Common Salt (A Lament) by Lucy Cash online

The 2018 tour of Common Salt, a show and tell made in collaboration with Sue Palmer, comes to an end with a specially commissioned 'cinepoem' made by artist Lucy Cash.

Common Salt (A Lament) was exhibited at b-side festival on Portland, in September 2018. Now it's available online. Click HERE to view it (6 mins long, don't forget to turn up your volume!).

Thank you to everyone who came to see our show and tell around the table this year. It's been an extraordinary journey since we started back in 2014! We are planning future performances of Common Salt in 2019. Please get in touch with us if you are interested in hosting the piece.

It's the shortest day today and the longest night.

Warm and good wishes on this turning point of the year.

Our thanks to Arts Council England, b-side festival and Rajni Shah for supporting the work. And to the host venues: The Wellcome Collection, Bristol Library, Battersea Arts Centre, South London Botanical Institute, Frome Museum, Art.Earth at Dartington and b-side Portland. And to our Producer Sally Rose.

To read more about common Salt on my website click HERE.

Sue was also Art.Earth - September's Artist of the Month! Click HERE to read more about that.

To view Lucy's website click HERE and to view’s Sue’s website click HERE.

Supported using public funds by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Developed with support from b-side and One Final Act by Rajni Shah Projects.

Image still from Common Salt (A Lament)

Image still from Common Salt (A Lament)



Infinity Knot - Agents of Change

Sheila is presenting Infinity Knot as a drop-in activity as part of Clod Ensemble’s symposium Agents of Change: The Power of the Placebo Effect.

The event takes place on November 3rd 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM at Wellcome Collection.


Join us for a day of provocation and engaging discussion with leading scientists, cultural thinkers, artists and medics, exploring the topic of placebo. 

What is the placebo effect and what can it tell us about the way we practice healthcare today? How can expectations, suggestibility, belief, charisma of the healer, ritual and environment impact on our health? Can we be agents of our own pleasure and pain? How are we affected by those providing us with care, the manner in which we are cared for, or the setting in which care is given?

Drop in and out for the whole day, or come along to one or two of the individual sessions listed below. 

Part of The Power of Placebo – a national programme of events to accompany our new performance, Placebo.

SESSION 1: MIND & BODY (11:00 – 12:30) Featuring: Jo Marchant, Jon Stone, Suzy Willson, Peggy Shaw, Hana Ayoob (Chair)

SESSION 2: RITUALS OF CARE (13:15 – 14:45) Featuring: Sarah Goldingay, Paul Dieppe, John Fox, Christina Lee, Hana Ayoob (Chair)

SESSION 3: HEALING SPACES (15:00 – 17:00) Featuring: Elisabeth Hsu, Amy Shelton, John Burnside, Trystan Hawkins, Andrew Hall, Hana Ayoob (Chair)




Last chance to see Common Salt in 2018!

Last chance to see Common Salt in 2018!

A few tickets left for each show ....

Frome Museum, Somerset | Saturday 20 October

4:00pm & 7:00pm

Book tickets online (plus booking fee) HERE

Plus a couple of tickets for each show are on sale at Frome Museum - cash only, no booking fee.

We seat 17 people around the show and tell table for each performance.

The piece has been to the following venues so far:

South London Botanical Institute, London (part of Chelsea Fringe) | Battersea Arts Centre, London | Bristol Central Library, Bristol | b-side Festival, Portland Dorset | Dorset County Museum, Dorchester | Dartington Hall, Devon (hosted by | Wellcome Collection, Reading Room, London

Our Common Salt cine-poem made by artist Lucy Cash, was also on display from the 8th – 16th September at b-side Festival

A performance around a table - a show and tell - exploring the colonial, geographical history of England and India taking an expansive and emotional time-travel, from the first Enclosure Act and the start of the East India Company in the 1600s, to 21st century narratives of trade, race and culture.

Described recently by audience members as 'mesmerising', 'ingenious', 'spellbinding' and 'like reading a book in 3D real life!', we lay out a ‘home museum’ of objects and stories; of the Great Hedge of India, of borders, and collections – all accompanied by original Shruti box laments.

Supported using public funds by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Developed with support from b-side and One Final Act by Rajni Shah Projects.

Read more about the piece HERE

Photo by Paul Samuel White



Two Talks

Sheila gave a couple of talks in September/October. The first talk was for DIY organisation extraordinaire Girl Gang Sheffield at the Delicious Clam as part of DRAFT where she gave a brief intro to her work and discussed her Checklist of Care with around ten local artists…

The second talk was for The Praxis Forum in October - a project that offers a new form of professional development that seeks to enable artists with disabilities to engage with the art community outside of the disabled art context through participation in a programme of monthly peer mentoring forums (The Praxis Forum project is initiated by Jackie Castellano with support from The Showroom, LUX, Acme Studios, ArtQuest and DisabilityArtsOnline. It is made possible by Arts Council England through their Lottery Funded Grants for the Arts programme).



On Sulphur

On Sulphur is a micro-festival, a programme of talks, screenings and discussion about sulphur the chemical element, sulphur as metaphor, and 'Sulphur', Sheila's artwork. 

Thursday 12 July at Toynbee Studios
28 Commercial Street
E1 6AB
United Kingdom

2-5pm & 6-9.30pm.
Full day tickets: £12/£8
Afternoon or evening session only: £6/£4 concessions.
More information on sessions and contributors to be announced soon.

Click HERE to book a ticket

Through a curated programme including discussions from chemists, artistic responses, films, performance and more, On Sulphur shares the process and research that Sheila undertook to make 'Sulphur' in early 2017. 

Curated by Sheila with producer Sally Rose - this is the first time they have collaborated in putting together a programme, and this will be a welcoming space to learn, discuss and reflect on the cross-pollination between art, culture and science.

Contributors on the day include collaborators from ‘Sulphur’, and artists and scientists from Europe and the UK:

Session 1, 2-5pm: Professor Clive Oppenheimer (Department of Geography, University of Cambridge), Agnieszka Gratza (writer and drifter) and Dr Andrew Szydło (Chemistry Teacher, Highgate School).

Session 2, 6-9.30pm: Tim Spooner (who will show his performance sculpture ‘The Telescope’), Ross Williams (Science Technician, London), John Hunter (videographer for ‘Sulphur’ and artist), Marty Langthorne (Lighting designer for ‘Sulphur’ and artist) and performers in an extract of ‘Sulphur’ Jo Hellier, Katherina Radeva and Louisa Robbin. 

Including films by; Gosie Vervloessem (Belgium), Becky Edmunds/Fiona Wright, Lucy Cash and a curated selection from Cineclub Croy (Switzerland), and installations from Marty Langthorne and John Hunter. 

Supported by a Royal Society of Chemistry Outreach Fund Small Grant and using public funds by the National Lottery through Arts Council England


Image by John Hunter

Image by John Hunter




On 7 July Sheila is facilitating an informal roundtable conversation at Tate Britain, along with Lois Weaver and Dick Blackwell, discussing art, resilience and care, to coincide with the exhibition Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One.

For further details and booking click HERE




The Spring Thing

Sheila is currently visiting Arc again this week in Romanmoitier Switzerland as part of The Spring Thing:

15 - 19 JUNE 2018 

From the 15th until the 19th of June, about 20 artists and other practitioners will spend five days at Arc, deepening and interrogating their practices, discussing them, and proposing new ways to share artistic research with each other.  
What is artistic research, and why it is important to share it with others? How do you present and communicate it? What are the ideal conditions? In what ways does artistic research forge specific knowledge and initiate new modes of being? Is artistic research a radically speculative discipline? And how can we celebrate it? 

On Sunday 17th June the group invites in the bigger Arc community and anyone who is interested to join them in a four-hour forum about the topic, moderated by Philippine Hoegen. 

The Spring Thing was developed during the Re-invent the party thematic residency, which took place in February 2018, by Sally De Kunst, Sheila Ghelani, Jonas Gillmann, Ward Goes, Renaud Loda, Jacek Smolicki, Vreni Spieser, Gosie Vervloessem and Conrad Willems.  

Participants of The Spring Thing: Julien Babel, Eduardo Cassina, Sally De Kunst, Nikos Doulos, Liva Dudareva, Seraina Dür, Rita Eperjesi, Sheila Ghelani, Jonas Gillmann, Ward Goes, Arielle Grasser, Renaud Loda, Aditya Pawar, Tim Shaw, Jacek Smolicki, Vreni Spieser, Marion Thomas, Kristien Van Den Brande, Gosie Vervloessem et Conrad Willems. 
Moderation: Philippine Hoegen
Documentation: Mila Pavicevic, Julien Vuilleumier
Technical support: Bernhard Zitz
Catering: Magali Depierraz




COMMON SALT - Tickets now on sale for performances in May & June

COMMON SALT tickets are now on sale for performances in May & June. Further details below:


Common Salt is a performance around a table – a ‘show and tell’.

It explores the colonial, geographical history of England and India taking an expansive and emotional time-travel, from the first Enclosure Act and the start of the East India Company in the 1600s, to 21st century narratives of trade, race and culture.

Sue and Sheila activate insights into our shared past, laying out a ‘home museum’ of objects and stories; of the Great Hedge of India, of borders, and collections – all accompanied by original Shruti box laments.

Common Salt is a reckoning; the interconnectedness between history and global power, artefact and trade, race and memory is hidden in plain sight.

Performances in May & June:

South London Botanical Institute, London (part of Chelsea Fringe) | Thursday 24 May | 4:00pm & 7:00pm. Book tickets HERE

Battersea Arts Centre, London | Thursday 7 – Saturday 9 June | 2:30pm & 7:00pm. Book tickets HERE


Photo Credit: Paul Samuel White

Photo Credit: Paul Samuel White



On Reflection - A wander with a Black Mirror

Sheila is sharing a version of her black mirror walk again this month as part of Birkbeck Arts Week. Come along if you want to own your very own black mirror - you get one to keep as part of the event... Further details below:

Arts Week 2018: Friday 18 May

On reflection: a wander with a black mirror

When? 2-3.15pm and 3.45-5.00pm
Where? Room 106, 43 Gordon Square

Hold a black mirror in the palm of your hand and scry, look, listen and think on this walk led by interdisciplinary artist Sheila Ghelani. Sketch like a landscape painter, look like a tourist: what do you see and what remains just off to the side - hidden, overlooked, forgotten, unnoticed?

Book your FREE ticket HERE

Photo credit: Lucy Cash   

Photo credit: Lucy Cash




Creative Climate Symposium

Sheila is speaking at Creative Climate on May 8th, a Symposium at Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre organised and chaired by Seda Ilter.  Sheila will be in conversation with Lisa Woynarski, discussing COMMON SALT. More info below...

Keynote Speakers:

Zoë Svendsen (Artistic Director, METIS)

Alan Simpson (Shadow Chancellor's Advisor on Sustainable Economics, previous Labour MP)

This one-day symposium explores new critical-creative responses to climate change in performance, and discusses performance as a space of engagement with and communication of the larger-than-human issue of climate crisis (particularly in relation to the post-political climate). The symposium aims to generate vigorous conversation through dialogue-panels in which artists and scientists/academics pair up and have a discussion following their individual talks about their works.

Book tickets HERE

Photo credit: Paul Samuel White

Photo credit: Paul Samuel White



Breaking Bread: On Otherness

Sheila has been invited by cool cats Two Destination Language to be part of Breaking Bread: On Otherness at Lancaster Arts this month. Read on for further details:

Two people are sitting on a couch. A woman and a man. Coming from very different backgrounds, with polar opposite experiences, they are artists, working together.

Another artist joins them. They are talking about life, art, politics, childhood, parents, economies, ethnicity, language, accent, identity, belonging. Otherness keeps arriving. Being an outsider keeps returning. A space between, a space of being othered, keeps reappearing.

Since being awarded the 2017 Nuffield Bursary, theatre company Two Destination Language (Katherina Radeva and Alister Lownie) have been developing their latest project On Otherness in dialogue with the team at Lancaster Arts, and with a range artists who work with identity as a subject (including Jenny Sealey, Pauline Mayers, Kate Marsh, Chris Goode, Rajni Shah, Season Butler, Lena Simic, Sheila Ghelani, Peter McMaster and Tanya Steinhauser).

Through this rich collaboration, Two Destination Language are exploring the challenges and rewards of making art from the personal experience of difference or being othered. As questions around diversity and equality in our society become more present, we look at how artists’ work with their own experiences has influenced their artistic practice, the audiences they make work for and with, and the conditions in which they make work.

This May, the company are opening this conversation further by inviting you to take a seat at the table, so that together we may begin an attempt at redefining belonging and otherness. In the spirit of embracing the multiplicity, complexity and in-between-ness of our identities, Two Destination Language are working with artist Leo Burtin and producer Alice Booth to host an event that is neither a working lunch, nor a symposium, nor a performance. Though it may be all of these things.

Event information

Taking place on 3rd May at Lancaster Arts (LICA Building), the event will revolve around sharing food and feature gentle interventions by guest artists Lena Simic, Pauline Mayers, Kate Marsh and Sheila Ghelani. Each element is flavoured by the identity and practice of the participant artists. The interventions will be stimuli for conversation with neighbours as you eat, reflecting on the themes of the day, and there will be space to record responses for sharing beyond the room.

We look forward to welcoming anyone with an interest in being part of a generous response to the rapidly changing politics of identity. Please book BY MAY 1ST as this is a limited capacity event. We will email you ahead of time with further information and an opportunity to communicate your dietary and access requirements to us.

The ticket price for this event includes food and soft drinks throughout the event. Concessions are available to those who need them to attend, through self-definition. We would appreciate if those affiliated with an academic institution or regularly funded organisation book a full price ticket so we can offer further discounts and bursaries to people who would not otherwise be able to attend.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please get in touch with Leo Burtin on or call 01524 594165.