Archives and Amazons

I made so many new works, feeling freedom again – more even than I had before without the restrictions of sign ups and timesheets, dodging undergraduate deadlines, and waiting for quiet summers.

With the strange sense of time that the pandemic brought, I re-made an entire exhibition that was planned for the year before. I didn’t love the works I had made and I couldn’t bear to show them on the bright bare walls. I fall in and out of love so easily with the cloth that passes through my hands.

The Archives and Amazons exhibition at HOME in Manchester was the product of three years of research at Glasgow Women’s Library in the lesbian archive collection. After waiting so long I still ended up in a mad rush of cloth and stitching and panic. Creating a whole new collection drawing heavily on the watercolour paintings of that first eerie pandemic quiet. 

In the long anti-social evenings, I was able to watch endless amounts of bad TV and stitch tiny glass beads – a painfully slow process, nestled in next to the swift decisive stitches of the digital embroidery machine.

Sometimes good things come to those who wait.

Quilting Circles for Pandemic Support

Feb 24, 2020

Sarah-Joy Ford highlights three groups she couldn’t have gotten through the pandemic without…

Sarah Joy: Quilting the Lesbian Archive

Issue 9: Ceramics

Find out more about Sarah-Joy Ford’s research.

Special Issue: Queer(ing) Craft

Feb 24, 2020

Catch up on Issue 8 of our journal curated by Daniel Fountain.