How many Squirrels Has Iran Arrested on Suspicion of Spying? It’s a difficult one, but its a question I often ask (in my pub quizzes). At the heart of my practice is the question ‘How can I open up who and how people engage with varied explores varied global, social and political issues, in accessible ways?’ My answer is through play, humour and participation, making works which become entry points for dialogues. I use recognisable playful formats within contemporary popular culture, from quizzes, to mini golf, board games to auctions, so people can have fun experiences. Site, context and audience are integral to my work. My latest work, Putting A Hole In the Wall , epitomises my approach, it is a fully playable mini golf hole, originally commissioned for the 56th Venice Biennale as part of Doug Fishbones Leisure Land Golf in 2015. It is fun, participatory and political.
Between 2014-2016 my first major solo show ‘The Current Situation’, commissioned by the New Art Exchange toured to Gallery Oldham and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Nat Muller wrote an essay for my catalogue, which is available to read here: currentsitu
I am a British Council Artist Fellow
I’m represented by the gallery La Caja Blanca, Spain. I was an associate artist with Artsadmin from 2013-2016.
Here are two articles about my practise:
Harpers Bazaar Art Arabia.
Contemporary Practice Magazine
And you can hear my talk at Tate, as part of ‘Altermodern Manifesto: The Great Exhibition with Yara El Sherbini’.
Putting A Hole In the Wall was at the New Art Exchange, Nottingham in 2016. This year I also had work in ‘Waste Land’ at Es Baluard Museum of Contemporary Arts, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and showed work in “Rebels” at Musée Bargoin, Clermont-Ferrand, France. I’m developing a new ongoing performance lecture titled “A Lesson on Parenthood for Artists” in collaboration with Davina Drummond.
I received her MA from the Slade, UCL. Recent commissions include Border Control for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara 2015, and The Victoria & Albert, London for its National Art Library’s. Artist in Residences include Hayward Gallery, (London) and ZKM, Germany. Group shows include Modern Art Oxford, The David Roberts Art Foundation (London), The RCA (London) Lombard-Fried Projects (New York), Arnolfini (Bristol), National Portrait Gallery (London), Tate Britain (London), IKON gallery (Birmingham), CCCB Museum (Barcelona), South London Gallery, BALTIC (Gateshead), LWL-Industrial museum, (Germany), Mostyn Gallery (Wales), and Palazzo Papesse (Siena), National Maritime Museum, (London), Art Dubai (Dubai), Centre d’Art Contemporain (Geneva) and Palazzo Papesse (Siena) amongst many other international, national venues and festivals.
Yara El-Sherbini’s personable approach in working with both the NAE team, and our visitors and local communities, really enabled the successful delivery of our ambitious project with her in 2013 (The Current Situation), and again in 2015 (EM15 pavilion at the #56 Venice Biennale). We were drawn to the political and social poignancy of Yara’s practice, but beyond that, we were struck by her genuine interest in engaging people as a means to create meaningful artworks and to break down barriers between audience, institution and artist. Her model and approach was extremely successful and our project with Yara developed new audiences for NAE, and in addition, it has significantly informed our curatorial model moving forward. The positive experience created through our 2013 commission with Yara inspired us to select her as one of nine artists to feature in the first pavilion by the East Midlands at the #56 Venice Biennale.
– Melanie Kidd,Director of Programmes, New Art Exchange, Nottingham