Photo: Sally Waterman in London

Sally Waterman

Artist, Lecturer / academic, Researcher

Sally Waterman’s interdisciplinary arts practice and research is concerned with the interpretation of literature into an elusive form of self-portraiture. She creates poetic still and moving image works that explore memory, place and familial relationships, drawing upon writers such as Henry James, Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf.

Her doctoral study used T.S Eliot’s 1922 poem, ‘The Waste Land’ as a framework to examine her self-representational strategies and adaptation methods, culminating in a collection of photographic and video installations (2005-2010). Waterman re-invents the source material through a fragmentary re-scripting exercise, seeking autobiographical associations with certain images, themes, characters or concepts. Indeed, the chosen literary text functions as a mechanism for self-representation, enabling the recollection and re-imagining of past trauma. Difficult, yet universal experiences of illness, conflict, loss and separation are illuminated through a cathartic transition from literature into visual art, where repressed memories are addressed through staging the self.

Past group exhibitions have included 'Shifting Horizons', Derby Museum & Art Gallery and Midland Arts Centre (2000-2001), 'Forest', Nottingham Castle Museum, Oriel Davies Gallery, Wolverhampton Gallery and York Art Gallery (2004-2005), 'What Happens Next?' Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, London (2008) and 'Voyage: Sea Journeys, Island Hopping and Trans-Oceanic Concepts', Künstlerhaus, Dortmund, Germany (2013). Her work is held in public and private collections including The School of Art Institute of Chicago, King St. Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvar, Hungary, the National Art Library at the V&A and the Yale Center for British Art, New York. She has lectured at Plymouth College of Art and the University of Plymouth and is currently an associate lecturer at Ravensbourne, London.

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Location London
Activities Lecturing, Practice-based research, Residencies, Critical writing, Curating
Artforms / type of project Film & Video, Installation, Performance, Photography, Research
Tags Video, Photography, Practice-based research, Literary adaptation, Memory, Family, Autobiography, Self-portraiture, Narrative, Trauma

News & Events

  • Usurp Zone5 film festival

    14/08/2015 – 17/08/2015
    Usurp Gallery, Harrow

    My 'Against' video from the 'Translucence' series has been selected for the exhibition programme at Usurp Gallery during the festival, which will feature experimental short films from 15 countries.

    Find out more

  • Global Photographies: Memory, History, Archives (August 2015)

    I have a chapter in this forthcoming publication, entitled, 'Re-imagining the Family Album through Literary Adaptation'.

  • Parental Concerns, University of Bedfordshire, Luton, 3rd July 2015

    This forthcoming study day organised by the Family Ties Network will include talks by Colin Gray, David Jackson and Jill Daniels.

  • 'Bodies of Water' film screening, Scott Building, Plymouth University (3:30pm, 11th February 2015)

    My video 'February' from the 'Translucence' series will be included in the screening of 'Bodies of Water', curated by Kayla Parker.

  • Family Matters, Watershed, Bristol, 5th December 2014

    I will discuss my recent video 'Against' at this seminar event, alongside Suze Adams, Nick Kaplony and Shawn Sobers.

  • Family Ties: Reframing Memory

    03/07/2014 – 25/07/2014
    The Peltz Gallery Birkbeck, University of London 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

    This group show addresses the representation of family memory through photography, video and sound works by Suze Adams, Nicky Bird, Jacqueline Butler, Rosy Martin, Lizzie Thynne and Sally Waterman.

    Find out more

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