Sarah White

17 May 2020

Featured in Deptford X: 2017, 2018, 2019

What are you reading at the moment? 

A Theology of Failure: Ontology and Desire in Slavoj Zizek and Christian Apophaticism, by Marika Rose

What does a typical day look like for you?

These days spending a lot of time looking out of my bedroom window and going for bike rides with no where to be, no time to be there, and carrying nothing (within the parameters of permitted daily exercise!). I work part time for an arts charity so I also spend a lot of my time on the phone to artists, organising events, running artist crits, fundraising and reading. Still trying to figure out how to make my own work now and continue the projects I already had underway.

Describe your studio/workspace

I am thankful to have a shared studio space with two friends which is a space filled to the brim with bizarre items, including many boxes of objects, sculptures and materials from past installations. This includes the remains of a 5m wooden bridge I built for Deptford X a few years ago, built to the specific measurements of the Laban grounds. However during the lockdown my mum’s car is now filled with most of my art materials and parked outside my flat. It seems my small bedroom and the chair next to my window is going to become my workspace for the time being, or maybe I will find a way of making work inside the parked car.

Where do your best ideas come from?

Often in those moments of half-consciousness when you are drifting off to sleep, or when you are thinking about something completely different or are fully resting. That seems to be when an idea which you have been straining for finally falls into place, and the various things you have been reading and considering formulate into an idea for a project. I actually find the studio quite a debilitating space for thinking and reflecting: there’s something about the pressure you can put on yourself to come up with an idea which makes it harder for your imagination to play.

If Tate called you tomorrow and invited you to make work for the Turbine Hall, what would it be?

Thanks! I would stage the current performance lecture I am developing, and curate a series of performances and installations by other artists I would like to work with across different disciplines. The work I am developing is entitled Touch Me Not: The Stand-in, The Decoy and The Redeemer and dialogues with the theological ideas raised by Peggy Phelan in her text Mourning Sex. The work currently consists of a 7,000 word written lecture and an hour long semi-improvised movement duet performed by myself and dance-artist and musician Tyrone Isaac-Stuart.

Plug your next show/event ! OR tell us what is helping you the most during this time?

I’m working towards an exhibition at the temporary Koppel Project Campus Space in Holborn, which will be similar to what I suggested above to do in the Turbine Hall! This show was planned as a month long residency in June but may need to be moved to later in the year. I’m excited for the opportunity to bring the various aspects of my practice together into a more ambitious and cohesive work (sculpture, installation, performance and text).

I work for a charity called Morphē Arts as a mentor for early-career artists. It’s been incredible to see the response of various arts charities to the current situation, and has been a privilege to be able to tangibly support the artists we work with, both financially, through mentoring and critically responding to what’s happening.


Instagram: @sarah_white16


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