Sheila Ghelani produces works that are manifested in a range of media – performance, installation, participatory event and moving image. She works both as a solo and collaborative artist, and originally trained in contemporary dance.
She is interested in the relationship between art and science with a particular focus on hybridity, crossings, carefully controlled experiments, the practice of medicine and care, colour, genetics and love. She is an artist who champions making works for the passer-by.
Sheila’s practice usually engages with performance/performativity in some way. It often involves words/writing and the use of multiples of objects and actions carefully arranged. In fact she sometimes describes what she does as the choreography of objects. She likes to cut things up, break things apart and mix things together.
She has displayed work at venues and festivals across Europe including London’s South Bank Centre, Festival Belluard Bollwerk International in Fribourg (CH), Fierce Festival in Birmingham, NRLA in Glasgow, Trouble Festival in Brussels, Performance Space in Sydney and the Wellcome Collection in London.
As a collaborative artist she is a long-standing Associate Artist of Blast Theory and has toured and performed nationally and internationally for them and many other companies. She also teaches in academic contexts and regularly mentors artists and students and gives public talks.
At the Arc Opening Party, Sheila Ghelani presented her project Covet Me, Care For Me in the Maison des Moines building at Romainmôtier Priory, in which she invited the public to handle a glass heart with a highly symbolic content – a fragile heart, made of blown glass, that is not afraid to lay bare its insides and not shy about making itself heard. The small objects it contained represent devotion, pain, sadness, love and, above all, hope.
Whilst in residency at Arc she will be exploring her new body of work titled Elemental, recently begun via a research bursary from Wellcome Trust. Elemental will eventually become a quartet of works exploring Sulphur, Atmospheric Forces, Breath and Flow - and Sulphur, the first in the series, will take the form of a text based performance work for three performers. Sheila is in the process of drafting a script for this work, also in development at Arc.