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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


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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



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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

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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 leo@lancasterarts.org or call 01524 594165.



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Cyberspark - A video made for Andrew Poppy

Sheila collaborated with fellow studio-mate Marty Langthorne in March to make a music video for musician and composer Andrew Poppy. The video was made to accompany Cyberspark one of Andrew’s new compositions for his latest album Hoarse Songs:

10 new compositions + 10 videos by Glyn Perrin, Julia Bardsley, Tim Spooner, Moa Johansson, Sheila Ghelani, Marty Langthorne, Julian Roberts, Simon Vincenzi, Chiara Ambrosio, William Raban

Look out for Andrew on tour as he shares the album live alongside the videos…


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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 simone@clodensemble.com 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 Suzanne@heartofglass.org.uk

Photo of invitations made by residents of Heald Farm Court

Photo of invitations made by residents of Heald Farm Court