Sequoia Barnes


Sequoia’s Barnes (American, b.1989) is a textile artist with mixed practices that include installation, assemblage, and performance. It is predominately centered around making processes, rituals, and modes of fashioning. Trained in semiotics, she deploys research through praxis often in her scholarly and artistic explorations of black diasporic symbolisms, storytelling as performance, and positioning the creative process as a performance/ritual. Her most recent work is a quilt/shrine devoted to communicating with ancestors.

She is interested in using the estate as a studio space as a change of environment to inspire further research and development on the performance costume/object experimentation she has been doing in residency at the Center for Contemporary Art in Glasgow. The wallpaper in the sitting room has potential to not only be re-imagined as a quilt pattern but also as a site for performance experimentation. She will be engaging with Valence House Gardens as well as the 16th century wall painting inside Valence House as sites of inspiration.

Public Programme

For her public program Sequoia will start a community quilting bee that prioritises queer people, women/femmes, and people of color of all ages. This program will have the potential to continue into the centennial year with the objective of completing a community quilt to be displayed. Beginner to experienced sewers will be welcomed with each person making their own block for the quilt.

Her recent artistic works include responses to Senga Nengudi (Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh) and Nick Cave (Tramway, Glasgow) with performative works entitled Sew Me A Quilt. Tell You A Story. (2019) and The Burden I Bear Is Heavy (2019), respectively. She is currently an artist-in-residence at the Center for Contemporary Art in Glasgow. As an associated artist, my commissioned installation, Gateway, is being exhibited in this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival. As well, she is currently completing a commission for Edwin Morgan Trust/Saltire Society in partnership with Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh as the artist selected for the Inspiring Scotland Award.

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