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Sarah Maple portrait

“My work is largely motivated by my upbringing as well as my interest in activism and gender politics. Citing current affairs I create works that provoke the viewer through satirical, tongue-in-cheek commentary. My mother is a Muslim from Kenya, who married my British father in the 1970s. She raised me as a Muslim in the UK and sent my siblings and I to a Catholic school. Much of my work examines the duality of my multicultural upbringing and the conflict of identity amongst young Muslims living in the western world. I began to explore these themes after reflecting on Muslim identity in Britain post 9/11 and 7/7 and the impact of the Iraq war. Motivated by the current political climate and being from an immigrant background, these subjects are close to my heart as I question notions of identity, belonging, and ‘otherness’ in my works.

Also inspired by feminism and gender politics, my work aims to challenge deep-seated ideas about what it means to be a woman. I am interested in the role shame plays in women’s lives - how we take up space in the world, our physical appearance, bodily functions and “blame culture.” I explore the ways we can change the visual narrative for women as a form of empowerment. The medium I choose is determined by the strongest way to deliver my message; hence it is constantly evolving across a wide variety of media. Self-portraiture, for example offers the possibility of taking ownership of our image. When we photograph ourselves, we have complete control over how we want our selves, our gender, our femininity, and our sexuality to be perceived by others. Humour is also an important element in my work which I use as a ‘Trojan horse’ to get my message across. Sometimes I just like to point out the obvious as this can be the most direct way to highlight how ridiculous something is. I used to accept a lot at face value but when I discovered feminism it motivated me not only to question the role of women, but also the preconceived ideas relating to all things in society.”




Born in Sussex, 1985. Lives and works in Sussex.



2004-07 || B.A. (Hons) Fine Art, Kingston University

2003-04 || Foundation Course, University of the Creative Arts



2015 || Sky Academy Arts Scholarship

2007 || 4 New Sensations, The Saatchi Gallery 



2019 || Art50, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

2019 || Solo Exhibition KochxBos Gallery Amsterdam



2019 || Solo Exhibtion Untitled Space New York

2017 || Not My Cup Of Tea, New Art Exchange, Nottingham

2017 || Power To The People? KochxBos Gallery, Amsterdam

2015 || Keeping up with the Kapulets, Cob Gallery, London

2015 || I disagree with what you say, KochxBos Amsterdam

2014 || God is a Feminist, Golden Thread, Belfast

2013 || You Can’t Just Put Your Work Everywhere, Belfast Festival

2013 || SARAH MAPLE, Kunstihoone, Tallinn

2012 || It’s a Girl!, Aubin Gallery, London

2011 || I Wish I had a Penis, KochxBos, Amsterdam

2010 || Ich Liebe Dick, mbf-kunstprojekte, Munich, Germany

2008 || This Artist Blows, Salon Gallery, London



2019 || Sky50, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

2018 || Another England, Now Gallery London

2018 || Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London

2018 || Reinterpreting Religion, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago

2017 || No Place Like Home, Kunst Vardo, Oslo

2017 || Herselves, Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona

2016 || The Practising Feminist, Tate Britain, London

2016 || Maybe She's Born With It, Naughton Gallery, Belfast                 

2015 || Who’s afraid of Feminism? A.I.R Gallery, New York

2015 || Perspectives on Peace, York College Galleries, Pennsylvania

2015 || Abject Subject, Art Exchange, University of Essex

2015 || Views from the Edge: Women, Gender and Politics, Brown University

2015 || SHE DEVIL 7, Studio Stefania Miscetti, Rome

2014 || 50 Years On: Centre for Cultural Studies, mac Birmingham

2014 || Identity, gallery nine5, New York

2013 || Princesses, Warsaw Photo Days Festival

2012 || Culture Cloud, The New Art Exchange

2012 || The British Cut, The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong

2010 || This is England, Uno + Uno, Milan

2010 || The Man I Wish I Was, A.I.R Gallery, New York

2009 || Activities Of God, Siamsa Gallery, Ireland

2008 || UK's Future Greats In NY, White Box, New York

2008 || New Works, Scream Gallery, London

2007 || 4 New Sensations, Saatchi Gallery, London



2016 || Freedom of Speech, Sky Arts (8min documentary)

2012 || I am Sarah Maple – 14min documentary covering show ‘It’s a Girl!’

2011 || Sarah’s Barbaren – half hour documentary screened in the Netherlands on VPRO covering London solo show ‘It’s a Girl!’

2011 || ARTE - TRACKS – short documentary as part of a series on women artists



2019 || Art50, The Baltic and Sky Arts

2018 || Cover for Harper’s Bazaar Limited Edition Magazine

2018 || Another England, NOW Gallery, London

2017 || The Ned, London

2017 || No Place Like Home, Kunst Vardo, Oslo

2015 || New Art Exchange (solo exhibition), Nottingham

2015 || Art of Nuisance, The Sisters of Perpetual Resistance, London

2013 || 2Q13: Women Collectors, Women Artists, Lloyds Club London

2012 || Passion for Freedom Arts Festival, (guest artist)

2012 || It’s just like any other job…, La Scatola Gallery, London

2009 || Activism, Southbank Centre

2009 || I'm an Edgy Contemporary Artist, Manchester Festival

2008 || WWWW, Nick Knight for SHOWstudio

2007 || 4 New Sensations, Saatchi Gallery



2015 || Not My Cup Of Tea exhibition catalogue, published by New Art Exchange

2015 || You Could Have Done This (selected work by Sarah Maple 2007-15), KochxBos Limited Art Books

2015 || Visual Impact,  published by Phaidon

2015 || Women of Letters published by Penguin

2014 || Sexuality, edited by Amelia Jones, published by Whitechapel Gallery

2011 || Art & Agenda: Political Art and Activism by Robert Klanten, M. Hubner, A. Bieber. Published by Gestalten.

Saype portrait