CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #12: Sarah Dixon

Based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, Sarah Dixon is a socially-engaged conceptual artist using a broad range of media to create participatory works. She has a particular interest in invisible rituals - how we use them in institutional and everyday settings, and how we can playfully reconstruct them to serve us. She is a founder member with Sharon Bennett of The Women's Art Activation System (WAAS).

"I have inherited some 'family silver' and I intend to rework it into new heirlooms with guidance and wisdom to pass on to my daughter. The silver heirlooms represent for me something about inheritance - beyond just the objects themselves, but the extractive, colonial culture represented by the idea of passing down expensive metals mined from who-knows-where. On one of the items, a silver Rowing Cup, is inscribed the name of Huggins, which is also the name of one of my ancestors who became Governor of Rhodesia - now Zimbabwe.

These silver objects represent not only my history but that of the UK and its relationship with the world, particularly over the last 150 years. By melting and reforging these objects, I want to embody what I have learnt about solidarity, collectivism and ancestral healing into a set of heirlooms that I can share with the next generation, inviting new cultural modes of being and relating as a signal of moving into globalised equity and belonging.

The new heirloom objects will include items representing honesty, trust, collective practice, equity and justice. They will be stored in a velvet lined case. The work emerged from a process with the Silver Spoons Collective, a group of over 30 women making work about the ‘burning times’ when thousands were persecuted as witches. The work will be on display as part of the Silver Spoons exhibition, launching in Lancaster in January 2022. It will become my daughter's possession upon my death, and my hope for the future is that is passed on for 7 generations."

You can see more of Sarah's work on her website and on


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