Saturday, 18 December 2010


Friday 17th December, 6pm – 10.00pm
St. John on Bethnal Green
200 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA (next to Bethnal Green tube)

GHost is here once more, with another unforgettable night of artist films, performances and moving image interventions to celebrate the darkest days of the season and to welcome in the ghosts that inhabit them.
In the lofty shadows of this atmospheric John Soane church, hosts and guests become GHost-hunters bedazzled by artist films on a movie-sized screen in the nave, and haunted by moving images, transmissions, interventions and performances in the foyer, belfry and beyond...
Warming seasonal drinks will be served

NOTE: The exhibition can be viewed throughout the night 6pm - 10pm and the film screenings in the nave start at 8.30 pm.

Nichola Bruce, Gail Burton & Marc Vaulbert de Chantilly with The East London Secular Choir, Antonia Carrara, Jo David & Alex Baker & Kit Poulson, Rebecca Feiner, Romeo Grünfelder, Michelle Hannah, Simon Hollington & Kypros Kyprianou, Theo Kaccoufa, Miyuki Kasahara, Output Arts, Matt Rowe, Manuel Saiz, Sabine Schöbel, David Secombe & Andrew Martin, Sarah Sparkes, Kate Squires, Ricarda Vidal, The Reverend Marc Vaulbert de Chantilly, The Phantom Organist, The Daughters of Gef, Neil Wissink

map here:

GHost is led by Sarah Sparkes and Ricarda Vidal
more information:
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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Hosting 4: GHost-hunters 2

Vigil Group - Blue Firth, Mark Pilkington, Dr David Luke

Date: 16 November 2010, 6.30pm – 9pm 

SEE MORE on the GHost blog


Venue: The Senate Room, 1st floor, Senate House South Block,
University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Join us for the fourth GHost Hosting, an evening of exploration into the phenomenon of ghost-hunting, including the findings from the recent and very marvellous 'Vigil' at the Royal Academy and a dissection of the substance of ghost-hunting inside the world of television.

The stately Senate Room is haunted by the smell of academic incense and the ghost of the blue lady may be heard scratching from behind the wood-panelled walls.
Come and play with us...

Lucy Bensusan, “Most Haunted Live” – Interactive Television and the Domestic Ghost Hunter

Blue Firth, David Luke, Mark Pilkington, Vigil

Followed by discussion including the parapsychologist Dr. Ciarán O'Keeffe.
London spirits will be served.

This event is free but places are limited – to secure your seat please email us at

Abstracts of presentations

Lucy Bensusan, “Most Haunted Live” – Interactive Television and the Domestic Ghost Hunter

'The camera as we know it now and in its future manifestations will continue to function as an apparitional apparatus.' (Daniel Wojcik, 'Spirits, Apparitions, and Traditions of Supernatural Photogrpahy', Visual Resources.)
The subject was initially born from a personal interest in the paranormal, but as I searched for something spooky to watch in the evening I became increasingly aware that I was spoilt for choice, and the body of preternatural television texts that are marketed as either documentary, reality or investigative is more dominant than ever before in television history.
Crucial to my investigation is how Most Haunted Live innovates the traditional notions of live broadcasting as media event, monopolises upon the advantages of digital television, explores multi-platform delivery, creates cult viewing, encourages high levels of audience interactivity to produce an active television viewer, and therefore an active ghost hunter operating from their own domestic sphere. Whilst textually analysing the ideology, address and format of programmes such as these, this project investigates what properties inherent to the medium of television make it suitable as a vehicle of supernatural factual or reality programming. Initially, one must observe to what extent this portrayal of the contemporary investigator imitates previous incarnations of psychic entertainment, but also contemporarily how does Most Haunted revise, re-work or create new formats of television programming? Finally, this discussion will encompass arguments over the potential of the medium of television to be used to channel the deceased, encouraged by televised paranormal investigations, and being able to function as an 'apparitional apparatus', both letting the viewer see far into the distance whilst possibly bringing an unknown energy into the domestic sphere.

Blue Firth, David Luke, Mark Pilkington, Vigil

VIGIL is a participatory investigation into alleged paranormal phenomena at The Royal Academy Schools in Piccadilly, London. It was conducted in October 2010.
The project arose from first hand accounts of anomalous experiences told to RA student Blue Firth by security guards doing night shifts on the site. Their descriptions prompted Blue to unearth a history of unusual phenomena at the Academy buildings.
Wanting to explore these occurrences further, Blue brought in parapsychologist Dr David Luke and fortean author-curator Mark Pilkington. Together they attended training seminars with the respected investigation group ASSAP (Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena) and devised Vigil according to their guidelines. Blue and Mark also interviewed veteran psychical investigator Guy Playfair, who in 1977 experienced, and documented, dramatic poltergeist phenomena at the home of the Hogdson family in Enfield, North London.
Vigil took place over two evenings in October, during which 120 people participated over six sessions. Each session lasted 30 minutes and was conducted in total silence and complete darkness; subjects were asked to complete psychometric assessment forms and detail any unusual sensations felt during the session. Trained medical and psychological facilitators were on site to assist with the project.
For Hostings Blue, David and Mark will present a performative summary of their findings incorporating data and documentation from the Vigil sessions. 

Friday, 12 November 2010

400 Women

400 Women is an exhibition of new work by 200 artists in response to the murders of women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. A project by Tamsyn Challenger, curated by Ellen Mara De Wachter.

Each artist was given the name of a murdered woman. Some had a photogragh, others just the name.
I was given the name:

María de la Luz Murgado Larrea Gutiérrez
The first exhibition of all 200 paintings took place at Shoreditch Town Hall fro 12 November - 5th December.

I searched for information about her on the internet and found only an autopsy report. Maria was strangled in a motel room.

I painted her as a Soldaderas, a woman soldier from the Mexican war of independence.
You can read more about 400 women here

Friday, 5 November 2010

The Infinity Box

Something is waiting for you in the Belfry!'The Infinity Box' - Sarah Sparkes

Private View:November 4th 6 - 9pm arrive early for some homemade soup.
drinks will be served.

I built a shed in the Belfry of St Johns. Placed to the back of this narrow, alcoved space and angled awkwardly, the visitor was forced to squeeze down a small passage at it's side. After climbing the winding stone steps to the Belfry, visitors were confronted with an illuminated sign slowly pulsing with the maxim, NEVER AFRAID . The far side of the shed was lit-up with a halogen lamp, placed in a corner, so that it's rays glancing off the roof of the shed up to the ladder and opening leading up into the Belltower. The shed door contained a small 'spy-hole' through which a flashing tunnel of lights could be glimpsed, dancing off into infinity.

Opening night is part of First Thursdays atThe Belfry, St John on Bethnal Green200 Cambridge Heath RoadLondon E2 9PA(next to Bethnal Green Tube)

The infinity box is an old optical trick using simple technology to create a �Tardis-like� illusion of a space larger on the inside than it appears from outside. For some years, Sarah Sparkes has been exploring the potential of these boxes, previously installing them into coffins, built to fit the artist. Viewed through a peephole, a portal opens out into a limitless dimension, referencing both our arrival into this world and our departure from it.The Belfry will become home for a structure, which is domestic and everyday, whilst serving as a gateway to explore a fascination for �other worlds
Exhibition open Sundays 12-5pm until Dec 2nd.Closing event First Thursday, December 2nd - 6-8 - Sandra Sykorova and Sarah Sparkes, 'one-to-one with infinity' or by appointment

Sunday, 17 October 2010


Sandra Sykorova and Sarah Sparkes present
"One-to-One with Recessional Aesthetics"
as part of a one day event organised by
Sunday October 17th
at James Taylor Gallery
Collent Street (just off Well Street) 2pm - midnight

Bring some food, join the dinner and discussion.
You will be called for your 'one-to-one' with Recessional Aesthetics

Sarah and Sandra

 ‘Recessional Aesthetics’ was a discursive event organised by (founded by artists Karen Mirza and Brad Butler) at the James Taylor Gallery in Hackney,  Sunday 17th October, 2pm - 12 pm.

One of the large rooms of JTG, a not-for-profit exhibition space established by two artists in a large sprawling, multi-roomed warehouse in Hackney, was set out with a long dining table  and looking like cross between a communal canteen and a bourgeoisie dinner party. Around the table sat different thinkers and makers presenting ideas, films, performance, readings all designed to open discussion related to the economic, political, and social implication of the forthcoming cuts. Throughout the questions raised included “how we are working in the Arts?, how have we worked?, and how are we expected to work?”

The event was free to all, but participants and guests were asked to bring food to the table,  invited to sit down to dine and to contribute to on-going discussions which were both fed by and fed into the content of the program of presentations.

For the full duration of the event, in the far corner of a room adjacent to the main dinner and discussion , artists Sandra Sykorova and Sarah Sparkes’ created a space for a more personal discourse during a ‘Recessional Aesthetics One-to-One’.

On arrival, guests were given number cards. Periodically and at the push of a button a number screen in the dinning room generated random numbers.  The number holder was then invited to join one of the artists in the back room for a ‘one-to-one’. 

The ‘one-to-ones’ took place at a small dinner table where those selected where invited to sit upon a toilet and choose a ‘question dish’ to their taste then spending time discussing this topic with one of the artists.  The questions were written upon a stack of paper plates and taken from many current sources of thought and writings about the roles of art, artists, aesthetics and economics.  The responses were recorded on a typewriter by the artist acting as a scribe to create a documentation of the ideas exchanged.

The interviewee sat upon a white porcelain toilet, a reference to Brunel’s film ‘phantom of liberty’ the title of which is a homage to the opening sentence of Karl Marx and Friedrich EngelsCommunist Manifesto ("A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of Communism").  On another level the aesthetics of this performance, also referenced the dis-empowering, bureaucratic approaches of institutions and the recourse to humour that often occurs during times of hardship.  Paradoxically, the content of the exchange in this absurdist setting, was largely passionate, empowering and humane. The interviewee and interviewer feeling a sense of conclusion, discussions always ending by mutual agreement.

some of the responses from participants of the ‘one-to-ones’ will be posted on a 'one-to-one' blog coming soon!:


From 2pm - midnight
Sandra Sykorova and Sarah Sparkes
Recessional Aesthetics: one to one

"Workers Playtime" by Simon Bookish
William Raban
The Fiction of capitalism: The potential for an exponential decline?

David Graeber
Debt: the First Five Thousand Years

Oliver Rees
Address to Congress.

Ellie Harrison, Rachel Pimm and Edward Dorrian
Risk, responsibility and public money

Lutz Becker, Karen Mirza, Brad Butler
The Aesthetics of Resistance

15 minute break

Stefano Harney
For most people the crisis has just begun…

Maxa Zoller and Claire Tancon with William Cobbing
Processional Aesthetics

Alana Jelinek and John Reardon
De-schooling society

Dean Kenning and Paul O Kane
The Inoperative Community

Matthew Stone/Cedar Lewisohn
Interconnected Echoes/The Gut Club

About Now MMX by William Raban:
film screening: 27 mins.

It is certain that we are all currently engaging in personal and sometime public conversations around the arts and the cuts and what to do in the face of the dramatic changes that are in motion. We are witnessing different strategies of mobilisation across the breadth of cultural production and we know that the arts are not alone, the public sector as a whole is to be cut and as such we all have different questions and pressures we are asking of ourselves on fundamental levels.

In this light this event is proposed as a frame for exchange at James Taylor Gallery. As you may know James Taylor Gallery is not a traditional gallery space, it is best described as an artist occupation of a 25,000 sq foot space in the East End awaiting finance for its planning permission for conversion to luxury flats. In the meantime the gallery is an artist run live work space that sites exhibitions whilst facing a rolling 2 month notice of eviction. We felt this a fitting space for discourse combining a vast space, the gallery's fragility, and the context of a group exhibition that will not only stretch over the Government announcement of the cuts - but also the weekend of Frieze.

This invitation is to attend and participate in Recessional Aesthetics; a durational, discursive event produced, staged, and facilitated by the context of the space and the conditions of our present moment. This will take place on Sunday 17th October from 2pm - 12 pm and is to be sited around a long dining table, a cross between a commune (communal) dining hall and a (bourgeoise) banqueting dinner. Around this table on the hour different thinkers and makers will open a discussion in relation to the economic, political, and social implication of the forthcoming cuts. Whilst different individuals will lead each hour according to a schedule - the forms of such a participation are free and may take the form of people / collectives conversing, cinematic interventions, readings, or performed works. Time keeping will be upheld by sonic interruptions on the hour from the series “workers playtime” in homage to the radio series started in 1941 “to keep up the morale of the workers”. Throughout the questions raised will include how we are working in the Arts?, how have we worked?, and how are we expected to work? So the day will act as a durational discursive event, a coming together of individuals as part of a collectivity operating in the threshold of the public and the private, an image, a staging and an active discussion.

Your discourse is welcome. You are free to sit down, eat, and to join the discussion. We ask only that you bring a food offering for the table.

... a thought must be coarse to find its way into action. Bertolt Brecht

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Rhizomatic- Departure Gallery

RHIZOMATIC 1st October – 12th November 2010 by appointment.Private View Friday 8th October, 6 - 9.30pm (free taxi shuttle from Southall, see below) Departure Gallery, 5 - 6 Boeing Way, The International Trading Estate, Brent Road, Southall, London UB2 5LF.

A host of artists showing work in two awesome warehouses.

Needless to say I picked the scary warehouse and hung up some 'Never Afraid' Bunting as a welcome to visitors

Here's how it works - Rhizomatic is an experimental, decentralised curatorial system based on the concept of the Rhizome, as explored in Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophical masterpiece A Thousand Plateaus. This is Departure Gallery’s largest and most ambitious show so far and includes work by over two hundred artists exhibiting in 100,000 sq ft of warehouse space.Selected artists associated with Departure Gallery were each invited to choose up to six artists to exhibit alongside them. In turn, this second generation were encouraged to invite a further six participants, making a third generation, who could then invite six more. This six-link structure was inspired by the idea that all humans are connected by ‘six degrees of separation’. A rhizome is a sprawling, unhierarchical system of connections that are constantly in flux and can spring up at any moment in space and time. This exhibition does not seek to fix the rhizome by presenting it in a finished form, but, rather, it represents an attempt to freeze a moment of this rhizomatic process in the interests of examining its structure more closely. Furthermore, the show aims to catch a glimpse of the creative networks within which Departure Gallery’s artists operate, in order to locate ourselves within the wider art world. “Principles of connection and heterogeneity: at any point a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be…A rhizome ceaselessly establishes connections between semiotic chains, organisations of power, and circumstances relevant to the arts, sciences and social struggles.” Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus. This rhizomatic structure has particular resonance in the context of The International Trading Estate, which is a hub of haulage and distribution companies sorting and transporting goods in flux between producer and consumer.
The exhibition will not constitute the end of the rhizome, because a true rhizome has no beginning or end, but is ongoing and unlimited. Each artist involved will continue to make connections during and after the exhibition through the contacts and ideas that emerge as a result of the show. This opens up the possibility of creating a larger sequel exhibition at some point in the future. Who knows where this will go and what might result?
Louise Ashcroft, Curator.
Getting There: Take national rail from Paddington to Southall (14 minutes) then buses 105, h32, 105 or 482 to Brent Road. On the private view night there will be a free taxi shuttle from Southall Station between 6pm and 9.30pm- turn left out of the station and follow the signs to the shuttle stop.For more information or to make an appointment please contactlouiseashcroft@departuregallery.comLouise AshcroftDirector of ExhibitionsDeparture Gallery

Ancestors - I was selected by Ben Woodeson, who was selected by Russell Herron and I need to check on who selected him!

Nunhead Open

The film documenting my residency at Nunhead Community Centre was shown at this years Nunhead Open, an annual Art Exhibition at The Nunhead Community Centre. 10-12 September 2010

see more about events, projects, artist films and performance taking place alongside the Nunhead Open:

Sarah Sparkes, Deserters, 2009, 2 mins 36, dvd format Fri- Sunday 12-5pm Sarah Sparkes was the artist in residence at The Nunhead Community Centre during Nunhead Arts Week 2009. Sarah examined the absence of community at the the abandoned centre. The film Deserters was made during Sarah's residency and returns to haunt the community centre on a plinth, made from cushions left behind by the old people, on a tower a-top of Great Aunt Vera's Table.

This still from the film shows the portal I made inside a coffin at the community centre:

You can watch my film documenting the 'Deserter's Residency' below. The film shows the interventions I made in the space which were largely constructed from the furniture and objects left behind by the community. The bunting was from the silver Jubilee and was 'made over' by COTH (Sarah Sparkes and Simon Neville). I asked Derek Jordan to sing some popular war songs andit is his voice hauting the space:

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Hostings 3 - GHost-hunters 1

Date: 12 October 2010, 6.30pm – 9pm This event is free but places are limited – to secure your seat please email us at
Venue: The Senate Room, 1st floor, Senate House South Block,
University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

GHost invites you to join us for three presentations on the wondrous world of ghost hunters in film, in video games and in real life. A 'blue lady' is said to haunt our atmospheric venue, so you'll have the the chance to do a bit of ghost hunting yourself.

Maya McKechneay, "Respectable Gentlemen, Techno-geeks and Wise Women: Gender Roles in Ghost-hunter films"

Scott Wood, "Elliott O’Donnell: Number 1 Ghost-hunter"

Rob Gallagher, “Press X to Enter”: Videogame Ghost Hunts and the Horror of the Object"

The event is part of the GHost project, led by Sarah Sparkes and Ricarda Vidal

Maya McKechneay, Respectable gentlemen, techno-geeks and wise women: gender roles in ghost-hunter films
In fiction films ghost hunters are usually portrayed in a standardized way: There is the stereotype of the respectable gentleman in the Brit-Mood-Horrorfilm. Like Dr. John Markway in Robert Wise’s “The Haunting” or Mr. Barrett in John Hough’s “The Legend of Hell House”. The respectable gentleman-ghost hunter has greying hair and is on top of the hierarchy within the team he assembles around him (the psychic-medium, the experienced eye-witness, etc.) ... which makes him the love interest of the female participants. There is the clergyman, deeply afflicted by his responsibility, who performs an exorcism, most famously Max von Sydow in William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist”. Then of course, there is the comic ghost hunter: you’ll find him (and his technical gadgetry) in Ivan Reitman’s 1984 classic “Ghost Busters” and its sequels or in family entertainment like “Disney’s Haunted Mansion”.
Female ghost hunters usually choose the mental path and take the role of the psychic medium. They rarely use machines or technical gadgets like the male ghost hunters. Women lure ghosts out of their hidings with their mind, they try to establish communication and offer to be the therapist. Some even offer their voice and body to the ghost, which may take the form of a more or less explicit metaphor for the sexual act.
Ghost hunting is an archaic profession, so – not surprisingly – gender roles are firmly cemented. Still: the classical male ghost hunter is usually far less interesting than his female counterpart. While he is in for ratio and eventually knows less than he thinks, she always seems to know a little bit more than what she chooses to tell the audience.
Maya will explore the gender-theme by talking about some spectacular (and some spectacularly crappy) films. She will also show clips from the films.

Scott Wood, Elliott O’Donnell: Number 1 Ghost hunter.
“And now, as I stared in wonder –and, I admit, not a little fear – I saw something rise from the floor and advance towards me.”
Elliott O’Donnell (1872 – 1965) was an Irish ghost hunter and writer who couldn’t have a drink in his club, sit on a park bench or stay in a boarding house without someone telling him their encounter with a ghost or seeing something spectral himself. His mother was psychic, he saw his first ghost, with “yellowish green and sphinx-like” eyes at the age of 5, he was throttled unconscious by a dangerous spirit in Bristol and his father’s death was heralded by the family banshee. He wrote many books based on these encounters that tell wild tales of almost medieval ghosts and spirits, all with spare but well round narratives attached to them.
Scott Wood, of the South East London Folklore Society and Fortean London column, picks out and discusses some of O’Donnell’s stories, compares them to our meagre contemporary ghosts stories and tries to find out who Elliott O’Donnell was through his stories, ghosts, opinions on Celtic identity and his eagerness to prove his own membership of the O’Donnell clan.

Rob Gallagher, “Press X to Enter”: Videogame Ghost Hunts and the Horror of the Object
Rob will discuss the Fatal Frame, Silent Hill and Forbidden Siren videogame series, all of which allow players to go hunt ghosts from the (dis)comfort of their own settees.
While the games remediate various tropes from gothic literature and horror cinema, their plots – and their marketing campaigns – have also drawn heavily on the culture of contemporary ghost hunting and paranormal investigation: the Siren games were promoted via a series of hoax websites and blogs purportedly maintained by in-game characters, while Fatal Frame was marketed in America as ‘based on a true story’ - a claim that catalysed widespread online debate as to the location of the game’s (fictional) setting.
These electronically-orchestrated misinformation campaigns hint at a dominant theme in the titles, which are profoundly preoccupied with the capacity of technology to unearth and make sense of the past. While all the games stage dramatic confrontations with spectral, undead or demonic antagonists, the horror they generate turns out to have much more to do with the ghostliness of electronic media and the intractability of material objects; players spend as much time fiddling with cameras, radios and telephones, collecting keys, lockets and dolls as they do discharging firearms.
What emerges is a fear of the capacity of objects to look back – both in the sense of indexing the past, and that of seeming, uncannily, to return the player’s gaze. Via a reading of these titles informed by Sartrian phenomenology and the ‘thing theory’ of Bill Brown, Rob hopes to throw light on their presentation of ghost hunting as paradigmatic of modern experience and to suggest how their interactivity furthers this end. He will use footage of play to illustrate his argument.

If you want to attend more hostings in the ghost hunters series please put the following dates in your diary:

Hosting 4: Ghost hunters 2: 16 November 2010, 6.30 – 9pm
Senate Room, Senate House, University of London

Lucy Bensusan, “Most Haunted Live” – Interactive Television and the Domestic Ghost Hunter
Blue Firth, David Luke, Mark Pilkington, "Vigil"

Hosting 5: Ghost hunters 3: 18 January 2011, 6.30 – 9pm
Senate Room, Senate House, University of London

John Hyatt, The Uncanny in the Everyday
Hannah Gilbert, with (Films by Amanda and Rachael Hayward) Translation for the Dead
James Thurgill, Ghost hunting and the architecture of Hauntology

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

GHost III - film call


“Ghost-hunters”A project by Sarah Sparkes and Ricarda Vidal
17th December 2010, 6 - 10pm at St Johns Church on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA

We are inviting submissions of artist films on the theme of ‘Ghost hunters’. We welcome short films, but will consider films of up to 20 minutes in duration. Films should be suitable for screening as part of a show reel, rather than for installation. The works will be screened on a big screen in the nave of the church of St John Bethnal Green as part of “GHost III”, an annual weekend-long exhibition with performances and screenings.

We are interested in moving image works which explore the various angles and aspects of ghost-hunting.

"HAUNTED HOUSE: Responsible persons of leisure and intelligence, intrepid, critical, and unbiased, are invited to join rota of observers in a years night and day investigation of alleged haunted house in Home counties. Printed Instructions supplied. Scientific training or ability to operate simple instruments an advantage. House situated in lonely hamlet, so own car is essential. Write Box H.989, The Times, E.C.4"

This ad appeared on 25 May 1937 in The Times. It was posted by Harry Price, an early-20th-century ghost-hunter who was looking for fellow researchers to investigate the paranormal activities in Borley Rectory, allegedly Britain’s ‘most haunted house’. While it is unlikely that a similar ad would be taken seriously by most readers of The Times these days, TV-shows such as ‘Britain’s Most Haunted’, or cinema films such as Paranormal Activity (2010) as well as the abundance of websites dedicated to the paranormal attest to the continuing interest in the field. In some sense ghost-hunting has become popular entertainment, but its popularity is also an expression of a need to prove the existence of life beyond death.

Deadline for submissions: 1st November 2010

Please send submissions to:
S. Sparkes
9 Venetian Road

Or hand-deliver your films to
R. Vidal GHost IIIInstitute of Germanic & Romance Studies School of Advanced Study Stewart House, 32 Russell Squ, London WC1B 5DN


For more info please see our webiste:
Or join the GHost group on Facebook:

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Spirit of Hackney Wick

Spirit of Hackney wick
July 23rd, Stour Space, London

A night of artist moving image art, organised by Rebecca Feiner.

I showed the work 'Classic',
which was first shown at the exhibition Driven which I curated in 2006 at the legendary Fieldgate Gallery.
This work has been best described as 'car porn'

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

TRANSZENDENZ INC. Catalogue Launch, Auto Centre Berlin

'enjoy paradise' by Sarah Sparkes for the CCE (Andrew Cooper, Dean Kenning, Sarah Sparkes)

Part of the collaborative work made with the Cultural Capital Exchange can be seen at the Auto Centre in Berlin from:

July 16th - 31st

opening hours Thurs-Sat 4-6pm

Approach a piece of your present limit and try to pass it

Catalogue Release

curated by Heike Kelter + René Luckhardt

with: Kathryn Andrews, Liu Anping, Robin Archer (House of Harlot), Bara,
Quirin Bäumler, Tjorg Douglas Beer, Olivia Berckemeyer, Hanna Mari Blencke,
Mike Bouchet, Pontus Carle, CCE (Cultural Capital Exchange: Sarah Sparkes, Andrew Cooper,
Dean Kenning), Ben Cotrell, Robert Crotla, Matthias Dornfeld, Anna Fasshauer,
Kerstin von Gabain, Gabo, Andrew Gilbert, Mariola Groener, Axel Heil, Thilo Heinzmann,
Andreas Hofer, Valeria Heisenberg, Uwe Henneken, Christian Hoischen, Phillipa Horan,
Axel Huber, Marc Hulson, Marcel Hüppauff, Franziska Hufnagel, John Isaacs,
Heike Kelter, Dean Kenning, Martin Kippenberger, Erwin Kneihsl, Gabriel Kondratiuk,
Rodney LaTourelle, Joep van Liefland, Chris Lipomi, Gavin Lockheart, René Luckhardt,
Roman März, Bernhard Martin, Hans-Jörg Mayer, Joe Neave, Aribert von Ostrowski,
Francis Picabia, Esther Planas, Katrin Plavcak, Janne Raisanen, Robert Rauschenberg,
Berthold Reiß, Anselm Reyle, Stefan Rink, Anne Roessner, Hank Schmidt in der Beek,
Markus Selg, Astrid Sourkova, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern,Thomas Schroeren,
Andreas Templin, Katrin Thomas, Henry Vincent, Milena Vrtalova, Felix Weber,
Dominic Wood, Ulrich Wulff, Iskender Yediler, Philipp Zaiser, Joanna Zawodzinska, Thomas Zipp

184 Seiten, Hardcover im SchuberTextbeiträgen von: Veit Loers, Prof. Dr. Horst Luckhardt, Pfarrer Helmut A. Müller, Berthold Reiß und Dr. A. C. Uhl

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Screening of 'Comrades' at St John on Bethnal Green

A Lanternist's Account of the Tolpuddle Martyrs
Dir. Bill Douglas *“A poetic and painterly work which was also a vigorous challenge to Thatcherism”

I've selected a film for Phantasmagloria Film events and will introducing be screening it on:

8.00pm – 11.00pm
(Doors and Real Ale Bar open at 7.00)
Entrance £4 or £2concessions
Eight years in the making, released in 1987 and rarely screened since, 'Comrades' tells the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs, six Dorset agricultural workers who, in 1834, were sentenced to transportation to Australia for forming a union protesting against unlivable cuts in their wages. The Martyrs cause was taken up by trade unions across the country, who mounted campaigns for their release. Against all odds, the Martyrs were pardoned. The victory became a symbol to a working-class movement of the power of working together to instigate changes in economic, social and political structures.
'Comrades' visual beauty is complimented by the narrative use of many early optical devises from Bill Douglas's own collection. These touch, in a variety of ways, on the history of pre-cinema and the political role that this visual media has played throughout history.
The wealthy and titled are played by well known actors of the day whilst the film's main working class characters are played by then unknowns.
**"We only have to love one another to know what we must do."

It is recommended that you bring a cushion as the pews can get rather hard during a three hour film!
St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Road - Tube: Bethnal Green
PhantasmaGloria is a community arts project of the church of St John on Bethnal Green; St John on Bethnal Green is a registered charity:

*Sheila RowBotham on Comrades re-release; **line from the film Comrades

Thursday, 1 July 2010


I have a 'Never Afraid' painting at SOLD OUT Elastic Residence, 22 Parfett Street, London, E1 1

2 July - 18 July 2010
Opening Thursday, July 1st,

6 to 10 pm

'Never Afraid 7 - Roman Way' paint and glitter on wall paperSarah Sparkes 2009

Sold Out brings together a group of internationally renowned and emerging artists to raise funds for Elastic Residence and The Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund. Opening night performances include Martin Creed and His Band, whose music has been described as willful, wild and pushing the extremes of noise and silence. Among the internationally renowned artists showing, Beat Streuli provides an image from his Brussels series, characteristic of his street portraiture that captures the extraordinariness of the everyday, urban experience. From the well-known UK contributors, Daisy Delaney donates work that specifically responds to Sold Out, and subverts familiar images to deliver unexpected messages. The event closes with a performance by Gina Birch & Hayley Newman of the Gluts, concerned with the effects of over-consumption, capitalism and climate change. Artists donating work to the exhibition include Beat Streuli, Lee Maelzer, Yvonne Buchheim, Marie Le Mounier, Marc Vaulbert de Chantilly, Paul Sakoilsky, Daisy Delaney, Calum F Kerr, Cathy Lomax, Dolores Sanchez Calvo, Carla Cescon, Shiva Lynn Burgos, Andrew Hurle, Brook Andrew, Laura Oldfield Ford, Linda Persson, Rosa Almeida, Sayshun Jay, Marcus Bering, Isabelle Francis, Jan Savage, Sarah Sparkes, Tod Hanson, Sarah Doyle, Jessica Voorsanger, Rosemarie McGoldrick, Meinbert Gozewijn Van Soest, Richard Ducker, Paula Roush, Peter Bobby, Cyril Lepetit, Deej Fabyc, Simeon Nelson, Sean Edwards, David Blandy, John Hillson, Dave Hoare, Simona Bonomo, the Gluts, & Martin Creed & his BandWork will be for sale by auction on the basis of sealed bids that can be placed at any point during the exhibition until the closing event on July 18th. On this last day, all bids will be opened and the ‘winners’ informed.Dates:1st July 2010: Opening night performances including Martin Creed & his Band, 6-10pm.The exhibition is then open every Saturday and Sunday until 18th July, 1pm to 6 pm, and by appointment (020 72471375).18th July 2010: Closing event, 2pm-6pm Gina Birch & Hayley Newman of the Gluts will be presenting a Gluts(y) Performance at about 2.30pm.Sealed bids will be opened at 4pm. Monies raised will go towards the ongoing development of the Elastic Residence programme, an artist run space aimed at giving artists direct access to exhibition opportunities. 20% of funds raised will be donated to The Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund, a non-political, non-profit organization working to address the medical and humanitarian needs of Palestinian children.PLEASE SEE WEBSITE FOR CATALOGUE AND BIDDING FORMwebsite:

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Chutney 4

I made a painting for this years Chutney Preserves. Its based on Sidney Sheperds painting, 'The Camberwell fair' 1855

painting by Sarah Sparkes after Sidney Shepherd's painting 'Camberwelll Fair' c1850
Doctor Moreau meets Doctor Dolittle on Animal Farm!
The Chutney Preserves return to the sacred site of Camberwell Green to host an unforgettable closing event for the Camberwell Arts festival.From 1279 until 1855 a fayre was held on Camberwell Green, one of the many attractions was a menagerie of wild animals captured from distant lands. In homage to the beasts of the ancient Camberwell Fayre, artists will create a fair and foul enclosure of luxurious and curious beasts, transforming the Green into a safari park for human animals and their keepers, with beastly goings on, sideshows and a program of performance in ‘the big top’.
Linda Barck, C.O.T.H. (Cult of the Harvester - Simon Neville and Sarah Sparkes), Helene Corr, Jo David, Daisy Delaney, Sarah Doyle, Rebecca Feiner, Charlie Fox and the Urban Bear Research Centre, Mikey Georgeson, Rachael House, Magnus Irvin, Derek Jordan, Miyuki Kasahara, Marq Kearey, Calum F Kerr, Lady Lucy and Drawing Exchange, Daniel Lehan, Joanna McCormick & Dido Hallett,Jessica Marlowe, Vanessa Mitter, Slow Maurice, Frog Morris, Simon Ould, Devyani Parmar 'PEPOMO', Raul Pina, Paul Sakoilsky, Liam Scully, Vanessa Scully, Libby Shearon, cApStAn StRiNg, Geraldine Swayne, Jacqueline Utley, Ricarda Vidal and the animals of BoSs farm, Julian Wakeling, Sinead Wheeler, Ben Woodeson, a goat and many others.
Chutney Preserves is supported by Space Station Sixty-five and Camberwell Arts

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Look Harder

Look Harder

'Solid' edition of 5 - placed around the lake - all were stolen, Sarah Sparkes, 2010

Site specific and performance art in and around Lakeside Cafe and the lake in Alexandra Palace Park.

Saturday 29th May till Sunday 6th June daily 10am - 5.30pm.Private view Saturday 29th May 5pm till 8pm.

For work by: Elaina Arkeooll, Ol`i Bonzanigo, Judith Brocklehurst, Hazel Brocklehurst, Sian Collins, Gail Burton, Sakara Dawson-Marsh, Damian Ellis, Tim Flitcroft, Phillip Goodman, Russell Hodgson, Lisa Jones, Sarah Jones, Calum F. Kerr, Kylie McManus, Shelley Malcolm, Marco, Janitzio Moreno, Mother Courage with Anna Smith, Devyani Parmar, Tony Peakall, Gayna Pelham, Mia Pfiefer, Della Rees, Sarah Sparkes, Beth Williams.

Organised by re:kindle public arts 07778789414 www.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Seminar in Visual Culture 2010: The Art of Murder
'Never Afraid at Crimes Town'

Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, Room ST 274(School of Advanced Study, Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, WC1B 5DN London)Wednesday 26 May 2010, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Sarah Sparkes, “Never Afraid – Murder at Crimes Town”A illuminated sign with the words NEVER AFRAID spelt out in fairy lights and pulsating like a slow heartbeat hung over the threshold of a forbidding looking metal door. This sign was in fact an artwork created for my recent solo exhibition 'Never Afraid' at the North London gallery 'Crimes Town’. The sign was both a welcome and a challenge to enter and to explore an exhibition that questioned our fears and superstitions. Part of the work included an installation with a coffin acting as a focal point in place of a TV or fireplace in a domestic living room. I had also created a series of cursed artworks, which visitors could have free but which came with a curse laid on the work by myself and promising 'misfortune, ill health and an untimely end’. The show was going well, it received a good review and lots of people visited and were responding to the questions that the work was meant to provoke - the superstitions we cling to to ward off death and our living fear of this great unknown. And then, half way through the exhibition a young man was murdered outside the gallery’s main entrance. Almost overnight the entrance was turned into a shrine, which grew daily in scale and content. The decision was made by the gallery directors to take down the 'Never Afraid' sign from above this 'real' ritual site and to limit access to the gallery to a side door and by appointment only. Effectively the art was safely isolated and sealed off from the real world, a doorway sealed out of fear or respect for a greater force?Lisa Downing, “Monochrome Mirror: Representing Dennis Nilsen”Perhaps more than any other British serial killer except Jack the Ripper, Dennis Nilsen, a homosexual necrophile strangler, who killed at least 15 young men between 1978 and 1983 in London, has caught the imagination of artists and writers. This paper will explore a series of aesthetic representations of Nilsen, including Dieter Rossi's portrait in oils "Dennis Nilsen" (1993), physical theatre company DV8’s performance of David Hinton’s "Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men" (1989), and the postmodern gothic novel "Exquisite Corpse" (1996) by Poppy Z. Brite. Alongside these cultural products, I will consider extracts from Nilsen's journal and his own sketches. My paper will pursue the argument that the representations created by the murderer, and those created OF the murderer, exist within a continuum. In his journals, Nilsen describes in detail his wishful identification with the corpses he created on the one hand, and his attempts to render them aesthetically pleasing as objects on the other (positioning them, washing them, dressing them, photographing them, drawing them). In the artistic/ literary representations discussed, the figure of Nilsen becomes the art object that is beheld. The represented, fictionalized, mediated Nilsen can be seen to function for the viewer/ reader much as the corpses functioned for Nilsen – as a mirror to an alterity tamed by the processes of (violent, aesthetic) fixing. Nilsen fascinates the artists who portray him, I suggest, because the idea that his project resembles a more extreme, more ethically troubling, version of their own is one deeply ingrained in our cultural imaginary.
For more info on the Seminar in Visual Culture 2010: The Art of Murder see our website:

Saturday, 1 May 2010



curated by Sarah Doyle and Sarah Sparkes

13th May8.30 - 11.30The Montague Arms289 Queen's Road, New Cross,SE15 2PA

Come visit The Montague Arms on the 13th May to witness the horror of hideous costumes, screeching voices, moaning incantations, bone shattering music, foul smelling herbs, tormented effigies, familiars, curse makers and witches with more than two nipples.

Molly Shea (SAIC), Rebecca Closure, Lennie Lee, Dickie Rage, Rebecca Feiner, Frog Morris, Joanna McCormick and Dido Hallet, Charlotte Squire, Rose Smith, Calum F Kerr, Grace Morgan Pardo, Paul Sakoilsky, Rachael House, Libby Shearon, Vanessa Mitter, Daniel Lehan, Miyuki Kasahara, Linda Persson, Sinead Wheeler, Mark Scott-Wood, yoke and zoom, Linda Barck, Sarah Sparkes, Sarah Doyle - more to be confirmed
curated by Sarah Sparkes and Sarah Doyle

We want the grim and the grotty to be in attendance.

Any one in a cute or burlesque style costume or any fool that is expecting to see this will be burnt.

Public Transport : New Cross Gate / Queens Road Peckham
"The Best Pub in the Country" The London PaperThe only pub with a licence to store dead bodies - allegedly (according to hearsay spread freely by Never Afraid)
Witch Night is one of a series of regular performance nights at the Montague arms hosted by - our facebook group
Entry £3 - £2 concessions for students, artists, withces with more than two nipples etc

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Post GHost Hosting

GHost – the Post-GHost-Hosting
GHost is led by Sarah Sparkes and Ricarda Vidal

Projections of GHost photography by Julian Wakeling and performances by GHost artistsThu, 25 February 2010, 6.30 – 9.00pmCourtroom, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU This evening concludes the cycle of events that comprised GHost II and opens the curtain for the entrance of GHost III. In a parallel projection on the walls of the Courtroom we will show Julian Wakeling’s haunted photographs of hostings I and II, which took place in the same room in October and November last year and of the GHost II exhibition at St Johns Church on Bethnal Green.Reverend Marc Vaulbert de Chantilly, Fabrizio Manco, Calum F. Kerr, Miyuki Kasahara and Derek Jordan, who have all taken part in GHost II, have devised a series of performances for the evening and will invite audiences to interact with the space and its invisible entities.Wine will be served and you will have a chance to purchase a copy of our GHost publications, “Hosting I: Haunted Houses” and “Hosting II: Ghost Voices”, which contain essays from the hostings and a selection of Julian’s photographs.

The Daughters of Moroni will preside over the evening.
This is a free event but please email us at so we know how many to expect.
GHost is organised by Sarah Sparkes and Ricarda Vidal. the Facebook group

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


COTH - Cult of the Harvester at SUPERMARKET 2010;

Kulterhuset, Sergels Torg, Stockholm. 19-21 February 2010.

'JISM - The Trondant Spit - Domain of Chefly Appetites' Printed placemat - edition of 40, 2010, Sarah Sparkes and Simon Neville

Cult of the Harvester will be showing work from their new series 'JISM' 'Trondant Spit - Domain of Chefly Appetites' Harvester is the name of a restaurant chain in the United Kingdom. These restaurants, which also function as pubs, often occupy converted coaching houses that once served the major trunk routes, Britain's transport arteries, before the construction of motorways. Following a network of lay-lines and located on prehistoric sacred sites, Harvester restaurants reverberate with the powers buried in the soil beneath their faux rural Interiors; interiors which are festooned with fake farming implements harking back to a fabled rural idyll. Removed form any real context these scythes, trowels and ploughs serve as fetishes or ceremonial objects in the practise of an unnamed worship. The menu is meat based and there is an overpowering stench of the cooking of raw flesh. The all-you-can-eat salad bar, a rustic timber-clad stainless steel industrial server, is bathed in the warming glow of overhead spotlights with offerings laid out like specimens in a laboratory.At the apex of this sinewy network stands the Beulah Spa overlooking the vale of Croydon. Here initiates of the Cult of the Harvester congregate to cast their seed upon the sterile asphalt of the car park and around the thickly carpeted floor beneath the salad bar. This act of sacrifice reveals the mystic outlines of the fabled paradise of the Trondant Spit: Domain of Chefly Pleasures where conscientious carnivores contemplate happy meats.For the evidence at Supermarket Stockholm COTh presents Jism their latest series of limited edition ceremonial artefacts commemorating initiation into the cult.

COTH is an on-going collaboration between Sarah Sparkes and Simon Neville

New initiates welcome, please email cultoftheharvester@gmail.comYou can follow us on blogger

Sunday, 10 January 2010


TROVE presents: Post

Part of the contents of my letter to 'POST' an digital collage and a golden rat, with the message, 'enjoy paradise'

A group exhibition organised by TROVE in association with Hayley Lock
PREVIEW Friday 15th January 2010 6-9pm Open by appointment until Sunday 31st January 2010Please contact Charlie at charlie (at)

The Old Science Museum144 Newhall StreetBirminghamB3 1RZ

For the forthcoming exhibition at TROVE this January 2010, curator Charlie Levine and artist Hayley Lock have invited friends and acquaintances from the social network facebook to partake in a Christmas card/collage exchange. All works posted through the physical and therefore traditional routes are to be displayed together in plan chests at TROVE.

The exhibition will be an amalgamation of works responding to the idea of ‘Post’.Artists include:Darren Banks, Liz Bradshaw, Martyn Cross, Vicky Cull, Tracy Eastham, Rebecca Foster, Anna Francis, Anneka French, Helen Grundy, Lulu Horsfield, David Kefford, Hayley Lock, Renauld Loda, MAMA, David Miller, Malcolm Moseley, Justine Moss, John Rixon, Sarah Sparkes, Emily Speed, Ana Benlloch and Stuart Tait, Cathy Wade, Edward Wakefield, Lucy Wilson, Jennifer Zoellner