Sarah Gillham

Sussex, UK – Multimedia

Sheela na gig, 2011

Velvet, blanket, lace, glass beads and hand embroidery

213 l x 220 W cm


Open Wide, 2011

Blanket, velvet, lace, found patchwork quilt and hand embroidery

200 l x 180 W cm


Sarah’s work is a jumble of personal narratives, myths, and archetypes. She positions the desirable, the morbid, the maternal, and the sexualized, with the familiar every day. Tensions between desire, loss, new life, humor, and the body are played out through the marriage of materials, images and objects.

Blue Hands, 2011

Blanket, velvet, lace, found patchwork quilt and hand embroidery

124 l x 57 w cm

£ 1600

Gillham’s quilted wall hangings display stylized mirrored female figures that are inspired by mythological and archetypal women. They reflect some of the concerns that occupied a celebratory strand of feminism associated with the ‘traditional’ feminine crafts like those Judy Chicago promoted with her celebrated The Dinner Party ‘. Like Chicago, Gillham uses vaginal or “central core” imagery, as it came to be called, as a significant feature of her work. Her use of vaginal imagery should not be read literally, but metaphorically, as an active and powerful symbol of female identity whilst at the same time exploring her own fantasies and desires. Such fantasies are expressed through quilted combinations of found and new textiles, wool blankets, eiderdowns, clothing, and vibrant lace and velvet. (Extract from Homespun Mythologies press release, written by Janis Jefferies’).

Flower Stool, 2017

Glazed porcelain

16 L x 6.5 W x 9 D cm


I think I might be bleeding, 2016

Glazed porcelain

31 L x 32 W x 25 D cm


‘I might be bleeding’ celebrates both the brutality and glory of childbirth. I treated the clay the same way I felt my body had been treated, pulled, stretched, and opened. I feel that clay has an affinity with the body through its malleability and meatiness. I see clay as a transitional object that fills the void between the internal and external world.

Time Well Spent, 2016

Glazed ceramics and found display cabinet

75 L x 40 W x 8 D cm


Time Well Spent is a diary, documenting the time the artist spent breastfeeding her son in the first few months of his life.

” It was both a comforting and painful process we learned together. Each of the nipples become mementos of the routine and ritual of nurturing him and they are placed in a display cabinet as treasured moments.”

Artist’s bio:

Sarah Gillham is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sussex. She employes both craft and sculptural materials and processes to explore the female experience and the body. Since graduating from her MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2005, she has exhibited extensively including Bodies Undone, Blyth Gallery, London, Sixty, Art-Athena, Greece and Rumpy Bees & Pumpy Blooms, Germany as well as co-curating projects, which she uses as a research tool and to create opportunities to contextualise her practice. These projects include Sex Shop (touring), Transition Gallery, London and Folkestone Triennial Fringe funded by the Arts Council, Condensation, Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London, and Artwork/Housework, Art licks Weekend, London. Sarah has also completed commissions for The Great Eastern Hotel, London and Marlow Theatre, Canterbury and has been awarded the Painter-Stainers Fine Art award.