Sarah Duffy

ACME Studio Award
Goldsmiths University
Master of Fine Art 


In 2014, artist Sarah Duffy won the inaugural ACME Studio award after graduating in the MFA course at Goldsmiths. The award provides graduates with space and support through a fully funded residency in ACME’s Stratford studio space, helping them to develop a sustainable practice after leaving university.

“I feel very fortunate to have received The Acme Studios Goldsmiths MFA Studio Award, a partnership award funded by Acme Studios and the ISA Charity / The Artisa Foundation. This 12-month residency has been essential to my development as an artist and has enabled me to continue on this career path. I received a free studio, a bursary, professional mentorship and a solo exhibition at The Acme Project Space; all of which have been invaluable to my artistic practice.”

Working in performance, writing, video, sound and installation, Sarah’s work explores how the female body has been used throughout history, in terms of the spectacle of the female body, the eroticism of it. Sarah’s practice focusses on uncovering hidden or forgotten narratives. Sarah has a huge fascination with the art of ventriloquism, particularly with ventriloquism’s beginnings away from its modern incarnation as a variety act that makes use of a dummy. Instead, she’s concerned with the practice of belly speaking, or speaking without movement of the lips, which extends far back throughout various religions and spiritual practices, chronicling the complex relationship humans have had with the voice over time.  

“I’m also greatly impressed by the support that both Acme and The foundation have given me. I am still in touch with many of the people that made this award happen, and I am touched by their continued interest in my work. Post residency, I had another Solo exhibition, which was curated by Adriana Paice; It was an excellent opportunity for further development. I have since been invited to participate in several other shows, including a solo performance event at The Camden Arts Centre."

"The lasting result of the residency is that it’s given me the confidence to believe that I can succeed in my future career. It can be very daunting leaving a Masters course and this award has been the perfect transition between leaving university and going it alone. I have met so many fascinating people along the way and hope that my relationship with The Artisa Foundation, Acme and the mentors I met will continue into the future.”