Friday, 30 October 2009

Deserters residency


I was artist in residence at a deserted comunity centre in Nunhead. The centre was abandoned due to an outbreak of legionaires disease. Many items were left behind and I used these as well as some built interventions to create 'Deserters' for Nunhead Arts Week

DESERTERS Nunhead Community Centre
56 Nunhead Lane SE15 - Tel: 07906 206 166
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th 12-6pm

Artist Sarah Sparkes responds to the absence of community at the Nunhead community Centre.

I hope you can join us at Nunhead Community Centre this coming weekend. I've been artist in residence there for the past week and have been making work on site along with several other artists whom I've invited to collaborate with me on the project.
The centre was closed down because of an alleged contamination with legionnaires' disease and there is a feeling of sudden abandonment in the building, with the ghosts of the old community still very much in residence. The work, made on site, is a direct response to this feeling and much of it incorporates objects found at the abandoned centre.

more about the residency here:

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Fate & Freewill

FATE AND FREEWILL Contemporary Art Space, California, USA
Curated by David Leapman

'For What We Are About To Receive' Sarah Sparkes 2009, mixed media

Contemporary Art Space announces Fate and Freewill, an exhibition of UK and USA artists, with text written by Martin Holman.Private View opening October 17, 2009, 6:30 – 9:00 pm.

"There’s a work by the British artist Sarah Sparkes that raises the spectre of predestination, and (involuntarily) of Private Frazer’s portentous thousand-yard stare. A lace-rimmed, delicately-worked place mat is embroidered in gothic script with the omen “We are all doomed.” And, for good measure and compositional balance, the phrase is repeated.Only that Sparkes mixes the dark with the light. The mat is actually a plastic imitation, dyestamped in a factory, and the words are painted. It imitates the sort of domestic embellishment thought “proper” since Victorian times to protect furniture valued or cherished on account of its cost or provenance from spills and marks. What its painted incantation proclaims its decoration tries to inhibit. Handcraft to ward off, to “daintify” the inevitable into a familiar old saw, like one traded half in jest— “if the wind changes you’ll stay like that”. We know the wind will not change us irrevocably: by mouthing the warning, we give destiny the slip.Yet there it is, projected with modest means, an artwork that illuminates the “big question”: the paradox of fate and free will. The force within this deceptively simple work is its arresting tension. Sparkes’s For what we are about to receive invokes the table graces that offer thanks to God. It interrogates the evolution of prayer into an insurance policy that acknowledges that His grace rules. But are we okay with that?" (From Who’s in charge here? A new essay by Martin Holman Martin Holman for Fage and Freewill)

FATE AND FREEWILL Contemporary Art Space announces Fate and Freewill, an exhibition of UK and USA artists, with text written by Martin Holman.Private View opening October 17, 2009, 6:30 – 9:00 pm.Contemporary Art Space is a nontraditional venue for art in Riverside, CA. This will be the second show at CAS following David Leapman’s solo show Whispering Sprinkles in September 2008. Fate and Freewill showcases young and established artists from the UK and USA:

Lee Tusman, Sarah Sparkes, Hannah Schwadron, James Reilly, Danny Rolph, David Leapman, Stuart Elliot, Daniel Sturgis, and Jessica Snow. The exhibit features 4 West Coast US artists and 5 British artists in a range of media, including performance art, painting, installation, and fabric art.The theme of the exhibition is inspired by the eternal question of whether human action is a result of fate or freewill. From a philosophical point of view, there’s no scientific proof whether an action has been made by fate or freewill despite centuries of dispute by philosophers and religious scholars. The artists in the exhibit explore this duality and begin to ponder the implications of the question.Fate and Freewill opens October 17 and remains open by appointment until November 14.

For more information on the exhibit and artists, visit For more information, contact Artist and Curator David Leapman.