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Artist ID: 2361

I am a fiber artist and sculptor based in Birmingham, Alabama. Also a full-time farmer, I am dedicated to the use of natural and sustainable materials in all aspects of my life. The daily repetition, intuitive experimentation, and familiar challenges of stewarding the land extends and iterates into fabric collages, vine sculptures, weaving, and knotwork as part of my artistic practice. Ancient craft disciplines form the foundation of my process, much like in farming. As I farm and as I make art, I become both an expression of my ancestors and a purveyor of alternate realities.
I explore my given identities as a multi-racial woman, mother, dirty farmer, and eager partner as a means of questioning their intersectionalities and complicating their associations. I am compelled by the collective angst and anger symbolized in knots as well as the joy and meditative peace we may collaboratively attain by methodically recreating these repeating handmade forms. As their reinforced strength and beauty unfolds over time, I cherish the opportunity to repeat myself, gaining something very small–a bit of wisdom, a new iteration, a little more strength– with each repetition. Much like my immigrant ancestors, I have found myself in a place, for me the Deep South, seemingly without reason except for the hope of something more. I am at constant odds with the land I call my home and my physical body. It is this struggle that has become my well of inspiration.

Sarah Bell is a fiber artist, sculptor, and farmer based in Birmingham, Alabama. She settled in the Deep South after years of nomadism, and is inspired by the beauty of the land and the people who honor it. She is greatly influenced and inspired by the use of natural and sustainable materials, as well as ancient craft processes and farming techniques that interweave into her daily engagement with land and materiality.

She has presented her work in group exhibitions at Harvest Roots Ferments’ gallery (2021), as well as at pop-ups and markets throughout Birmingham, including Cahabazar, Pepper Place Market, and Burdock Books Collective. Bell actively teaches workshops on natural dyeing, basket-making, and fancy knotwork, with her most recent being a class at Studio By The Tracks made possible by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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