Sarah Corbett

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Sarah P. Corbett
Sarah Corbett.jpg
Born West Everton
Nationality British
Known for Founder of Craftivist Collective
For the poet, see Sarah Corbett (poet).

Sarah Corbett is the founder of Craftivist Collective, a social enterprise which uses the technique of craftivism to engage people in social justice issues. She wrote A Little Book of Craftivism which was published in 2013.[1][2]


Corbett has “a huge passion for craft".[3] She has no formal training as an artist or craftsperson, saying “I can do it anyone can do it.”[4] Her main craft is cross-stitch,[5] which she often uses to make mini-protest banners.[6] She has described her work as using “creativity to make the public aware of the struggles people are still going through".[7]

Work by Sarah Corbett has been exhibited and sold in art exhibitions[5] including:

  • 'Article 31.1' at Workshop 44.[8]
  • 'Renegade Potters and Extreme Craft' at Ink_d.[9]
  • 'Riot Here, Riot Now' at W3 Gallery.[10]
  • 'Spoken Threads' in New York and Los Angeles.[11]

She has spoken about craftivism at TedX,[2] Salon London,[1] Lost Lectures, Sunday Wise at The Ivy, the Victoria and Albert Museum and at Women's Institutes.[12]

She has also given guest lectures at Parsons The New School for Design and Leeds College of Art, and has been a Twitter chair and guest blogger for the British Museum.[13] She is a columnist for Crafty Magazine and[14] and blogs regularly for Campaign Central.[15]

Corbett was featured on Stitched Stories, a documentary by Northern Productions.[16]


Corbett grew up in West Everton in Liverpool in the 1980s,[1] when it was one of the most deprived wards in the UK.[12] Her mother is a local councillor in Liverpool and her father is a vicar.[17] Her parents have been a big influence on Corbett’s politics, for example by taking her to South Africa as a child[18] and on protests to save local housing from demolition. She has said “All we ever do around the kitchen table is talk about religion and politics.”[4]

At school Corbett was voted Head Girl and successfully campaigned for lockers for students. She studied at the University of Manchester[6] where she was active in numerous campaign groups. After graduating she took a course on grassroots community action based on the work of Steve Biko. She went on to work for various international charities in their youth and community programmes and campaigns departments, including Christian Aid and the Department for International Development.[2] In 2011 she worked on campaigns for Oxfam in London.[6] In 2012 she went part-time at Oxfam in order to devote more time to the Craftivist Collective.[17]

Corbett is a Christian who says faith plays a role in her craftivism and that she has “learnt to act out my faith rather than just talk about it".[17]

One of Corbett's most distinctive features is her tattooed arms, which include a pair of scissors wrapped in thread,[4] a sewing needle, measuring tape, and safety pins. The 'craft tattoos' remind her of “what I do and why and to make sure I keep going."[19]


  1. ^ a b c Corbett, Sarah (2013). A Little Book of Craftivism. Cicada.
  2. ^ a b c How a piece of fabric can change the world: Sarah Corbett at TEDxBrixton,, 23 October 2013, retrieved 7 January 2014
  3. ^ Nikki Shaill, Craftivist Collective, Lady Craft zine for Ladyfest Ten, Summer 2010
  4. ^ a b c Charlotte Humphery, We'll change the world stitch by stitch, Oh Comely magazine
  5. ^ a b Holly Howe, Sarah Corbett, House, Autumn 2010
  6. ^ a b c Jameela Oberman, Stitch in time, Big Issue in the North, 10–16 October 2011
  7. ^ DK Goldstein, Make a Stand, Pica Pica magazine, 2010
  8. ^ Article 31.1 programme,, retrieved 7 January 2014
  9. ^ Hannah Bullivant, The Craftivist Collective,, 5 April 2010
  10. ^ Exhibition: Riot Here, Riot Now, W3 Gallery,, retrieved 7 January 2014
  11. ^ Spoken Threads Craftivist Fiber Art,, retrieved 7 January 2014
  12. ^ a b Katie Harris, Meet the women quietly crafting their own revolution,, 13 March 2013, retrieved 7 January 2014
  13. ^ Can craft be used to help change the world?,, 31 August 2011, retrieved 7 January 2014
  14. ^ [1],, retrieved 7 January 2014
  15. ^ [2],, retrieved 7 January 2014
  16. ^ Stitched Stories: a tale of subversive stitchers,, retrieved 7 January 2014
  17. ^ a b c Sharon Barnard and Jameela Oberman, I use my craft skills as a tool for peace, Woman Alive, May 2012
  18. ^ Karima Adi, Craftivism, Lionheart magazine, issue 4
  19. ^ Ruth Lewy, I get frustrated knitting socks. I want to make a difference., The Times Saturday Review, 10 December 2011

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