CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #8: Sarah-Joy Ford

Sarah-Joy Ford is an Artist and Post Graduate Researcher at Manchester School of Art. Ford works with textiles to explore the complexities and pleasures of queer communities, histories and archives. Her current practice and research explores quilt making as an affective methodology for making re-visioning lesbian archival material.

"I am a queer textile artist using print, embellishment, digital embroidery and quilting. My practice is inspired by the lesbian culture, and lesbian archives. This project will result in a new quilted artwork using digitally printed fabric, and digital embroidery inspired by the online archive of The Rebel Dykes project and the personal collection of Rebel Dyke and Drag King: King Frankie Sinatra (aka Fisch). The group Rebel Dykes works to collect and protect the histories of 'outsider dykes struggling as punks, sex workers, activists and artists in 1980s London'. During lockdown the Rebel Dykes have been running social screenings, that bring together an intergenerational group of lesbians, and combat isolation.

Currently I have no access to the embroidery workshop that I normally use. Therefore, I have been using what I have around me, painting a lot of watercolours. I used these paintings to create new patterns, and quilt designs in Photoshop. These quilt designs mark a shift in my practice, to an interest in traditional Welsh Quilts, and Log Cabin Quilts which are more geometric than much of my previous work. The work will be shown at The Rebel Dykes Exhibition at Space Station 65 in London in 2021, which will enable me to become part of the Rebel Dykes archive myself. This will give me the opportunity to develop deep roots within the lesbian community, and contribute to the archive."

You can see more of Sarah-Joy's work on CuratorSpace, her website or Instagram.

During the pandemic, CuratorSpace have adapted their artist bursaries to support artists with small grants to maintain their art practice. To find out more, click here.

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