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17 seconds of light            
new work in development  

photo by Omer K Yukseker

At the age of 23, Sara Porter suddenly could not tolerate sunlight. She spent five years testing for many maladies and eventually found herself in a photobiology research hospital in Dundee Scotland diagnosed with PMLE, an idiopathic autoimmune disorder that limits the skin's capacity to absorb UV light.


Life changed. Sara installed UV filters in the windows of her house and car and, eventually acquired a disability permit to park close to doorways for quick access to indoors. She tried all manner of medications and potions, and ultimately, simply has lived her life away from the rays of sun. 

17 seconds of light refers to the lowest dose of UV light therapy that eventually became too much.

Sara's creative work lives at the intersection of literary memoir and movement and provides a creative frame to explore the unusual story of her life in a light-averse body. With the aid of a Canada Council grant, Sara recently travelled to the Dundee photobiology clinic - in September 2023 - to retrace her steps of discovery and spend time in the fog, considering how to tell the story of life in the shadows. 

The work wrestles with grief, notions of disability, and plays with revelation - about the subtle invisible adjustments to a day that make such a life so challenging. 


How to tell such an unbelievable story?


In the world of Sara Porter, where absurdity always find a home, she channels Pamela Anderson, explores various ways to wear a bikini, celebrates free Botox, and offers her body as a landing strip for butterflies.


In a work that blends poetic imagery with dance and clown, Sara offers performance as reminder of how imagination shapes a life. 


Sara Porter - choreography, text, performance

Rebecca Picherack - lighting design

Katherine Duncanson - consultancy

Stephen Joffe - sound design

Elaine Whittaker - visual art

Curtis Whittaker - technical direction

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