Amy Sharrocks (Arts in the Elements, 2015)Museum of Water, photo Banff

Amy Sharrocks

Shortlisted in 2015 for Arts in the Elements

Amy Sharrocks is a live artist, sculptor and film-maker who invites people to come on journeys in which their own experience, communication and expression are a vital part. Her work gives careful consideration to the impact we have on each other and the world.

For over a decade she has been investigating people and our relationship to water: floating boats on swimming pools, swimming across London, dowsing rivers and gathering donations for Museum of Water. Museum of Water was in Somerset House for summer 2014, has since toured to over 50 locations worldwide, and has been visited by over 65,000 people. The Museum has spent two years in The Netherlands and Western Australia and was nominated for European Museum of the Year 2016.

The first major survey of Amy’s work took place at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum in 2018-19, an acclaimed 3-month exhibition which gathered together photographs, sculptures, drawings, sonic and live artworks from over a decade of making. In 2019 she built new sonic artwork WATER SWALLOWS, exploring the history and ethics of water in Buxton, recorded on a Neumann binaural head in collaboration with over 50 people across the waterscape of Derbyshire.

In 2014 Amy was one of 10 artists selected for Museums at Night. In 2017 she organised the Fry’s Island Swim, a swim for 80 people in the Thames River in the heart of Reading, and is currently encouraging swimmers to sign up to Swim the Thames, a width of the river in Central London. A major text Against Dryness, on the experience of live art, water, evaporation and cities in an age of climate change, was published in 2019 in Liquidscapes.

Amy makes a lot of work about falling, looking at our daily trips and stumbles, exploring feelings of risk, daring and shame, and questioning our need to be up. In 2013 she won the Sculpture Shock prize from the Royal British Society of Sculptors for her work on falling. Her writing has been published extensively and her films have been shown in Europe and the Middle East; she has also published two books of her work – SWIM and Museum of Water – and her work appears in various collections.

She is an activist for women’s rights and co-curator of WALKING WOMEN, a series of events highlighting the work of women walking artists, and of DAYLIGHTING, a collaborative artwork in the form of a newspaper, bringing focus to woman’s art, thinking and speculations, launched at the Wellcome Collection in October 2018.

Continuously examining the architecture of a moment, Amy’s work questions our systems and re-imagines the offer of cities. Her many artworks and writings look at risk, daring and the precariousness of life and campaign for greater care of the environment, people and the more than human.