Sarah Rushford earned her BFA from Hartford Art School in 1998, and an MA in Media Studies from The New School in 2001. Her studio is in East Boston and she lives in Boston’s South End with her husband, two cats, and dog. Rushford is a member of Grub Street Writers’ Workshop and Rise Industries, and runs Dialog Box; an artists’ critique group. She has done artist and writing residencies and exhibited work in solo and group exhibitions in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and Berlin.
I am an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in video and text art. My recent work includes What are the next three letters – a video in which women slowly say stories with their eyes closed, Jayne telephones – a text art piece that is a list of the six hundred most common women’s names paired with the most common verbs read as a one hour performance, and a series of collages using workbooks and transcribed texts. All of these works refer to prayer, repetition, chanting and incantation, and to the resemblance of prayer to modes of learning language like spelling, recital, mistake and erasure, coding and deciphering, transcription and indexing. The work has a humble, haunting, and at times humorous tone. Generally the texts, videos, and objects have an inventive childlike simplicity. The work is concerned with re‐hearing idiom and seeing what is hidden in plain sight.
Line is a common formal subject throughout the interdisciplinary body of work; for example, materials include strips, sticks, slabs, hems and threads. Visual strategies include line‐ups, cross‐outs, lists, left alignment and adjacency. Even lines of text and video clips abruptly cut are intentional formal strategies. The hand is a also a common motif, for example one hand holds up an object for examination, women raise their right hands, a group of children cup their hands, there is text applied to gloves, and the cuffs of a shirt.
Much of this work is realized through creative writing by conventional means such as free‐writing, drafting and editing, and slightly unconventional means such as mining antique school workbooks and typing manuals for evocative texts. The process is also informed by ongoing research and interest in the metaphysical charge of images and objects related to written language, image‐making, and spiritual ritual.