Sarah Sparkes

Sarah Sparkes (b.1969) is a London-based artist and curator. She studied at Kingston University and Chelsea School of Art, and completed a Research Fellowship at the University of London. She has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally and been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships – in 2015 she was winner of the MERU ART*SCIENCE Award. Recent exhibitions include English Magic at New Art Projects London and Fall of the Rebel Angels at the 56th Venice Biennale.

The Ghost Formula (2016) by Sarah Sparkes takes inspiration from Marcel Duchamp’s artwork, A GUEST + A HOST = A GHOST (1953), and is one of the artworks exploring mysteries surrounding the relationship between the living and the dead. Sparkes’ aim is to create a research archive which investigates the nature of ghosts and their ‘hosts’, and the conditions in which ghosts may be made. The archive draws on Liverpool's historical and contemporary ghost narratives with input from experts within various fields and also includes two visually mesmerizing ‘infinity portals’ inviting spectators to visit two separate locations, and a robotic machine attempting to create a ghost.

Sparkes’ work engages with magical or mythical narratives, vernacular belief systems, the visualisation of anomalous phenomena and liminality through the metaphor of the portal. Her work is often research led and an exploration into the borderlands where science and magic intersect. She works with installation, sculpture, painting, performance and more recently film. She runs the visual arts and research project Ghost, and regularly lectures and has published articles on this subject.