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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.

Contact Information

Email: [email protected]



University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh College of Art Edinburgh, UK

PHD in Design

Radical Cheek: Black Camp, Racial Kitsch, and Patrick Kelly’s Subversive Fashions’

Supervisors: Prof. Celeste-Marie Bernier & Dr. Glyn Davis

(Submitted July 2021)

University of Brighton Brighton, UK

Master of Arts in History of Design and Material Culture

Dusky Gentlemen of Fashion: Examining the Black Dandy and Mimicry as Redressing the

Black Male Identity in 19th Century America

Advisor: Prof. Paul Jobling


University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware USA

Master of Science in Fashion and Apparel Studies

Museum Studies Certification

The Way We Wore: A Digital Exhibition of Clothing and Memory

Advisor: Dr. Dilia Lopez-Gydosh


Spring Hill College

Mobile, Alabama USA

Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts

Minor in Professional Writing

Ceramic Sculpture from the Fashionable Mind

Advisor: Pieter Favier



University of Delaware Graduate Assistantship Award, 2013

University of Delaware Professional Development Award for Graduate Students, 2014

Bard Graduate Center Scholarship, 2015 (declined)

Santander International Masters Scholarship, 2015

Mainwaring Fellowship, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2017 (declined)

Edinburgh Global Research Award (University of Edinburgh), 2017

College Research Award (University of Edinburgh), 2017

PRE Grant (University of Edinburgh), 2018

Terra Foundation Research Travel Grant, 2019

‘Inspiring Scotland’ Grant (Saltire Society/Edwin Morgan Trust), 2020

Pasold Research Fund, PHD Grant, 2020

Gateway (2021), shown in What happens to desire… curated by Tako Taal, commissioned by

and shown in Edinburgh Art Festival.

Symphonophore (2021), shown/worn/performed in Sendiri by Claricia Parinussa for Take Me

Somewhere Festival Glasgow, commissioned by Parinussa.

Study the Demon (working title, ongoing), a quilt commissioned by Edwin Morgan

Trust/Saltire SOciety in collaboration with Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh.

THE BURDEN I BEAR IS HEAVY (2019), performance in response to artist Nick Cave and his

exhibition UNTIL at Tramway Glasgow, commissioned by Tramway Glasgow.

GRITS (2019), immersive exhibition/club night in collaboration with Rhythm Machine and

David Dale Gallery Glasgow, commissioned by Rhythm Machine.

Sew Me A Quilt. Tell You A Story. (2019), performance in collaboration with Dr. Carol

Tulloch/in response to Senga Nengudi’s exhibition at Fruitmarket Gallery, commissioned

by Fruitmarket Gallery Edinburgh.

maybe I want to hang in the air like smoke, thick and waiting to be moved (2019),

performance in collaboration with Christopher Kirubi and Francis Dosoo/in response to

Senga Nengudi’s exhibition at Fruitmarket Gallery, commissioned by Fruitmarket Gallery