Approved: 26.04.2010

Holly Slingsby


Approved: 26.04.2010

My practice comprises performance, objects and video, using the ancient as a mirror to view the present with. I reinvent traditional depictions of holy figures to explore their impact and relevance now.

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My practice comprises performance, objects and video, using the ancient as a mirror to view the present with. I reinvent traditional depictions of holy figures to explore their impact and relevance now.


I’m fascinated with the centuries-old problem of representing deities - at best invisible, at worst, non-existent - and the archetypes arising from this. My performances often take the form of rites or staged miracles, using liveness as a means to engage audiences with numinous subjects. I’m interested in belief as performance, performance as belief.

My costumes and props are lo-fi and handmade; stand-ins for precious relics, or robes described in sacred texts.

In my solo exhibition Behind the Curtain three female protagonists created meditative tableaux and processions among cardboard scenery, and in the gallery window, like unexplained visions to hundreds of passersby each day. 

Cloud of Witnesses is an installation displayed in historic woodland. Groups of accoutrements belonging to mythical characters hang in trees, like guises waiting to be adopted.

My recent video The High Places is the first in a series of performances to camera. These are made in holy or pseudo-scared locations, where I perform actions intended to ‘awaken’ the latent energies therein.

CV & Education

Education and Awards

2010 - Sir Andrew Taylor Prize in Fine Art, Slade School of Art, London

2010 - MFA Fine Art Media, Slade School of Fine Art, London

2006 - BFA (Hons) Fine Art, The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016 - A Song of Ascents, FEM_16 and Bòlit, Centre d'Art Contemporani, Girona, Spain

2016 - The High Places, commission for KV-TV, Kunst Vardo

2016 - Knotted Mass II, Finishing Touch, London (with publication)

2015 - Knotted Mass, DKUK, London

2015 - Behind the Curtain, Tintype Gallery, London

2012 - PROPS FOR THE SKY, SHIFT. , London

2009 - It Was Gravity Which Pulled Us Down, Christ Church Spitalfields, London

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017 - Venice Agendas, Turner Contemporary, Margate

2017 - Festal Favours, Charlbury Festival, Oxfordshire

2017 - Divergence, Sassoon Gallery, Strangelove Festival, Folkestone

2016 - Parlour Arboretum, Harcourt Arboretum, Oxfordshire

2016 - Beyond Seven Mountains, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Thoroughsale and Hazel Woods, Corby

2016 - ALT (Art Licks Trading), shop and performance event, Safehouse 1, London

2016 - Lupercalia Live, Bosse & Baum, London

2016 - Duration & Dialogue, Katzman Contemporary, Toronto

2015 - FEM 15, La Bonne, Barcelona

2015 - Foam, Grand Union, Birmingham; Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland

2014 - The Centre for Remote Possibilities, Matt's Gallery, London

2014  - You cannot step twice into the same river, Pump House Gallery, London

2014 - Foam, Project/Number, London; AND/OR, London; Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge

2014 - Art (After) Death, Highgate Cemetary, London

2014 - EC1 and WC1 Galleries Day, Tintype, London

2014 - AFTER/HOURS/DROP/BOX LIVE, Spike Island, Bristol

2013 - AFTER/HOURS/DROP/BOX LIVE, Modern Art Oxford

2013 - My Head is an Animal, South Square, Bradford

2013 - Art Licks Weekend: Stop, Look, Listen!, Peckham, London

2013 - Black Maria Showcase, Black Maria, London

2013 - Lore of the Land, Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire

2013 - Stage Night, The Horse Hospital, London

2013 - Totemic Festival, Freud Museum, London

2012 - Art Licks Annual, ICA, London

2012 - LIPA, ICA, London

2012 - LUPA 7, LUPA, London

2012 - SUPERNORMAL, Brazier's Park, Oxfordshire

2011 - Acoustic Sessions, shift. at Angus Hughes Gallery, London

2011 - More Soup and Tart, The Barbican, London

2011 - Parlour Principia, Swedenborg House, London

2011 - POW!, FOLD Gallery, London 2010 - Babel, WW Gallery, London

2010 - Equal Night, The Dissenters' Chapel and Gallery, London

2010 - FEM 10, Gresol Art, Girona, Spain

2010 - Live Friday, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford

2009 - Both Ends Burning, WW Gallery, London

2009 - Making Mistakes, Paradise Row, London

2008 - East End Collaborations, Queen Mary University, London

2007 - Zelda Rubenstein, Paradise Row/ 7-9 Princelet Street, London

2005 - Montana Butch, Great Eastern Hotel, London