Sheila is an artist of Indian/English mixed heritage, whose solo and collaborative performances, social art works, installations, texts and videos seek to illuminate and make visible the connections between race, ecology, science, history and the present day.
Since 1995 her attentive, detailed and care ‘full’ practice has been cross-pollinating ideas, materials, people and places in order to un-settle dominant narratives and make space for those that are (or that which is) in-between, on the edge, in the middle, at the border.
Originally trained in contemporary dance, Sheila is interested in the relationship between art and science with particular focus on care and hybridity. She is an artist who champions making work for the passer-by.
She has made and shown work at venues and festivals across Europe including Belluard Bollwerk International in Switzerland, Fierce Festival in Birmingham, NRLA in Glasgow, Trouble Festival in Brussels, Performance Space in Sydney and the Wellcome Collection in London.
As a collaborative artist she is a long-standing Associate Artist of Blast Theory and has toured and performed nationally and internationally for them and many other companies (Duckie, Rajni Shah Theatre, Pacitti Company). She also teaches in Academic contexts and regularly mentors artists and students and gives public talks.
Sheila is an Associate Artist for Clod Ensemble's Performing Medicine Project, regularly working with medical students across London.
Sheila is a member of several self-initiated artists groups and was an Associate Research Fellow in the School of Arts at Birkbeck 2015 - 2019.
Artist Sue Palmer
Sheila regularly works with artist Sue Palmer - most notably as part of their current work Common Salt, developed over four years of research into the colonial and geographical history of England and India using nature as their guide. Sheila and Sue began collaborating on the idea for Common Salt in 2013, investigating a thread of connected narratives, originally inspired by the hedgerow, as part of Sheila’s two-year Rambles with Nature project.
Lighting Designer Marty Langthorne
Another regular collaborator is Lighting Designer Marty Langthorne who has worked with Sheila since 2004. He has created designs for shows at a range of venues, including the Southbank Centre, Sadlers Wells and Barbican Theatre as well as in multiple site specific and gallery contexts. With Sheila he has worked on Grafting & Budding, White Squall, Sugar Sugar White, Give Me Land Lots of Land, Nurse Knows Best, Covet Me Care For Me, Rat Rose Bird, Rambles with Nature and Sulphur.