Sally Butcher: FEED artist-in-residence

Ikon is pleased to announce Sally Butcher as artist-in-residence for Feed, organised in collaboration with Birmingham City Council and In Certain Places.

This summer, as part of Feed, an arts-based project that promotes inclusive, sustainable approaches to infant feeding and public space, Ikon hosts Feeding Chair, a collaborative artwork which invites parents and carers to body or bottle feed their babies and young children in galleries and other public venues. Featuring artwork by artist Jade Montserrat, the chair integrates audio works and videos about infant feeding, gender and public space.

Sally Butcher’s residency responds to Feed’s themes of gender, care and the space of the reproductive and maternal body, through the lens of her own practice-based research about experiences of infertility. Referencing her current PhD project on “(In)fertile Embodiment”, she explains: “I am impassioned by this residency opportunity and aim to place the woman’s (in)fertile body in conversation with the feeding maternal body, speaking not to but through women’s bodies, intersecting their silences and invisibilities as they are both absented from public space. I’m drawn to Feed’s use of women’s stories to inspire the chair’s making and the fragmented audio narratives that sit around the body in the feeding space. Developing this interest in sharing lived experience, I wish to create work using women’s words around (in)fertility not as a story-telling project, but creating pieces that brings these women’s accounts together creatively in a collective telling.”

Butcher’s residency at Ikon Gallery runs 5 June – 7 July 2024, during which time she plans to develop performative text and sound pieces which re-present the invisibilities and amplify the silences that have been enforced upon women’s bodies within institutionalised structures.

Feeding Chair is supported by Birmingham City Council Public Health, Arts Council of England and University of Central Lancashire.

About the artist

Sally Butcher is an artist, researcher, activist, and (m)other, based in Birmingham. Her interdisciplinary feminist practice draws on lived experience to engage with spheres of subjectivity and embodiment. Her AHRC funded practice-based PhD explores the ‘Invisibilities of (In)fertility between the Medical and the Maternal’ through narrative, language and bodily “data” (across School of Art, Birmingham City University and Centre for Reproduction Research, De Montfort University). Within this, Butcher is conducting a participatory research placement on Reproductive Histories and Material Cultures at the Wellcome Collection. Butcher has worked with socially engaged platforms nationally and internationally, such as Procreate Project, Coventry Biennial, Spilt Milk Gallery and Museum of Motherhood. She was shortlisted for Jerwood Photoworks Award 2021 and Brixton Art Prize 2022 and is part of permanent collections at New Art Gallery Walsall. Butcher presents at and convenes alternative academic conferences, and has writings published in anthologies An Artist and a Mother (2023) and Infertilities: A Curation (2023) and Studies in the Maternal journal (2024).



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Feeding Chair
Sally Butcher: Visible Bodies
Ikon hosts Feeding Chair (2022), a collaborative artwork which invites parents and carers to feed their young children in galleries and other public venues. Featuring artwork by artist Jade de Montserrat, the chair integrates audio works and videos about infant feeding, gender and public space.
Events/Workshop13.06.2024 / 5.30pm7.30pm
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Care, Spaces, Bodies and Creative Health
Join artists Jaskirt Dhaliwal-Boora and Sally Butcher for a workshop exploring themes of care, spaces, bodies and creative health.
Events/Workshop20.06.2024 / 5.30pm7.30pm
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Re-writing the Reproductive Body
Join Sally Butcher to re-write a feminist glossary of terms for the reproductive body.
Events/Workshop28.06.2024 / 11.00am1.00pm
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Re-framing the Reproductive Object
Join Sally Butcher, artist in residence for Feed, and Sophie Beckett, Public Health Research Officer at Birmingham Museums Trust, to re-frame reproductive objects in the collection.
Events/Family06.07.2024 / 11.00am3.00pm
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Family Saturday: Love is the dream
Join Sally Butcher for a family workshop that explores ideas of love and care that can be seen and not seen, through creative play with words, including wax resist, embossing and lino printing.

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