Industry Fellow at RMIT University (School of Art), a QS University Global Top Twenty in Art & Design (2022) and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts. For the last ten years she has been based out of one of five long-term project spaces at Real World Studios in Wiltshire, UK.
Signed to EMI as a record producer, Sadia worked largely with the Canadian guitar player David Wilcox producing the albums 'Out of the Woods', 'My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble', 'Bad Reputation', 'Breakfast at the Circus', and 'The Natural Edge', many of which achieved gold or platinum status. She also co-wrote many of the titles on these albums. These recordings formed the basis of a number of 'Greatest Hits' packages, including the platinum-selling ‘The Best of...’ and 'Over Sixty Minutes With'.
Her work has been sequenced to films starring actors such as Dan Akroyd, Gerard Depardieu and Tom Cruise, to documentaries such as ‘The Corporation’, as well as to films and television programmes by Polygram, Miramax, Interscope, Universal Pictures, Touchstone, CBC (Canada), ABC and Network 7 (Aus.) among others.
On emigrating to the United Kingdom Sadia became the first female member of the British Record Producer’s Guild (now MPG) under the chairmanship of Sir George Martin and sat on the Board of Directors for several years under the chairmanship of Robin Millar CBE.
1993 - present
Sadia was a founding member of the multimedia world fusion project ‘Equa’ with Stephen W. Tayler (Suzanne Vega, Peter Gabriel, Eric Serra, Bob Geldof, Kate Bush), which was signed to Polygram (Australia) in 1996 and produced the eponymously titled ARIA nominated album ‘Equa’ the same year.
The Sydney Dance Company has two works in their permanent repertoire, ‘Unwitting Sight’ (1998) and ‘Cradle Song’ (2001) both choreographed by Wakako Asano to music by Equa.
In 1996, Sadia also worked on the TUC (Trade Union Congress) ‘Respect: Unite Against Racism’ campaign, producing the single ‘Respect’, which featured dozens of international recording artists. The project received national media coverage as well as a commendation from the House of Commons (UK) through the passage of an Early Day Motion (EDM).
Films and Installations
Sadia produced, edited and (working with Stephen W. Tayler as Equa) scored the short film ‘The Noon Gun’. The film received a grant from the British Council, and had its world premiere at the 53rd Melbourne International Film Festival in 2004. It had its UK premiere at the National Museum for Photography, Film and Television (now the National Science and Media Museum) in Bradford in September 2004. It was shortlisted for the BFI's Satyajit Ray Foundation Short Film award, and has been screened at the Portobello Film Festival (July 2007), the World Performing Arts Festival (Pakistan, November 2008), Film Mutations (Zagreb, Croatia, December 2008), the Cleveland Museum of Art (2007) and by Tolo TV in Afghanistan. The Tricycle Theatre ("Britain's leading political theatre" The Guardian) screened 'The Noon Gun' as part of their season 'The Great Game: Aspects of Afghanistan' from May 1st-10th 2009.
Sadia also produced and edited the short 'The End of the Party: Hyde Park 1969', a view of the 60's based on previously unseen footage of the famous first performance by Blind Faith in Hyde Park; produced and edited 'Iggy the Eskimo Girl', a short featuring Syd Barrett’s (Pink Floyd) girlfriend Iggy, ubiquitously and affectionately known in the 1960s as 'Iggy the Eskimo Girl'; and directed, produced and edited the film 'Lit From Within: The Film and Glass Works of Anthony Stern', a short documentary by Sadia about the filmmaker and glass artist Anthony Stern and examines the aesthetic and philosophical relationship between glass and film as materials through which light passes.
She also worked as director, editor, producer and sound designer on 'San Francisco Redux No. 1', a single-channel installation. These films had their world premiere as part of the curated programme ‘Le Cinema de L’Avant Garde’ at the Cinémathèque Française in Paris, France in June 2008. ‘San Francisco Redux No.1’ went on to be screened at Lussas ‘États Généraux du Film Documentaire’ and was the subject of the essay ‘Body to Body: On the Subject of Regrettable Searching’ by the noted film critic and theoretician Nicole Brenez. 'San Francisco Redux No. 1’ was most recently exhibited as part of ‘Breaking Convention’ at the University of Greenwich in August 2019.
Sadia is also the creator of the single channel video installation 'The Memory of Water (Part 1)’ which was acquired by ACMI (The Australian Centre for the Moving Image) to form part of its permanent collection of “exemplary works by Australian and international artists”. It featured in the exhibition ‘Proof: The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes’ and ran as part of looped programming on the internal and external screens in the Federation Square complex in 2005.
In 2009, Sadia was awarded a Studio 18 artists' residency, for international "contemporary visual artists pursuing an innovative practice in a professional capacity" at Gertrude Contemporary in Melbourne, Australia. During this time she authored her filmed multi-channel installation ‘Metamorphoses in ‘A’ Minor’, with the support of Doug Mitchell of Kennedy, Miller, Mitchell and filmed at their motion capture soundstage at Sydney Gate, with the support of Gertrude Contemporary and a British Council (Aus) artist’s grant.
In January 2014, Sadia completed ‘All Time and Space Fold Into the Infinite Present (Cataract Gorge)’ a large-scale three channel filmed installation with an accompanying eight channel soundfield. The work premiered at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) Inveresk, Launceston, Tasmania, on January 10th 2014 and ran through March 2nd 2014. It has since been acquired by QVMAG to form part of their permanent collection.
In September 2014, Sadia premiered her thirty-channel audio installation of ’Notes To An Unknown Lover‘ (‘Hinweise zu einem unbekannten Liebenden’) at the Leipzig Spinnerei ‘Rundgang’. In October 2014, she further premiered a new filmed installation, ‘Fugue (Die Wende)’. The work formed part of the City of Leipzig’s ‘Lichtfest 2014 Kulturparcours’, a city-wide event celebrating the ‘Peaceful Revolution’ demonstrations of October 9th 1989 that are credited with bringing about the collapse of the fascist DDR government, and the fall of the Berlin Wall exactly one month later. Among other locations, the work was installed at Halle 14 Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst (Centre for Contemporary Art).
In June 2015, Sadia’s multi-channel installation ‘Ghosts of Noise’ was screened and discussed as part of the international colloquium ‘Les Devenirs Artistiques de L’Information’ at Sorbonne Paris, co-sponsored by Le Bauhaus-Universität Weimar & Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM), the Birmingham Center for Media and Cultural Research, and ELICO Equipe de Recherche de Lyon.
In 2017, ‘Notes To An Unknown Lover’, processed in stereo with 3D audio software creating psychoacoustic sound localisation and distance cues exhibited in 'Poetry', George Paton Gallery, University of Melbourne.
In 2018, ‘Metamorphoses in ‘A’ Minor’, was screened in stereo as a short film at the Sarah Lawrence College SLC DanceFilm, USA. Sadia also spoke in defence of fair wages for musicians at the Sound Diplomacy Music Cities Convention, Melbourne Arts Centre, April 19th-20th. She was also a Leighton Studios artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, during which she completed her short ‘The Transcendental Suite’.
Sadia premiered the first full presentation of her multi-channel installation ‘Ghosts of Noise’ in ‘The Model Citizen’ exhibition, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, in 2019. The work responds to the aesthetics of the information-delivery complex and the 24 hour news cycle. “Model citizenship exists in the tension between compliance and subversion, in the friction between individual integrity and the needs of the state” Sadia, S (2019) The Model Citizen, Melbourne: RMIT Gallery Publications. The exhibition ran from February 8th through March 23rd, and was accompanied by an artist’s talk in which Sadia discussed her life and work with the writer, journalist and curator Evelyn Tsitas.
January 2020 marked her return to Tasmania as artist in residence as a guest of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery and the City of Launceston, during which she spent time in the Tarkine in the Tasmanian northwest, a 447,000 hectare relic of the Gondwanaland super-continent of World Heritage importance.
In 2021, her peer reviewed paper ‘Empirical Methodologies and the Value of Subjectivity in the Analysis of the Experience of Contemporary Experiential Art’ was published in Art and Perception, 9(1), 1–20 (Brill). In July, Sadia’s ‘All Time and Space Fold into the Infinite Present (Cataract Gorge)’ was permanently installed in Gallery Eight at QVMAG’s Royal Park location. It is configured as a three channel HD video, sixteen channel audio installation filling the entirety of Gallery Eight’s forty five foot length.
From 1992 to 1994 Sadia completed an M.Sc. in Political Science and Economics. This arose out of her experiences working in commercial recording studios and the status of women in the recording industry, and gave rise to a specific interest in the status of women in the workplace. She also researched childhood sexual abuse among the female homeless population in Central London.
From 1999 to 2000, she pursued a full-time Master’s Degree at Central St. Martin’s, which focused on sensory and experiential design studies, including the formation of sensory memory.
In 2019, Sadia completed her Ph.D. in Fine Art at RMIT University in Melbourne, with the support of an IPRS International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, an APA Australian Postgraduate Research Scholarship, and an RTP Research Training award, alongside a number of additional grants. Sadia explored why and how people have profound, life-changing, transcendent experiences within encompassing works of art, and her findings have provided insight into the relationship between encompassing art installations and profound affect.
‘New Faces’, Berkeley Square Galleries, London, 1989; ‘Orchidea et Mangostini’, still images + ambient audio installation, March 2002 and ‘A Language of Butterfly Wings’ still images + ambient audio installation, November 2002, both Westbourne Studios, Notting Hill, London. Sadia is an occasional contributor to the photography magazine 'DayFour', including the ‘Ulysses’ (2005) publication and exhibition as well as DayFour’s 'Ulysses II' (2010) publication and exhibition (Printspace, London, December 2010-January 2011).
Among others, Sadia has been a guest lecturer on the subject of ‘Media and Ethics’ at the University of Brunel (Buckinghamshire Campus), at Sotheby’s Institute (London) on ‘Women in Late19th & Early 20th Century Art’, and a keynote speaker at the AES (Audio Engineering Society) 50th Anniversary Conference at the Jacob Javits Centre in New York on the subject of ‘Gender Issues In Audio Production’.
In May 2015, she spoke about collaboration, transferability, and working in the arts, as a guest speaker at the University of London Birkbeck College Arts Symposium.
In 2018, Sadia spoke at: Sound Diplomacy’s Music Cities Melbourne Convention (please see the Music Cities website for more details: https://www.musiccitiesconvention.com/speakers-melbourne/ ); the SCSMI Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image 2018 Conference in Montana, USA on the subject of the ‘The ‘Wow’ Factor and the Loudness Wars’; the Cognitive Futures in the Arts and Humanities Conference 2018 in Canterbury, UK on ‘Catharsis and the Encompassing Environment in Art in the Neo-Digital Age’; and at the VSAC Visual Science of Art 2018 conference in Trieste, Italy, on ‘The Sacred Ground: Enhancing and Constructing the Transcendent State in the Installation Environment’. VSAC is organised as a satellite conference of the ECVP (European Conference on Visual Perception), the leading European conference on visual science.
On June 24th 2019 Sadia spoke at the ISEA 2019 25th International Symposium on Electronic Art in Gwangju, South Korea. Her presentation ‘The Illuminated Self’ incorporated her writings surrounding affect in encompassing environments, alongside her immersive installation works. The work was made possible through the provision of an Arts Abroad grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
On June 26, 2013 Sadia's first book 'Notes To An Unknown Lover' was released by Bybrook Press. It is held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University.
Since January 2013 Sadia has been based out of one of five project spaces at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Box, Wiltshire, UK.
‘QVMAG delivers ‘powerful’ artistic era’, The Sunday Examiner, August 1st 2021; Redmond, S and Verhagen, D (eds) ‘Ghosts of Noise’. In ‘The Model Citizen’. Melbourne: RMIT Gallery 2019; ‘Sadia Sadia - In Conversation with Evelyn Tsitas’, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, March 2019; Australian Arts Review, ‘The Model Citizen’, February 5th 2019; 'Les Devenirs Artistiques de L’Information', Sorbonne Paris June 10th & 11th 2015, co-sponsored by Le Bauhaus-Universität Weimar & Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM), the Birmingham Center for Media and Cultural Research, and ELICO Equipe de recherche de Lyon; Leipziger Volkszeitung, ‘Spagat zwischen Intellekt und Emotion’, September 2014; The Examiner, ‘Sadia Gains A Sound View of Tasmania’ Jan. 2014; Artabase, 'Metamorphoses in 'A' Minor: Sadia Sadia in conversation with Amita Kirpalani', Sept. 2009; Contemporary Visual Arts and Culture, ’Proof’ March-May 2005; The Australian ‘Screening The Truth’, December 2004; Herald Sun ‘Keeping Eyes on the Truth’, December 2004; 'Proof: The Act of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes', Stubbs, Mike (Editor). ACMI. Melbourne:Australia 2004; Herald Sun, ‘Melting Pot of Sound’, Oct. ‘96; The West Australian, ‘Tropical Heartbeat Meets Technology’, Sept. ’96; Opus, ‘Sadia: the Equa Project’, Oct.96; Rolling Stone (Aus), ‘Equa’, December 1996; Music Week, ‘In The Studio: TUC United Against Racism ‘RESPECT’ June 1996; 'She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop, and Soul', O’Brien, Lucy, London:Penguin 1995, 2006; BBC Radio 1,‘The Glass Ceiling, TX November 1995; The MIX,‘Fiddling the Meter’, November 1994; Recording Musician,‘Production Lines’, August 1992; The Independent,‘Cutting Through Tape’, Oct.1991; BBC Radio 4, Women’s Hour, TX April 24, 1991; Audio Media, ‘The Female Touch’, February 1991; Studio Magazine,‘Frills and Spools’, Dec. 1990; Studio Sound, ‘Winning Women In The Industry’, November 1990.
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