Sally United Kingdom
Sally Barton is a multidisciplinary artist, graduating from Chelsea College of Arts in 2021, her practice explores her relationship to her hometown of Sheffield, stories of industrial history and masculinity. Barton aims to reimagine the aesthetics of the North of England through photography, sculpture and collage.
My practice has been shaped by stories of industrial action and revolution that I was told as a child, stories that were told in the ashes of a strong working-class identity. My grandparents worked in local politics and trade unions, my weekends were spent at Labour party group meetings. My work re-imagines histories like the Battle of Orgreave as fairy tales. Stories of industrial action can often be romanticised and retold through fading memories, and I sensed that Sheffield’s industrial history was more nuanced than good vs evil.
There is a contrast in my work between the masculine subjects and the soft feminine aesthetics, attempting to find my place in these old stories, as a young woman. Exploring what Sheffield was and is. I often use football and lad culture as a way of exploring the legacies of deindustrialisation in the North and its effect on masculinity.
At the heart of my practice is a love for making. In my photographic work I hand make or embellish all the props and costumes. There is a legacy of craft and creation in my family, from the steel mills to truck garages at Orgreave, while my work explores a hyper-feminine approach to material and making, in contrast to these male dominated trades. And I am always experimenting with different mediums, from costume,