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Jerwood Encounters: Family Politics, preview, 2013. Photo: thisistomorrow.info.

In Memory of Sarah Williams

04 May 2021

We are deeply saddened to mark the untimely death of Jerwood Arts’ former Head of Visual Arts and friend, Sarah Williams, last Friday 30 April 2021.

Sarah passed away following over two years living with triple negative breast cancer. She fought it with her typical tenacity, energy and humour and was seeking new treatments right until the very end.  

As so many of you will know first-hand, Sarah played a huge part in the Jerwood Visual Arts programme at Jerwood Space and on tour nationally over more than a decade. Her commitment to listening to artists and championing new voices has made a phenomenal contribution to the curatorial work of Jerwood and to the many emerging artists she supported.  

Sarah curated visionary exhibitions that explored the edges of practice and art form through several shows in the Jerwood Encounters series. She was instrumental in establishing some of our major awards for artists in distinct disciplines such as the Jerwood/FVU Awards for moving-image, the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards and the Jerwood Makers Open, and led the curatorial development of Jerwood Solo Presentations, Jerwood Staging Series and Survey. The work she enabled artists to make showed how radicalplayful and intellectually curious she was. We are proud to celebrate all that she achieved at Jerwood, and her influence, which will not fade. 

Sarah always put kindness first, which made her not just fantastic to work with but a dear friend too. Many artists, colleagues and friends will say how instrumental she was in their lives, and we know so many will miss her terribly. We are heartbroken for her husband Dave, her children and family, and above all our thoughts are with them 

 

 Lilli Geissendorfer, Jon Opie and all the team at Jerwood Arts