My work investigates how female identity is constructed and performed through the body. The female body as site and content for my work yields series in sculpture, drawing and limited-production jewelry. As content, I source and celebrate imagery and histories of women that rebel against cultural expectations of how women are supposed to act. Working inside this contested space I use traditional and non-traditional craft techniques to challenge these expectations by creating a role reversal through material. All of my sculpture and jewelry are created using some combination of steel and fiber. I set this guideline for myself as a challenge: if steel represents the masculine and fiber represents the feminine, how can I reverse their expected gender associations and challenge the status quo? As site, the immediacy of presenting the work on or referencing the body in the format of jewelry allows me to provide a direct connection to the politicized body that the work explores.
Sarah Holden received her Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a focus in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Crafts/Material Studies and Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University. Sarah has presented as a visiting artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and taught as a Metals Instructor at The Penland School of Crafts. Sarah currently teaches steel fabrication and metal forming at The Chicago Industrial Arts and Design Center. Sarah’s sculpture and limited production jewelry can be found in exhibitions and at galleries across the US. Sarah currently lives in Chicago where she works as a studio artist, metals instructor and mom.