sarah lightman

Dr. Sarah Lightman is an artist, author and curator. In this website you can find out more about her publications, lectures and artwork. Sarah's studio is at the Koppel Hive.


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Photography by Louise Beecham

Sarah Lightman on the 'Graphic Details: Confessional Comics By Jewish Women' exhibition at  WOW, The South Bank Centre


Recent Academic Awards

Honorary Research Fellow in the School of Arts at Birkbeck College, University of London (2018/19)


Artwork in Exhibitions and Publications (2019)

A Room of One's Own (group show)

The Koppel Gallery, Soho (March)

The Book of Sarah (solo show)

The Koppel Gallery, Soho (May)


Forthcoming Talks and Workshopsin 2019

for a full list of previous talks please see here

  "The Book of Sarah", (Keynote)

(Self-) documentation and (Self) Constitution of Gendered Cultural Identities, Bochum, Germany (January)

 "The Book of Sarah"

Mathrubhumi Literary Festival 

Kerala, India (January/ February)

"The Book of Sarah",

Jewish Book Week, Kings Place, London


Forthcoming and recent publications

for a full list of publications please see here

Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me by Bobby Baker

Disability Experiences

Layman Poupard Publishing (2019)

Drawing My Jewish Studies Journey

AJS Perspectives (Winter 2018)

Going into Town; A Love Letter to New York (Review)

Jewish Quarterly (Autumn 2018)








The Book of Sarah

(Myriad Editions, May 2019)

The Book of Sarah is missing from the bible, so artist Sarah Lightman sets out to make her own: questioning religion, family, motherhood and what it takes to be an artist in this quietly subversive visual autobiography from NW3.

The Jerusalem Bible, Ellerdale Road, St Paul’s Girls School and a baby monitor: books and streets, buildings and objects ll this bildungsroman set in Hampstead, North West London. Sarah Lightman has been drawing her life since she was a 22-year-old undergraduate at The Slade School of Art. The Book of Sarah traces her journey from modern Jewish orthodoxy to a feminist Judaism, as she searches between the complex layers of family and family history that she inherited and inhabited. While the act of drawing came easily, the letting go of past failures, attachments and expectations did not. It is these that form the focus of Sarah’s astonishingly beautiful pages, as we bear witness to her making the world her own


Praise for The Book of Sarah

Leah Vincent, author

The Book of Sarah is absolutely beautiful. I love the format – it seems incredibly fitting that it is a visual book. The drawings and paintings are very potent. It’s so moving to see such intimately domestic moments collected and sanctified.’


Dr Ruth Gilbert, University of Winchester

‘In this intense and beautiful visual memoir, text and images are placed in dialogue with breath-taking eloquence. Through a delicate interweaving of images and text, the reader becomes immersed in this deeply considered reflection of gender and cultural identity. In its spirit of perpetual enquiry, it is an intensely Jewish book; but the questions it asks, about being and belonging, speak to the wider concerns of twenty-first century life. This is an achingly poignant, profoundly moving and, ultimately, hopeful book.’

Bobby Baker, artist

‘I have loved reading this book. It's packed full of the most wonderful drawings. I could quite happily keep browsing through them page by page in admiration and delight (with a tinge of envy too!). But The Book of Sarah is also bound seamlessly together by the most compelling narrative about a young women’s struggle to gain a sense of entitlement. Entitlement to be an artist, entitlement to be a mother, entitlement to have an equal and loving relationship. This is an important feminist book – as well as a real joy to read, and to own.'

Maureen Burdock, University of California, Davis

‘The Book of Sarah is an extraordinary treasure. The paintings and drawings are luscious and incredibly evocative, with the visceral quality of the thick paint and the layered graphite. The writing is heartfelt and honest, searching and tender. In The Book of Sarah art and words come together to chronicle a self-in-becoming: precarious and sometimes delicate, but, like a tenacious plant sending out tendrils of new growth, this memoir is simultaneously filled with powerful, gripping revelations of strength.’

Dr Ariela Freedman, Concordia University

‘Sarah Lightman's beautiful début combines delicate artwork with a riveting narrative about being a daughter, becoming a mother, and learning how to be a person in the world. I loved this subtle memoir about Judaism, feminism, bad dates and good books, the families we are born into and the ones we make. Welcome The Book of Sarah to the graphic canon!’

Dr Ann Miller, joint editor, European Comic Art

‘A stunning piece of work. The power of the book lies in the atmosphere created by a kind of distilled emotion in the words, alongside the very haunting images. The sense of place and associated emotions are very memorable.’


Professor Samantha Baskind, Cleveland State University

‘I love The Book of Sarah. This is a deeply layered work, from the elegant, evocative writing to the diverse range of materials - charcoal, oil paint and watercolor as well as graphite pencil. The Book of Sarah is a memoir that is rich with revelations for the reader to uncover.’


Dr Ariel Kahn, Roehampton University

‘Sarah Lightman is like the poster-child for a new kind of feminist activist—scholar, artist, curator, and cheerleader for comics that reveal and shape new forms of Jewish consciousness. Visually stunning, rich, complex, nuanced and moving: I love Sarah's work.’









© Sarah Lightman 2013