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Sarah Nicholls

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My work revolves around the borrowed authority of printed language. I often use that tone of authority to explore the comforts and limitations of community: what kinds of things bind people together, and why it is difficult to hold that in place. I am fascinated by the way language can be used to prevent communication as easily as it can be used to foster it. I build texts by moving back and forth between collecting language and editing/rewriting. These texts often deal with coping mechanisms, grief, self-help discourse, bodies of knowledge, and memory.

I set and print my texts in lead type by hand, and am fascinated by the ritualized, physical nature of the activity. I produce works which take a long period of time to make, and which depend both on the accumulation of experience and the repetition of motion. I am interested in the ways that the process of making relates to discipline and physical endurance. Repetitive, meticulous labor is a form of training, and can serve as a way to both hold onto and to subvert uncomfortable emotions.

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