Artist in residency at Undercliffe Cemetery Bradford
August -November 2018
I was the first ever artist in residency at historic grade 2 listed Undercliffe Cemetery Bradford and Working with the archives and social history collection at Cartwright hall Gallery Bradford. As artist in resident was exploring the secret and hidden women’s stories of the cemetery, in connection with the 100 year anniversary of the 1918 representation of the people’s act and women getting the vote.
below are some images taken from my residency, Images from my performance “mourn memory hold tight what binds us” And my light and sound installation and sculpture “The Relict”
below are some images, press and information from my residency which reads like a blog.
I did a interview about my art practice and my current artist residency at undercliffe cemetery with Emily Oldfield for @hauntMCR talking about Death - Art and the importance of uncovering hidden stories.
Debbie Sharp - The artist unearthing the hidden stories of suffrage and cemeteries
- Introduction and interview by Emily Oldfield
Cemeteries may be seen as places primarily associated with death, but there is a Northern artist – Debbie Sharp – who is working to celebrate cemeteries and the lives behind the headstones. She has recently begun work as artist in residence at Bradford’s Undercliffe Cemetery and her current project ‘Hidden Suffrage’ will seek to create multimedia artwork inspired by women buried there.
below are some of the press releases and more information from the start of the project.
telegraphy and argus
Artist Debbie Sharp uncovers stories of Bradford’s women with project Hidden Suffrage as first ever artist in residence at Undercliffe Cemetery.
Artist Debbie Sharp brings her project Hidden Suffrage to Undercliffe cemetery becoming the first artist in residence to work within Bradford’s ‘City of the Dead’. The residency will take place over 3 months at the historic grade 2 listed 26-acre site. The project celebrates the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 representation of the people’s act and the suffragette movement. Sharp will use her time as artist in residence to create new artworks responding to the 23-arc site and uncovering the hidden and overlooked stories of the Bradford women buried in the cemetery.
Sharp has already been inspired by the Bradford born suffragette and trade unionist Julia Varley OBE, who sharp discovered is buried at the cemetery in an overlooked grave.
“Its women like Julia Varley that I want to uncover and bring to the forefront of the cemetery to celebrate their lives. Julie Varley has recently been given a blue plaque at her former home in Birmingham but here in Bradford where she was born and then later died she is less remembered. She was fundamental in workers and women’s rights which earned her an OBE ”.
There will be a series of events inviting the public to meet the artist and be part of the project- including a public workshop to create memory cards to your inspirational women of Bradford who have passed, these will form part of a new art installation in the cemetery.
The residency will conclude with a one-off evening of art and live performance in November. with new site-specific works of sound and light bring the cemetery to life.
As part of this project Bradford born Debbie Sharp will also be researching and rediscovering the art collections of Cartwright Hall Gallery to inform new works and interventions. Keep up to date with the project at the artists website https://www.debbie-sharp.com#hiddensuffrage
The artist residency and the project Hidden Suffrage is kindly supported by Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant, Undercliffe Cemetery and Cartwright Hall.
I will be using the bandstand onsite of the cemetery as my outside artist studio where I will be building a new sculpture. watch how this space changes during my residency.
Alive undercliffe cemetery poets society
I took part this week in Alive Undercliffe cemetery poets society creating new written works inspired onsite. I really enjoyed being involved in this evening and meeting and hearing everyone read. look forward to the next one on October 11th from 7pm.
Bradford museums and Galleries
The project is in collaboration with Cartwright Hall Bradford, and I've been looking through there collections to do with women and Death, I came across these Memoriam cards in the collections, Some of the cards are connected to Undercliffe Cemetery and I will be trying to match the cards with the women buried there.
workshop to make in memoriam cards with the community.