Presence! was made in 2012 as part of Battersea Arts Centre's critically acclaimed show for children and families The Good Neighbour.

In the show, children and families are split into in small groups and asked to help George Neighbour (a local Battersea hero) uncover his lost memory.  Audience go on a kind of treasure hunt around the building slowly picking up clues as to who George is and what has happened to him.

In Sheila's room two groups enter at the same time divided by a fake wall. Both sides of the wall are laid out identically and neither group is aware of the other. A mysterious video presence then instructs the groups to wrap small gifts for 'someone they might never have met before', and, once ready exchange them with a stranger through a concealed flap in the wall. There is a real element of surprise when the two groups encounter each other. Everyone also gets to take home their own gift.

 "A gift! From someone, you might never have met before (full of strength, warmth, valour, courage). A solid, a mineral, a keepsake, a rock. Something to HOLD. Something to KEEP. Something to PROTECT. Something for the FUTURE."


The Good Neighbour was re-staged by Battersea Arts Centre in December 2013. 

Sheila Ghelani’s piece asks us to participate in the simple, tender activity of wrapping a gift to give to a stranger.
— Catherine Love