Sarah Sparkes

My blogs

About me

Location London
Introduction Sarah Sparkes is currently engaged in research centred on the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature. She is interested in magic in the domestic and everyday, both as supernatural force and as legerdemain. Her work explores the belief systems we adopt and the powers we invest in the material to protect ourselves from our deepest fears. She co-runs the arts and interdisciplinary project "GHost" and hosts an annual art and performance event "The Chutney Preserves" for Camberwell Arts Festival. Recent exhibitions include: "GHost" at the Folkestone Triennial Video Booth London Art Fair, "The Infinity Box" a site-specific work made for the Belfry of St John Bethnal Green, London; "Cult of the Harvester at Supermarket Stockholm" collaborative work with Simon Neville for "The Evidence” Stockholm, Sweden; "Fate and Freewill" at Riverside Contemporary Art Space, California, USA. She recently was awarded funding to create a public artwork for the Bloomsbury Festival “The Ghosts of Senate House” a collaborative, investigative project for “The Magical Library”, part artwork, part creative research project and made in response to Harry Price’s bequest to the University of London.
Interests My work is about death, I had to admit to myself, as I sat reading a book on séances in the University of London’s special collections reading rooms, the sound of whistling wind circling the walls of Senate House. A series of coffins, cursed art works, installations incorporating the furniture of dead ancestors and domestic objects embellished with portends of our inevitable doom have made up the main body of my output as an artist for the last four years. In these works, with particular reference to my own background and experience, I have been exploring the livings relationship to our ever present fate. Our lives are a journey towards our deaths and with this destination looming some try to anchor themselves to the present by holding on to ‘talismans’, repeating ‘incantations’ and performing rituals. I have been making a series of works incorporating domestic objects and text, such as ‘For what we are about to receive’ which explore this subject (see image and review above). ‘Loss’ of loved ones from life brings us even closer to death for in grief we partly follow them into the abyss. Works using coffins and infinity boxes, such as ‘You Are Here’ (see image below) are in part an attempt to bring the viewer to the edge of this abyss and in so doing return them to the world of the living.