Portrait at Unruly Encounters, Dilston Grove, London, March 2022
by Asa Johanesson

Sharon Young is an artist and lecturer based in London.

b. 1982, Belfast

“I am an artist working with photography, film, performance and writing. I work using feminist strategies of subversion with a particular emphasis on language based artistic research. My work is concerned with systems of oppression – told through an approach to writing and image making which constantly slips between fact and fiction. I have always found the still photographic image to be very limiting. This frustration drew me to introduce text alongside my photographs. Not in order to anchor my photographs to a particular meaning, but, to recognise and assert the polysemy of the image. In my work the disjunction occurring between images and words opens a space of reflection, interpretation and reverie not domination of text over image or vice versa. I speak as a woman, yet my work is caught up in current debates on gender. I hope that the tension between a refusal to be assigned a fixed identity and the necessity to speak from a fixed identity, will result in a creative and effective refusal of dominant assumptions as to who ‘she’ is.”

Her work has been presented and exhibited worldwide including The Freud Museum, London, Stroud Film Festival, Tate Exchange; Liverpool // Venice, Encontros das Imagem, Braga; Goa Photo Festival; Cosmos, Arles; The Centre of Photography, Clement-Ferrond, Tate Liverpool, and P3 Ambika Gallery, London and has been the recipient of awards such as Flash Forward Magenta Awards, Canada and The International Photography Awards, New York. Her work is held in public collections such as the V&A Library, The Yale Centre for British Art and PhotoIreland Foundation. She has presented her research at conferences such as She is Hysterical, UCLA, PSi 25, Calgary, Ithaca College, New York and University of Oxford and CRASSH, University of Cambridge.

Sharon is a lecturer in photography, fine art and performance at Glasgow School of Art, University of the Arts, London, Ithaca College, London Centre, Boston University, Study Abroad, London and Royal College of Art, London.

She is on the steering committee of Speaking of Her; a feminist research network for the production and dissemination of art practice and research and is the director of She Speaks Up CIC.

Sharon has a PhD from the Royal College of Art entitled:

Once More with Feeling: A reinvention of ‘hysteria’; through photography, performance and autofiction.