Sarah Spanton

Artist, Project manager, Consultant, Event organiser

Spanton's practice is cross-disciplinary. Based in Leeds and Manchester , her work embraces performance, video, photography, dance, sculpture and text. Her solo and collaborative projects are seen in a range of different contexts: such as, movement-led works in a live art setting, site-specific dance installations, performative photography and performance to camera video works. Solo projects address themes of identity, subjectivity, gender, sexuality and the body. Intimate and often humorous, this work explores emotions, inner worlds and states of mind, frequently driven by autobiographical starting points. Collaborative works are often site or context specific, central concerns include space, process and composition. Spanton is director of the arts organisation Waymarking - Her work with Waymarking shifts her focus away from solo arts practice into the socially engaged. Its projects are collaborative, sited within the public realm, rather than dedicated arts spaces and strongly focused on audience participation. Conceptually, manyof Spanton's works explore apparent binary states such as public/private Bridge (2007), Emerge (2000), masculine/feminine 7 Lashes (1994), Tomboy (2001), Heterosexual/Homosexual Homeward Bound (1997), physical/psychological (interior/exterior) Homoeostasis: Fight or Flight (1999). These investigations aim to create a sense of constantly shifting between states of not being fixed and of straddling divides. Spanton makes evocative works that resonate and engage, allowing viewers to bring their own perspectives to the project. She flirts with audiences, preferring seduction to confrontation, subtly drawing the viewer in. A multiplicity of meanings emerge from this intensely mobile, intertextual performance. From Valerie Briginshaw's Dance, Space and Subjectivity, published by Palgrave, Macmillan 2001. Influences: Each meticulous, deliberate movement suggests tight choreography, but as each ending delivers a unique end-sculpture, there is clearly much improvisation, masquerading as design.Here, the vessels of Eva Hesse meet the spatial string diameters of Fred Sandback.Early feminist figuration that re-used fairytale figuration collides with a rigorous minimalist aesthetic. From Cherry Smyth's Catalogue Essay for Princess: Clock Ticking 2006. Career Path: Spanton trained initially as a sculptor, making small hand-held mixed media objects, graduating from Sheffield City Polytechnic in 1989. She completed an MA in Dance Theory; representation and somatics at De Montfort University in 2000, looking at issues of sexuality, gender and feminism, relating her cross-disciplinary practice to both feminist and dance theory. Her professional practice is undertaken alongside working freelance as a project manager, developer,trainer, consultant and evaluator across the arts, community and education sectors.

Location Manchester / Leeds, UK Wide
Activities Practice-based research, Residencies, Training delivery, Built environment, Evaluation
Artforms / type of project Film & Video, Installation, Live Art, Participatory, Performance
Tags Performance, Live Art, Place-making, Sexuality, Gender, Feminism

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