Lou Lou Sainsbury works across film, performance, writing, textiles and sound. She identifies as a time traveller, making things that unwrite histories of living beings into mythopoeic dreamscapes, informed by queer and ecological activisms. She often works in collaboration and develops long-term research-led projects through improvisation, collective study, material exploration and documentary-film processes.
Her recent work maps a constellation of holes, vampires, aliens, miracles, musicality, impossible births, mysticism, interspecies transformation, slow time, bodies that seep out, and words that crack open. Her work questions how we can become better listeners, and how bodies (human and more-than-human) can trouble historicity and geography, often writing slippery, trans* narratives for (im)possible worlds in the realm of science-fiction and gothic horror.
During her residency, Sainsbury will begin writing a performance and video-installation script, rewriting transgender histories into an interplanetary poetics of trans*/sensuality, relation and desire; questioning how the verb of transing* could change the way we speak about living beings. Moving across a sociality that sounds after the end of the world, where the body has no end.
Online Open Studio
On the occasion of our Summer Open Studios 2021, Lou Lou has shared some of her work in progress - drawings and writing in ink. These pieces are work in progress for Lou Lou's exhibition at Gasworks in 2022. She has also shared documentation of two recent performances, Pollen spools out, words scatter through a waiting room window, 2021 and my hole is the place where i call myself a mother, 2020.
"In the waiting room, we will find the means at all costs to exist for each other, and stage the plan for which we no longer exist, for each other."
Pollen spools out, words scatter through a waiting room window, 2021
Lou Lou Sainsbury with Marie Tučková
Images from Lou Lou's performance at Understory Chant The Dutch Art Institute with Sonsbeek 20-24
In the waiting room, history performs its own waiting. Romance is a bite from an open window, the stench of it burnt her nostrils. Earth is deadnamed. A love scene of sorts, for transing and friendship in the horror of a shapeshifting yolk.
Marie and I sing an ode to the sexual lives of plants and insects. Scene d'Amour from Hitchcock's Vertigo is reworked into a long score of intense anticipation without release, I receive a phone call and am given a vat of gel, sharing hormones. The stench of geraniums fills the room of the theatre, the gel is noxious and contagious. Marie and I excessively rub the gel on our legs, dance in the slippery, and embrace on a chair whilst the deep scent burns nostrils with autotune narration for an alien leaking being somewhere else/out-of-scene, in another waiting room.
my hole is the place where i call myself a mother
A film by Lou Lou Sainsbury, commissioned by Well Projects, Margate, UK
Featuring performance with Lou Lou Sainsbury & Sarjon
Music in collaboration with Marie Tučková
Graphic design of the fungus by Hannah Sakai
Lou Lou Sainsbury is based in Rotterdam and Margate. She is currently finishing her MA in Art Praxis at the Dutch Art Institute, was an associate artist at Open School East in 2017 and gained a BA in Moving Image from University of Brighton in 2016. Recent solo presentations include: my hole is the place where i call myself a mother, Well Projects (2020); and 1667: Not Alive, Just Living, Nottingham Contemporary (2019). Recent duo & group shows include: i fantasise a springtime and cry, Yaby and La Casa Encendida; Mood Spelled Backwards w/ Marie Tučková, Centre for Contemporary Arts Prague (both 2020); The Future is Near, Tate Modern; you are telling my story. They tell and eat and kiss and play us, Yaby (both 2019); and life/forms 3.0 | Wild Combination, Flat Time House (2018).
Lou Lou Sainsbury is the sixth artist to take part in the Freelands Gasworks Partnership, a programme for emerging UK artists based outside of London. Made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Freelands Foundation, the programme combines a three-month residency with a solo exhibition and series of public events at Gasworks. The previous participants were Jamie Crewe, Rachal Bradley, Libita Clayton, Lauren Gault and Bassam Al-Sabah.