Exhibition HOPE - BAC

Exhibition HOPE officially opens this evening!

Since November 2017 Sheila has been working with a group of people who regularly work, volunteer and play at Battersea Arts Centre to co-curate and display a collection of objects and ephemera from the Wandsworth Collection (which BAC are now custodians of). The Exhibition is a scratch - a first go at seeing what such an activity means... to the building, to those involved, to the people who visit... Give us your feedback! Let us know what you think!

Further info below:

6 Feb - 10 Mar


BAC Moving Museum & Sheila Ghelani

Journey with us through the Old Town Hall building as we explore what ‘Hope’ means to us today, using stories and objects from our borough’s past.

This is a BAC Moving Museum Scratch project, using the Wandsworth Collection to see how our past might speak to the future.

Pick up a map from the Battersea Arts Centre foyer to follow our trail.

Exhibition HOPE is created by Joanna, Federica, Lainie, Zeba, Lucy, Bethany, Sofia, Sheila, Peter W and Peter H, who all have a relationship with Battersea Arts Centre, ranging from being regular volunteers on our HLF heritage programmes, attendees of the Create Course, the Elders Dance Class, the Young Producer Programme, to being a member of staff team.

Created in Collaboration with Artist Sheila Ghelani

Supported by Museums Association Transformers, Arts Council England and HLF funding




Collaboration with non zero one

Sheila is currently collaborating with artists group non zero one to create a new piece of work which will be an interactive experience using the permanent Indian collections at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge.

The experience will look at Britain’s relationship with India and where museums fit within that context, and forms part of 2017’s India Unboxed season at UCM.

Watch this space for more details...




From Object to Specimen workshops

Sheila is leading two workshops in October as part of Clod Ensemble's Under Glass Season. The first one is part of Manchester Science Festival at The Portico Library and the second is in London at Blythe House exploring the Wellcome and the Science Museum's 'in storage' collections. See below for further details:

From Object to Specimen Manchester

21.OCTOBER.2017 • 11:00 - 14:00

Part of the Under Glass season in Salford.
Presented in association with Manchester Science Festival 2017.

The Portico Library
57 Mosley Street
Manchester, M2 3HY

Tickets: £6/£4
Book now

In the 19th century, doctors began using instruments which could measure, represent and capture bodily functions such as the pulse and breath. As well as letting “nature speak for itself”, these instruments were also shaping the relationships between physicians and their patients.

In this practical workshop, led by artist Sheila Ghelani in partnership with a medical historian, participants will explore the unusual collection of the Museum of Medicine and Health, one of the most extensive collections of medical artefacts in England. By looking at the appearance, materials and functions of these objects participants will investigate how they have contributed to our understandings of health, the body and the practice of medicine. The workshop will be hosted in the Portico Library which houses a fascinating collection from the 19th century.

Speakers include:
Dr Carsten Timmermann – Academic Lead for the Museum of Medicine and Health, University of Manchester.

From Object to Specimen London

24.OCTOBER.2017 • 10:00

Blythe House Olympia
23 Blythe Road
London, W14 0QX

Get inspired by the curious medical objects behind the scenes at the Science Museum and Wellcome Collection’s stores at Blythe House Olympia. Join us for a special tour of these unique and distinctive collections with Collections Officer Natasha Logan.

This will be followed by a hands-on workshop lead by artist Sheila Ghelani. This event will ignite your imagination and creativity whilst laying bare fascinating developments in medical history and the systems of care associated with medical collections. This is a very special opportunity and due to strict regulations capacity is very limited.

This tour is a promenade experience. There will be a lot of walking, please wear suitable footwear. To ensure a prompt start at 10 we recommend attendees arrive by 9.45. 

Due to the nature of this tour and workshop it will not be possible to admit latecomers.

As museum store, Blythe House is only open to the public by appointment and is not fully accessible. If you are a wheelchair user or have other access requirements please contact and we will do our best to facilitate your needs.




Checklist of care

Last year, as an outcome of my October residency at ARC in Switzerland I wrote myself a checklist of care. I've posted it on my blog HERE in case it's of use for others.... 

If anyone has any reflections or comments on it after having a read I'd be really interested to hear them.




'Getting To Know You' with Heart of Glass

This summer Sheila has been invited by Heart of Glass to work with the residents of two Helena Partnership sheltered housing schemes, encouraging them to reach out and get to know each other.

Each week Sheila will work with residents to make out-of-the-ordinary gestures, creating a stir that reaches out to their community and invites others to step over the thresholds within the scheme.

The opening workshops saw participants create individual floral invitations, which were hand delivered to each of the properties within the scheme.

The mysterious hand printed invitations dropped through letterboxes with a note offering everyone in the scheme the chance to ‘Join Us’ – on a specific date, but with no location offered. This created a talking point, whereby participants and staff were able to share more detail about the forthcoming event.

Newcomers to the project then came out to join early participants and see a cellist and violinist perform – including the song ‘Getting to Know You’.

The growing group of residents from Parr Mount Court and Heald Farm Court will continue to work with Sheila to create new ways of getting to know their neighbours and explore the thresholds and boundaries that exist in their communities.

The project will continue throughout August and into early September. If you would like any more information please contact

Photo of invitations made by residents of Heald Farm Court

Photo of invitations made by residents of Heald Farm Court



Nature Wander - On Reflection

Sheila is making a nature wander for Wellcome Collection in July. She is showing it twice:

Nature Wander - On Reflection

Wellcome Collection
Wednesday 19 & Saturday 29 July, 15.00-16.30
Event info

Hold a black mirror carefully in the palm of your hand and scry, look, listen and think about who you are in relation to the world around you 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, over-looked, forgotten, un-noticed? You will learn about the history and use of the 'Claude Glass' by artists, sight-seers and physicians-of-old whilst also considering what this small yet beguiling instrument might illuminate about our collective future.

Photo credit: Lucy Cash

Photo credit: Lucy Cash



Common Salt pilot at b-side

Sheila and Sue Palmer are sharing their Common Salt pilot this week at b-side's Outpost on Portland in Dorset. Further details below:


A new artwork that unfolds in two parts:
a performance
a treasured artefact

A collaborative project by artists Sue Palmer & Sheila Ghelani

b-side's Outpost, Portland, Dorset
Thursday 6 July
6pm & 8pm
Free tickets available here

Following a recent residency on Portland in May 2017 artists Sheila Ghelani and Sue Palmer are back at b-side's Outpost, and invite you to attend a pilot version of the first part of Common Salt - an intimate performance which takes place around a table.

Common Salt explores the colonial, geographical history of England and India taking audience members on an expansive and emotional time-travel, from the first Enclosure Act in Dorset in the 1600s to 21st century narratives of trade, race and culture. It will activate insights into our shared past.

Sitting somewhere between a ‘show and tell’ and evidence table, this first part of the work lays out objects and unfolds forgotten narratives and maps, all accompanied by specially written text and original Shruti box laments.



ARC Spring Party

Sheila is back at ARC in Switzerland in a fortnight for their yearly spring party. She will be using the opportunity to gather feedback and thoughts on a checklist of care she has been writing for herself... In return guests will be recipients of a 'caring act'.  

Details below:


3 JUNE 2017

12:00 - 18:00 - Ongoing

Free entry

During our Spring party you can get to know several artists and practitioners who have been in residency over the past year, discover their work, participate in their projects, take part in their experiments, listen to their songs and have a drink with them.

Come and celebrate with us!

With installations, experiments, workshops, films, music, a workshop for children, performances, food, drinks, …

With Julien Babel, Giacomo Cardoni, Eduardo Cassina & Dominika Hadelova, Ciné-club Croy, CKÖ, Eclecta, Carole Frossard, Sheila Ghelani, Arielle Grasser, Asli Hatipoglu & Anastasia Starostenko, Louis Jucker, Lavinia Raccanello, Tim Shaw & Jacek Smolicki, Vreni Spiesser, Gosie Vervloessem, Julien Vuilleumier, and many others.

In collaboration with the Espace dAM

There's a free shuttle service between the station of Croy-Romainmôtier and Arc!



Residency at b-side project space

Sheila and artist Sue Palmer are in residence during May at the b-side project space Outpost, developing a new piece of work - Common Salt.

They began collaborating on the idea for Common Salt late in 2013. The work has been developed from research into the colonial and geographical history of England and India exploring the knotty complexity of lucre, enclosures and borders and the economic and social history of trade. 

As part of their residency at Outpost, Sue and Sheila will talk about their work and their current collaboration. The work will be shared at a public performance in July.

4th May, 7:00pm - 8:00pm


77, Fortuneswell

Tickets: FREE

Booking recommended as limited space:

 Artists Talk: Sue Palmer and Sheila Ghelani




SULPHUR - performances in March & April 2017

A chemical element. A part of you. A hellish tale. A foretelling.

Blue Flame… I burn with a blue flame.
I’m a yellow rock that burns with a blue flame.
Devilish and pungent. I spew from the earth.
I’m the core of the earth and I burn with a blue flame.

Sheila Ghelani gazes unfalteringly through both a microscope and a telescope to find stories that enlighten, entertain and challenge us. Sulphur, is a beguiling, playfully poetic and choreographic ensemble performance that considers the history and mythology of this most diabolical element. Together with the text, which ranges from the ancient to the futuristic, featuring contemporary performers Dora Jejey, Heather Uprichard and Jo Hellier, the piece also combines stunning video by John Hunter, sharp lighting design by Martin Langthorne and an experimental sound score by Ross Flight. Sulphur is the first in the series of a quartet of works Sheila is making under the title Elemental that will also include pieces looking at Atmospheric Forces, Breath and Flow.

Thursday 23 March, 8.30pm at Cambridge Junction, as part of Cambridge Science Festival 8.30pm
Cambridge Junction Tickets £8/£10: I Box Office: 01223 511 511
Part of a double bill of science inspired performance with Caroline Wright's Breath Control.
Tuesday 4 April, 7.30pm
Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts Tickets £12/£10: I Box Office: 01273 678822

Written & Directed by: Sheila Ghelani
Devised with & Performed by: Dora Jejey, Heather Uprichard, Jo Hellier
Dramaturg: Lou Cope
Lighting Design: Martin Langthorne
Video Design: John Hunter
Sound Design: Ross Flight
Costume Design: Lucille Acevedo-Jones
Produced by: Sally Rose

Commissioned by Cambridge Junction and Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. Research into Elemental was supported by a Wellcome Trust Research Bursary. Supported via South East Dance and Jerwood Charitable Foundation Dramaturg in Residence programme. With support from Battersea Arts Centre, Arc Artist Residency and Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre.

Supported using public funds by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Photo Credit: John Hunter, at RULER

Photo Credit: John Hunter, at RULER



Nurse Knows Best, TSOTF London 18-19 February 2017

Sheila Ghelani + guests

Broken hearts are sewn up and troubled spirits soothed.' The Guardian

Nurse Knows Best invites you to take a quick pit stop - to lie back, relax and think about how you treat yourself. It's really quite nice. You'll play patient, we'll play nurse. We've got some thoughts and some flowers, some advice and some smiles. Some treats and some sponges. Some sprays and some wiles. Don't you worry about a thing. Now just slip these off and rest your weary heart down... Let’s start with your self it needs some attention.

Guest Performers: Dora Jejey, Ellie Stamp, Lizzie Sells

Wellcome Collection
Sat 18 - Sun 19 Feb:11am - 6pm, every 15mins
FREE – drop in
Ages 12+
This event will be British Sign Language interpreted between 2-3pm on Sat 18 Feb by Rose Marie Lennon. To book an access place for this session please email or call 020 7611 2222.

The Sick of the Fringe takes place 17 - 19 February 2017
A celebration of the body - its problems and potential, at many locations (Wellcome Collection, CPT, The Place, Conway Hall) across London with many incredible artists and speakers, much of the programme is free to attend.
Find them on Facebook @tsotf and Twitter: @TSOTFringe

Photo Credit: Alma Haser

Photo Credit: Alma Haser



Sulphur - Call for performers

Sulphur - Call for performers

I am looking for x3 performers who identify as female, for my new piece of work Sulphur. 

Sulphur will involve performing a text written by me, and some simple performative actions which will be devised together as a group. 

The work, as the title suggests, explores the chemical element Sulphur, metaphorically and literally, and is also a kind of love story between humans and the element.

The text is still in development, but you can expect it to be both poetic and choreographic. 

Timeline / fees

The piece will involve 2-3 weeks paid work at £550 per week between January and March 2017. Plus a performance fee of £250 each time the work is shown. x2 venues are booked thus far in March and April 2017. You will also receive travel, accommodation and per diems.

Anyone interested in being involved should let me know by emailing over a short expression of interest (100-200 words, or a short video) explaining why they’d like to be involved and a short biography, or list of experience. If you are multi-lingual or can play a musical instrument/sing details of this would also be useful to know - but this is certainly not essential to be involved. Please also include any online links to previous works too.

Please send via email to: 

Deadline for expressions of interest: Friday 18 November, 5pm


Following the call out I will invite a selection of performers (up to 7) along to a paid workshop on Tuesday 29 or Wednesday 30 November 10.00-16.00, where we will explore the text and the ideas in the work. The aim of this will be to offer something which feels useful to the process of developing Sulphur but also relevant to the group and their future practices. 

Each person attending the workshop will receive an honorarium of £75, and travel expenses to London (if based outside of London). 

The workshop will be a chance to find out which combinations of people work and sound best together, a way of testing and hopefully establishing a temporary performance collective. Also to find out if you like working with me - more chemistry!

Following the workshop I will then contract the combination of people that seems most appropriate to undertake the final process together this time, however the aim is to also build new connections more broadly and to work with those not selected for Sulphur at a future date.

Image shows on-stage video experiment for Sulphur by John Hunter at ACCA 

Image shows on-stage video experiment for Sulphur by John Hunter at ACCA