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Featured Media

Filing Cabinet
Filing Cabinet, Sarah Pickering
Landmine, Sarah Pickering
Semi-Detached, Sarah Pickering
Shot, Sarah Pickering
Glue Sniffing
Glue Sniffing, Sarah Pickering
Sarah Pickering
Sarah Pickering
Sarah Pickering
Sarah Pickering

Slade School of Fine Art
University College London
Gower Street


My research into themes of falsity and deception uses the process of photographic image making and related media as a way of staging, observing, performing, and facilitating in order to examine and explore mediated versions of reality and work beyond its confines. Central to my research is an intense and repeated scrutiny of the issues raised by such subjects as fakes, tests, hierarchy, science-fiction, explosions, photography, and gunfire. My art research richly contributes to the research culture of the Slade School of Fine Art,

My art research is recognised for its innovative interdisciplinary engagement. I have worked with scientists, the police, pickpockets, the fire service, forensic investigators, historians, and firearms experts in the development of new works. I am a leading figure using this approach within photographic fine art practice, as evidenced by the inclusion of two bodies of work in Manifesta11, European Biennale ‘What People Do For Money.’ (191,995 visitors). My artworks have been exhibited in significant survey exhibitions connecting science and art (Revelations, Science Museum, London 2015 & To The Edge of Time, KU, Leuven 2021) alongside artefacts by Stephen Hawking, and pioneers of photography including Man Ray, Berenice Abbott, Edgerton and Fox Talbot, and interdisciplinary artists Cornelia Parker and Katie Paterson.

As a practising artist my art research, impact, public engagement and outputs are considered to be ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ within the fine art discipline, as evidenced by their inclusion in significant art collections including Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Brooklyn Museum of Art USA and the Victoria & Albert Museum UK. As a leading figure in my field of art research my artwork has been exhibited in 71 venues both internationally and nationally in museums, biennales, festivals and galleries, including USA, Australia, Belgium, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Mexico and Russia, in survey shows including How We Are: Photographing Britain at Tate Britain (a retrospective survey of British Photography) in 2007. My artwork is featured in the 2021 survey show, In the Now: Gender & Nation in Europe, in LA County Museum of Art, USA. This collection represents the most significant female artists working with photography in Europe and my artwork has been used to promote the exhibition in the national and international press. Solo exhibitions include Incident Control, Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP), Chicago, and Celestial Objects, Durham Art Gallery. My commission, Match, a 38 metre long public artwork was installed at Castlegate Shopping Centre, Stockton-on-Tees.

I have presented papers at international and national conferences including the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; the New York Photo Festival; Columbia College, Chicago; and the Science Museum, London alongside an international panel of curators, researchers, and practising artists. I have featured on BBC2 about my public art commission, BBC Radio 3 as a reviewer of the National Gallery Monochrome exhibition and BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme about my artwork.

My artworks since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2005 have been widely quoted in key survey books on photographic practice since 2006 to the present day including: The Photograph as Contemporary Art, Charlotte Cotton, Thames & Hudson; The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory, eds Jane Tormey and Mark Durden; Why Art Photography? Lucy Soutter, Routledge, Vitamin Ph, A survey of Contemporary Photography, Phaidon (see CV for expanded list). My Monograph Explosions, Fires & Public Order (124 pages) is published by Aperture.

I have over 20 years of teaching experience. Since my appointment as 0.6 Teaching Fellow in 2008, using my research and professional knowledge I have been actively involved in contributing to the Undergraduate, Graduate and PhD student’s practice led research in critiques, seminars, tutorials and through workshops that I have devised and delivered. As a visiting lecturer at national and international institutions I have given talks and tutorials to students from Level 3 to PhD candidates at 22 universities. I have been a tutor to MA and UG students, second supervisor to PhD researchers Feiyi Wen & Dana Ariel (both completed) and currently second Supervisor to Interdisciplinary researcher Richard Muller (Geography) and Lucy Helton (Slade School of Fine Art). I have taken part in the interview process for the PhD programme, and the admissions process for the graduate and undergraduate programme.


No Place is An Island, London Art Fair's Photo50 Section
2022 - London Art Fair - Photo 50 curated exhibition, Business Design Centre, London

This exhibition presents a selection of works by British and UK-based artists, working with different interests around the idea of an island, in certain instances specifically thinking about Britain and the British Isles. The selection focuses on practices that experiment with the boundaries of photography, sculpture and performance, on instances referencing British
photographic history as a context for their sculptural approach to the medium.
As we slowly wake up to a post-Brexit Britain, we find ourselves prompted to rethink what it means to be an island, and especially now -amidst a global pandemic, lockdown and enforced isolation- to imagine its multiple possibilities towards the future. The title of the show not only refers to these visions and ideas, but also to contemporary photography, by showcasing artists testing and pushing its limits and conventions. This exhibition project also connects a generation of established and mid-career artists, with emerging practices working around the same interests and in
most cases directly inspired by artists in the show. Exhibiting Artists: John MacLean | Eva Stenram | Dafna Talmor| Martin Seeds | Tom Hunter | Tom Lovelace | Andy Sewell | Aliki Braines | Esther Teichmann | Bindi Vora | Shepherd Manyika | Alexander Mourant | Sarah Pickering | Hannah Hughes

The Edges of Conflict
2021 - C-type Digital Prints - James Hockey Gallery, UK

The international group exhibition Documents from the Edges of Conflict presents the work of artists who engage with society’s increasing desire to capture and disseminate images of conflict and tension in world events. Their subjects include the impact of political decisions and divisions; newspaper and media reports of traumatic events; contested boundaries and borders such as those between Mexico and the United States or Palestine and Israel and the influence of aggressive world leaders on our histories and experiences.    

The lens-based work of the artists engages us with the various meanings of the word ‘document’ and creates new visual routes through a documentary field marked by the disappearance of its traditional models of representation. The belief that it is possible to present conflict in an objective manner has given way to new photographic and lens-based counter-stories, or at least different versions of representation. In the face of global uncertainty, intolerance and polarization this exhibition presents artists seeking other ways of approaching conflict and dispute, through film and photography, to provide alternative and contemplative visual reactions and provocations. From presentations on screens or photographic prints there is a provocative visual response to the consequences of our social and political histories.

In the Now: Gender and Nation in Europe
2021 - C-type Digital Print - Los Angeles County Museum of Art

In the Now is organized in three thematic sections: gender, nation, and photography, and seeks to question and broaden traditional notions of what constitutes womanhood, Europe, and the medium of photography. Many artists in the exhibition contend with representations of the body but have individual perspectives on such issues as beauty, femininity, objectification, and what it means to be an artist who identifies as a woman in the 21st century. Likewise, these artists, while born or based in Europe, may or may not position their practice geographically or in accordance with nationalisitic assumptions around identity. Some are grappling with the legacy of Soviet rule, while others have emigrated from elsewhere in the world. Finally, wide- ranging material and conceptual approaches by these artists testify to the expediting force of technology, which has made photography subject to greater circulation, alteration, and abstraction. The exhibition seeks to question and broaden what constitutes each of these categories.

To the Edge of Time
2021 - 1 C-type Digital Print & 3 Silver Gelatin Prints - KU University Library Galleries / Kunst Leuven

Mythical stories have been told and written about the origin of the cosmos for as long as there have been humans. For scientists, too, it is a fascinating question that has challenged intuition for centuries. In the late 1920s, Georges Lemaître, working in Leuven, came up with an ingenious idea. The image of an unchanging, static universe ended up among the myths. Lemaître read in Einstein's work what he himself had not seen in the first place: the universe is expanding. In 1931, Lemaître argued that the universe had a beginning as a 'primeval atom', which gave rise to space, time, matter and ultimately the cosmos as we see it today.
The exhibition To the Edge of Time tells the story of the Big Bang theory, of Einstein's general theory of relativity and Lemaître's thorough analysis. But the story still evolves, in constant interaction between new theoretical concepts and ever more detailed observations. In the 1960s, the cosmic background radiation was observed for the first time, a phenomenon predicted by the Russian Georg Gamow. In the same period, Stephen Hawking developed the image of a universe that did not come into being in a priorly defined time, but simultaneously with time. Our knowledge of the cosmos is still changing every day, and many scientists who contribute to this are featured in the exhibition.
Theoretical physics constantly holds respected ideas up against unrestricted speculation and unexpected observations. Not only scientists, but also artists thrive in such an environment where observations, intuitions and established ideas are challenged continuously. In this way, new creative expressions emerge on top of age-old myths. In the exhibition, you can see contemporary works of art in dialogue with scientific objects that illustrate the development of the Big Bang theory and modern cosmology. Concepts such as time, space, dimensions or the size of the universe are examined from the point of view of science and art. Our very perceptual processes are examined, and concepts such as illusion and truth are given a new, broader meaning.
The exhibition To the Edge of Time is the result of a collaboration between KU Leuven cosmologist Thomas Hertog - long-time collaborator of the late Stephen Hawking - and independent curator Hannah Redler Hawes. With the support of KU[N]ST Leuven and the External Relations, Conferences and Events Office of KU Leuven, they have made it into a beautiful and multifaceted exhibition.

The BIG Picture: Giant Photographs and Powerful Portfolios
2020 - C-type Digital Print - Fitchburg Art Museum

The BIG Picture: Giant Photographs and Powerful Portfolios is a two-part exhibition that highlights recent photography acquisitions at the Fitchburg Art Museum. The Giant Photographs section features large-scale prints (some measuring over 6 x 8 feet) by twenty individual artists, while the Powerful Portfolios section features groups of multiple, related photographs by André Kertész, Steve Locke, Kenji Nakahashi, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, and Barbara Norfleet.
Giant Photographs examines a tendency among contemporary photographers to exploit new digital technologies to create extremely large, high quality prints. Because of their size, these images engage not just with the history of photography, but also with the history of painting, advertising, and cinema. This exhibition also explores how giant photographs change our physical relationship to images, as they tower over and envelop us, instead of being trapped in our phone screens or flying by on the highway. On the Giant Photographs section of The BIG Picture, Terrana Assistant Curator Marjorie Rawle notes: “It’s an immersive experience that centers the viewer as an active participant in the culture of images, making us more aware of their role in our daily lives.” The show includes the work of photographers from across the globe: Gil Blank, Angela Strassheim, Laura McPhee, Amie Dicke, Eve Sussman, Miao Xiaochun, Ambra Polidori, James Casebere, Sarah Pickering, Pierre Gonnord, Noriko Furunishi, Karin Bubaš, Greg Girard, Héctor Mediavilla, Matt Siber, Paolo Ventura, Tang Yi, Alejandro Chaskielberg, Brian Ulrich, and Hong Lei.
Powerful Portfolios considers the potential of sets of multiple images to create narrative, deliver meaning, and stir emotion. There are haunting and nostalgic black-and-white images by 20th-century giant André Kertész and by photographer, professor, and social scientist Barbara Norfleet, as well as quirky and colorful works by street photographer Ruben Natal-San Miguel and conceptual photographer Kenji Nakahashi. A 2016 series entitled Family Pictures by Steve Locke, a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, inserts images of historical trauma and violence against Black bodies into quiet, home interiors in order to “reconcile a violent history with the contemporary spectacle of state violence within a domestic sphere,” according to the artist.
The BIG Picture offers the opportunity to celebrate the Fitchburg Art Museum’s continuously growing collection of photography, which has more than doubled over the last five years. FAM now holds over 2,000 photographs from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. This has been made possible by strategic purchases, and also by gifts to FAM from important collectors of photography, most notably Harley Fastman, Linda Fisher, Martin Goldman and Dorothy Klepper, Arlette and Gus Kayafas, James Pallotta, Richard and Jeanne Press, and Anthony Terrana. Dr. Terrana’s ongoing gift of 500+ photographs has not only significantly increased the size of the FAM collection, but also adds recent, color, large-scale digital photography to our art historical holdings.
The BIG Picture: Giant Photographs and Powerful Portfolios is the first exhibition of all of these photographs at FAM. It was organized by Director Nick Capasso with Terrana Assistant Curator Marjorie Rawle.

Keeper of the Hearth
2020 - Houston Centre for Photography

Keeper of the Hearth: Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph, is the first exhibition of Odette England’s book by the same name, which was published in the US in March 2020, marking the 40th year of Roland Barthes’ renowned work, Camera Lucida (La chambre claire). As part of this project, England invited more than 200 photography-based artists, writers, critics, curators, and historians from around the world to contribute an image or text that reflects on the instigator of Barthes’ semiotic musings—a photograph of his mother, Henriette, aged 5, that is never seen in the book, and is perhaps one of the most famous unseen photographs in the world.
Contributors include established artists such as David Levi-Strauss, Alec Soth, Rosalind Fox Solomon, and Mona Kuhn as well as emerging and mid-career artists and critics including Stanley Wolukau Wanambwa, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Jess T. Dugan. From a diverse array of found photographs to intimate portraits of artists’ lives, this exhibition creates a multitude of platforms from which to consider the theoretical conversations about photography—not only what we see but how we see—that continue to shape our understanding of the medium today. In addition to coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Camera Lucida, this exhibition opens two seasons of programs celebrating the 40th anniversary of Houston Center for Photography.

The Study for Fiction Plane
2019 - C-type Digital Print - The Shed, New York, US

Study for Fiction Plane is a photo installation that explores the use of artwork in simulation spaces—facilities built as “sets” for immersive experiences. The installation documents paintings, drawings and prints used to heighten the reality of these fabricated environments.
Study for Fiction Plane features a fake hospital room where an actress presents symptoms to medical students, a fabricated domestic space set aflame to create burn patterns for forensic trainees, an imitation home where new technologies are tested, a mock city built by the FBI, a Mars simulation and more. The installation includes photographs from a variety of artists, in addition to Weist, such as Corinne Botz, Sarah Pickering and Larry Sultan among others.
Using visual information from the collection, Weist teamed up with two Hollywood-based concept artists (who design environments for Sci-Fi and Fantasy film productions) to create a collaborative series of artworks, entitled Fiction Plane, designed to be included within film and TV sets. The series itself shows a fictitious environment when the works are viewed together and in the correct arrangement.

Flashes to Ashes - Fire in British Art
2019 - C-Type Digital Print - Royal West of England Academy

Fire: Flashes to Ashes in British Art 1692-2019, is the third in a series of element-themed exhibitions at the RWA, bringing together a number of important historic, modern and contemporary artworks. Destructive and creative, fearsome and fascinating⁠—fire is a subject loaded with symbolism, ritual and emotion.
Unsurprisingly, the subject of fire has attracted artists throughout the ages. This exhibition will examine how artists’ approaches have changed over time, recording historical, religious, domestic or natural events as well as exploring fire as a material phenomenon informed by contemporary themes and issues.
This exhibition shows how vital fire has been to the human experience, through technology, storytelling and symbolism and how the duality of our relationship with the element continues to fascinate in the 21st century.

Pickpocket: A Professional Development Workshop for Artists
2019 - Performance - Camberwell Space

Artist Sarah Pickering has devised this workshop with Magic Circle magician and entertainer Lee Thompson, who also uses his expertise to train the police. In a gesture that disrupts the flow of capital and exchange in the art world, and with the aid of an automaton, Lee will train artists to acquire new skills to sustain their practice, and avoid being victims of pickpockets while thinking about their latest project.
30 places available. No prior experience necessary and open to all - not exclusively for artists.

Rehearsing the Real
2019 - C-type Digital Print - Peckham 24, UK

Rehearsing the Real presents a collection of contemporary artworks that seek to unravel and rewind across media including photography, film, performance and text. These acts of unfolding will come in the form of undoing narratives, histories and visual languages. A central element of the exhibition is a live collaborative work that will manifest throughout the duration of the exhibition and will bring together artists Arcalís, Bäcklund, Güntert, Jamieson and Leon within one creative space. Rehearsing the Real focuses on contemporary practices that engage the strategies of undoing. One of the boldest acts of undoing in recent art history belongs to Robert Rauschenberg. With Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953) Rauschenberg created an artwork by physically erasing another artist’s work, that of Willem de Kooning. Rauschenberg's gesture of unmaking has been variously interpreted as an act of iconoclasm, provocation, a tribute and a gesture of creative self-assertion. It is also an act of collaboration, with de Kooning above all, but also with Jasper Johns, who devised the title and a presentation scheme that completed the work. Rauschenberg's encounter with John Cage at the Black Mountain College played a crucial role in fomenting his reflection on strategies of undoing and non-representation, leading to collaborative projects with Cage, Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown. It seems pertinent to highlight this aspect of the work given that curatorial conceit for Rehearsing the Real involves a central element based on a live collaborative event involving artists participating in the exhibition.
But what is left once the work is undone? Distinctions between different media seem no longer certain. Erased de Kooning Drawing can be described as a drawing, a performance, a record of its own creation. Perhaps even more importantly, the gesture of undoing places particular demands on the viewer. Historically and conceptually, Erased de Kooning Drawing belongs together with Rauschenberg’s White Paintings (1951), a series of blank monochromes whose ‘plastic fullness of nothing’ inspired, in turn, Cage’s 4’33”, known as the ‘silent score’ (1952). Erasure, silence, nothing confronts the viewer. And this, I think, changes the way we engage with the artwork: scrutiny gives way to contemplation; the focus relaxes; time flows more slowly. White Paintings have been notoriously described by Cage as ‘airports for the lights, shadows and particles.’ What he meant by this is that we are invited to take time to inspect the mute surfaces of the paintings for subtle reflections of activity in their surroundings. Blank spaces created by the works discussed here invite projections of visualizations. In a similar manner, the act of undoing creates space, which can now be filled with new gestures and interpretations.

Moving the Image
2019 - Silver Gelatin Print & Performance - Camberwell Space, London, UK

Beyond the photograph’s conventional status as a static object in dialogue with painting and cinema, this exhibition proposes that photographic images are instead shaped and altered through a multitude of processes and encounters, becoming performative and playful. Photography emerges as a complex, contradictory and challenging object, acting both with us and upon us.

Destruction in Art DIAS 2.0
2018 - Silver Gelatin Photograph - Chisenhale Studios

DIAS 2.0 consisted of a panel discussion, punctuated by a Q & A and a selection of installed works. The panel included of David Blackmore (Chair), Michael Hampton (Writer & Theorist), Sarah Pickering (Artist) and Amikam Toren (Artist). The original Destruction in Art symposium (DIAS) was held in London in 1966, organised by artist Gustav Metzger. Following the death of Metzger last year DIAS 2.0 seeks to examine the societal & cultural significance of destruction in the present day through its persistent use as subject matter and methodology in art.

Something Fierce
2017 - C-type Digital Print - The Lannan Foundation

Something Fierce features eight women artists whose work exemplifies an element of ferocity, whether it be expressed in the subject, process or intent.

Swap Edition 1: AD HOC
2017 - C-type Digital Print - Castor Gallery

The inaugural edition of SWAP brings together the work of 12 artists from around the UK. Titled AD HOC – as both a celebration to the imperative act of making art and a nod to an alternative reaction to the dominance of the art market machine. AD HOC is dealing with a specific subject, purpose, or end, where the action of doing satisfies the task at hand, whilst applying sensibilities about being adaptable and using creative methods to achieve results with whatever materials are available. Being AD HOC now seems more than ever an integral path to surviving as an artist.
SWAP Editions invites 12 artists to each create a small artwork as an edition of 18. The multiples are then published into 18 sets and each artist receives back a complete set containing all the works in that edition. SWAP is a growing collection of artist’s multiples made as editions in a wide range of materials from casts and prints, to mixed media, video and photographs. The aim is to collaborate with artists to explore the process of making editions and forge an alternate non-commercial socially driven platform to enable swapping and collecting original artworks between artists. Publishing semi-annually in Spring and Autumn, each edition is curated and launched with a gallery exhibition or public event and the works will join a growing showcase of art multiples available to view online. Through invitation and open submission opportunities we aim to commission new works from both established and emerging artists, whilst acting as a network, resource and online showcase for artists making multiples and editions.
SWAP is a curated set of small scale art multiples in a range of media, materials and approaches that together form an eclectic collection for each participating artist to own. For each published edition, several complete sets will be gifted to high profile international museum collections and academic institutions to ensure a wide reaching public legacy and help to develop the profile of the artists involved. A further complete edition will be kept as part of a growing archive by SWAP. The remaining editions will act as the art bank to be promoted and swapped for goods or services either as complete sets or individual artworks as an exchange to facilitate future editions.

2016 - C-type Digital Print - M86 Gallery, Brighton, UK

CONTROL is our new exhibition for Brighton Photo Fringe 2016, featuring work by Joachim Schmid, Rafal Milach, Sarah Pickering and Simon Menner, exploring the ways in which imagery and photography can manipulate the viewer in order to gain and maintain control. We’ve worked with Gordon MacDonald to curate the exhibition and events and we’ll also have artists talks from Esther Hovers, Rafal, Sarah and Simon

Pickpocket Performance – A free Professional Developmental Workshop for Artists
2016 - Performance - Cabaret der Künstler – Zunfthaus Voltaire

During Manifesta 11, Cabaret Voltaire will be transformed into a guildhall for artists called Cabaret der Künstler – Zunfthaus Voltaire. It is inspired by traditional guilds, where likeminded people collectively represent their profession. The Cabaret der Künstler – Zunfthaus Voltaire will be home to the newly founded Guild of Artists.
What people do for money is not always legal, and in a subversive act Christophe Ambre has recontextualised his expertise to become a consultant in his field to the police. Christophe describes his skill as an ‘art’ and has performed in the National Gallery in London and many other major European venues.
A pressing question implied but not addressed directly by the Biennial theme is, How can artists make a living? Now, more than ever, artists without financial support need to widen their skills portfolio to be market ready. Christophe will promote the value of generating alternative streams of income from creative talent.
I will work with Christophe on the content of the presentation providing insight into the economic downturn in arts funding and this decline in income for artists will provide a backdrop to the performance.
Christophe will demonstrate his skill in pickpocketing. He will provide practical tips on how to creatively remove valuable items from collectors, gallery directors and funders. Christophe will advise artists on how to avoid being a victim of pickpockets while they are thinking about artistic matters.

The Historical Exhibition: Sites Under Construction - ‘Professions Performing in Art’
2016 - C-type Digital Print - Manifesta 11 - Helmhaus, Zurich

The historical exhibition, which will comprise over 100 positions, is being co-curated by Manifesta 11 Chief Curator Christian Jankowski together with English Curator Francesca Gavin. The Historical Exhibition: Sites Under Construction will take up and explore the various ways in which current and historical working worlds have been portrayed in art.

Professions Performing in Art
Here we see how people working in other fields have become involved in the process of making art – either intentionally or not. The artworks, or documentations of artworks, often address power structures, providing moments of resistance, subversion or affirmation. They might incorporate footage from surveillance camera operators or records from customs officers, or turn a sold-out charter flight into an empty gesture. In each case professional activity activates the artwork.

Revelations: Experiments in Photography
2015 - C-type Digital Print - National Science and Media Museum

From the 1840s, scientists were using photography to record and measure phenomena which lay beyond human vision. The beauty of these early images, and the revolutionary techniques developed for scientific study, shaped the history of photography and heavily influenced modern and contemporary art photographers.
Revelations showcased some of the earliest photographic images by figures such as William Henry Fox Talbot and Eadweard Muybridge, alongside striking works by modern and contemporary artists including Harold Edgerton and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Director’s Cut: Recent Photography Gifts to the NCMA
2015 - C-type Digital Print - North Carolina Museum of Art

Director’s Cut features a selection of photographs from recent gifts to the Museum in honor of Dr. Lawrence Wheeler’s 20th anniversary as director of the North Carolina Museum of Art.
These gifts are a significant addition to the Museum’s photography collection and feature iconic images by many ground-breaking photographers of the 20th century, along with innovative works by contemporary photographers. Ranging in date from 1967 to 2013, the photographs depict a wide variety of subject matter, including Elvis conventions, minor league baseball, self-portraits, the southern landscape, and views of Cuba and New York. The photographers in the exhibition explore an array of photographic techniques and approaches, including traditional gelatin-silver prints, digital prints, Polaroids, and straight photography as well as overtly manipulated and constructed images.
Artists in the exhibition include Uta Barth, William Christenberry, Alex Harris, Frank Hunter, Bill Jacobson, Simen Johan, Andrew Moore, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Sarah Pickering, and Kerry Skarbakka, among others.

Revelations: Experiments in Photography
2015 - C-type Digital Print - The Science Museum, London, UK

Revelations, the new exhibition at the Science Museum, looks at the influence of early scientific photography on modern and contemporary art and features some of the rarest images in the world from the pioneers of photography.
Some of the rarest scientific photographs from the National Photography Collection are on display for the first time, including an original negative of X-Ray and 19th century photographs capturing electrical charge. From the 1840s, scientists were using photography to record things too large, too small or too fast for the human eye to see. William Henry Fox Talbot’s experiments with photomicrography are on show here alongside iconic works by fellow pioneers Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey.
Revelations goes on to explore the impact of both the technical and aesthetic insights of early scientific photography on photographic art with works by 20th century masters of the art such as Man Ray, György Kepes and László Moholy-Nagy and contemporary photographic artists such as Hiroshi Sugimoto and Walead Beshty.

Art & Antiquities
2015 - 2 Plinths, 2 Glass Cases, 6 Books, 19 Framed Prints. C-type Digital Prints, Silver Gelatin Prints, Salted Paper Prints. 2-minute Looped HD Video - Derby Museum and Art Gallery, UK

In Art and Antiquities the viewer is presented with a body of photographs, a series of objects and a HD 2 minute looped film in response to a museum exhibition on Fakes and Forgeries organised by the Art and Antiquities Unit of the Metropolitan Police. Working with the fakes and forgeries evidence archive at Scotland Yard, Pickering has researched one of the most notorious art forgers in history, Shaun Greenhalgh.

Pickering’s work often turns on photography’s ambiguous relationship to the real. On the one hand, the indexical veracity of her photographs insist that what we see (now) was really there (then); on the other hand, her uncanny subjects urge us to question the conditions of their framing. Her decision for this work to present The Faun, falsely attributed to Gauguin, via its reproduction in six separate fine art catalogues did more than convey the reach of Greenhalgh’s trickery; it also undermined the very processes and structures by which authenticity is established and maintained. Almost a century ago, Walter Benjamin observed that, with mechanical reproduction, the aura associated with the ‘original’ art object is radically superseded by the political. By showing art as already corrupted by its transmission via reproducible media, Art and Antiquities reinvigorated Benjamin’s suggestion, and intimated the reach but also the fallibility of authority more broadly. This understanding of the arts as socially and politically inscribed has surfaced in earlier works, not least Public Order (2002-5). The first of Pickering’s projects to engage the authorities, this series of photographs witnesses sites of police riot-training. In their description of eerily vacant streets, lined only with building facades, the images simultaneously expose and destabilise the state apparatuses for maintaining civil order by lifting the curtain on the scene of rehearsal. In Art and Antiquities, Pickering employed re-enactment, rather than the rehearsal, to defamiliarize and thus reveal usually imperceptible mechanisms of power. This shift in emphasis is apt given the photograph’s always-past tense (albeit a past deferred to unknowable, future viewers), and as such permitted greater reflexivity, not least in enabling Pickering to implicate and problematize her own working processes and status as Fine Art photographer.

The Appropriationists (from the out-skirts)
2015 - C-type Digital Print - Villa Park - center for contemporary art, France

The display presented at Art Geneve extends and echoes the exhibitions currently on view at the Villa du Parc in Annemasse: they are focused on the notion of “Appropriation”, i.e. the artistic pratices on pictures produced by others.
The four artists on view appropriate images, objects, or characters they use
in a variety of formal universes. The original material is apprehended through alterations or differenciations. Batia Suter uses the enlargment and the site to give
a new life to botanical pictures picked in an old book. Hippolyte Hentgen create collages and small irreverent drawings
on reproductions and documents; Sarah Pickering, investigates around a famous British forger and Felicia Atkinson borrows the character of Annie Hall to wander in its own corpus.

Staging Disorder
2015 - C-type Digital Print - LCC Galleries, London, UK

‘Staging Disorder’ explores the contemporary representation of the real in relation to modern conflict.
The project is initiated and supported by Karin Askham, Dean of the School of Media.
The exhibition includes selected images from seven photographic series that were made independently of each other near the start of the new millennium:
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s ‘Chicago’, Geissler/Sann’s ‘personal kill’, Claudio Hils’ ‘Red Land Blue Land’, An-My Lê’s ’29 Palms’, Richard Mosse’s ‘Airside’, Sarah Pickering’s ‘Public Order’ and Christopher Stewart’s ‘Kill House’. These artists portray fake domestic rooms, aircraft, houses, streets and entire towns designed as military and civilian mock-ups in preparation for real or imagined future conflicts across the globe. Their work asks questions about the nature of truth in current photographic practice.
The images in all seven series are documentary images of something which appears real but has in fact been staged to mimic a disordered reality.
In capturing this constructed reality, the works explore modern, premeditated conflict, and analyse a unique form of architecture. The ‘Staging Disorder’ concept refers not to how the photographers have staged disordered reality themselves, but rather to how they have recognised and responded to a phenomenon of staging that already exists.
These themes are also extended throughout the LCC gallery spaces in work by sound artists from UAL’s Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP) research centre.
CRiSAP artists Cathy Lane, Angus Carlyle (and his collaborator, the anthropologist Rupert Cox), David Toop and Peter Cusack add a multi-dimensional element to the photographic works with sound and moving image installations and written texts.
The show coincides with a symposium on the afternoon of Tuesday 27 January and a book launch at 6pm of the publication ‘Staging Disorder’ by Black Dog Publishing, co-edited by Christopher Stewart and Esther Teichmann.

Aim & Fire
2013 - C-type Digital Prints With Silver Gelatin Photographs - DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery, UK

“Aim”, “shoot” and “fire”; the language of the gun is shared with that of photography and film. It’s not surprising that the camera and gun evolved together. In the 1880’s cameras with sequential frames for time and motion studies were made from modified guns with a rotating disc of light sensitive film recording in the place of the bullet that would have frozen motion.
Locus+, in partnership with NEPN and Durham Art Gallery are proud to present Aim & Fire, the first solo exhibition of work by Sarah Pickering in the North East. Aim & Fire will include works from Explosion, Fire Scene and Incident as well as Celestial Objects, a new commission by Locus+, in partnership with the North East Photography Network.
Celestial Objects, by Sarah Pickering, has been made by photographing a revolver fired in total darkness. Each photographic exposure captures the entirety of a gunshot from start to finish.
The gap between truth and what we understand to be truth is a fascination that runs through Pickering’s practice. The Celestial Objects series continues this investigation, referencing images of deep space, cinematic special effects and the skies of Romantic painters such as John Martin, positioning itself between the objective facts of a documentary photograph and imagined reality.

The Flood Wall II
2013 - C-type Digital Print - Exposure 12 Gallery

The slide show series "The Flood Wall", which was successfully launched in 2012, was continued in 2013 with a projection on June 21 - the day of the "Fête de la musique". It was also the opening of an exhibition about the photo book. In addition to the photographs on the walls, artist books and other publications by the participating artists were available to leaf through in the exp12 rooms. The selection was made under the premise of presenting new works by recognized artists as well as newcomers of various cultural origins and with different photographic approaches. In addition to the international guests, the exp12 photographers were also represented.

An Orchestrated Vision: The Theater of Contemporary Photography
2012 - C-type Digital Print - St. Louis Art Museum

The Theater of Contemporary Photography is a compelling survey of contemporary photographers, many presented in St. Louis for the first time. Seen together, the works reveal the remarkable potential of the photographic medium in contemporary artistic practice. On view will be over 40 works from an international group of artists which includes Thomas Struth, Carrie Mae Weems, and Gregory Crewdson. These photographers have focused on the elements of scene setting and directing to meticulously construct environments that are mesmerizing in their large scale, absorbing in their uncanny beauty, and haunting in their elusive meaning. They inventively exploit photography’s unique capacity to operate in the boundaries between fact and fiction. Each image is the product of the painstaking execution of the ambitious vision of the artist.
Curated by Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs, with Ann-Maree Walker, research assistant, An Orchestrated Vision: The Theater of Contemporary Photography will be on view in the Main Exhibition Galleries.

Hijacked III: Contemporary Photography from Australia and the United Kingdom
2012 - C-type Digital Print - Quad, Derby UK & PICA, Perth Australia

Take a trip into the fantastic and foreboding worlds of artists from opposite sides of the globe. From society at its best and worst, Hijacked III: Contemporary Photography from Australia and the UK presents far reaching photographic practices which question what it means to look, catch or construct images for the 21st century.
Curated by Louise Clements, Mark McPherson and Leigh Robb, Hijacked III is being presented simultaneously across two sites: PICA in Perth, WA, and QUAD Gallery in Derby in the UK and has been timed to coincide with the launch of the exquisite Hijacked III publication.
The artists in Hijacked III explore subjects as diverse as suburban melancholy, Indigenous culture, gender politics, and curious weekend leisure pursuits through portraiture, traditional and digital collage, archival images, documentary snap shots and internet grabs.
The Hijacked III creates a framework that invites deconstruction and reflection on contemporary photography. It showcases the socially, culturally, politically and aesthetically diverse practices from a wide selection of emerging and established photographers who work within and outside the contexts of the two countries.

Signs of a Struggle: Photography in the Wake of Postmodernism
2011 - C-type Digital Print - Victoria & Albert Museum

This display explores photographs that make reference to themselves, other media and texts, and demonstrates how such Postmodernist approaches to photography have persisted for over 30 years. Spanning the mid-1970s to the present day, it shows work by some of the most influential artists associated with Postmodernism, such as Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, alongside more recent work by Anne Hardy, David Shrigley, Clare Strand and others.

Landscape Sublime
2011 - C-type Digital Print - North Carolina Museum of Art

History Painting Now
2011 - C-type Digital Print - Art Sensus Gallery, London UK

In the culture of Academic Painting that defined European art in the 18th and 19th centuries, History Painting was the epitome. Patrons and artists used the depiction of both actual events and mythological scenes to articulate the ideology of their culture. With the advent of Modernism however, and the rise of the ideal of the autonomous artist, and the dominance of an art culture interested in art about art, the genre of History Painting collapsed. Allied to this development was another, that for a long time the success of Western society allowed some to believe that History, in the sense of the epic struggle between cultures and their ideas, had come to an end - a belief epitomised in Francis Fukuyama's notorious book, The End of History and The Last Man. But History has returned with a vengeance. History Painting Now aims simply to present a variety of recent artistic responses to this unarguable fact.

Art & antiquities
2011 - C-type Digital Print With Silver Gelatin Photographs - Meessen de Clercq, Brussels

With Art and Antiquities, Sarah Pickering tackles the theme of authenticity, which is so crucially important in the art world, in her exhibit on the two rooms on the ground floor and in the videobox. In a meticulous installation of objects, books, a video and photographs, Sarah Pickering lifts the veil on the fraudulent practice of British forger Shaun Greenhalgh. Following on from an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum (The Metropolitan Police's Investigation of Fakes and Forgeries, 2010), and two TV programmes shown on the BBC, Sarah Pickering displays various objects which featured either in the exhibition or in the TV programmes.
In the right-hand room she shows from nineteen viewpoints a sculpture of an Egyptian goddess that Greenhalgh photographed in the hope of receiving valuations from specialists, so as to be able to sell to an antique dealer or a museum. In the display case, various books reproducing a false 'faune' by Paul Gauguin show just how successful a forger can be in fooling the greatest specialists. In a wicked mise-en-abîme, Sarah Pickering herself photographed the Greenhalgh forgeries and printed her photos using an old technique reminiscent of the appearance of the photos of William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) or of Roger Fenton who assiduously documented the collections of the British Museum. We can see the Armana Princess sold to the Bolton Museum in northern England for the sum of 440,000 pounds in 2003.
She also develops her arguments by showing two replicas made by the producer of one of the BBC programmes about Greenhalgh. These are copies of fakes, in a museum-like presentation.
On its own on a wall, visitors will discover a reproduction of one of the posters adorning the garden shed in which the forger plied his art. An advert for a copying machine, the image shows the scars, the stigmata one might say, of what brought about Greenhalgh's downfall, Egyptian hieroglyphs.
In the left-hand room, Sarah Pickering has arranged several photos of the inside of the garden shed, an identical reconstruction of the exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Visitors can see a cubist painting as well as some sculptures. Taking the loss of points of reference and the nesting of reality and reconstructions of reality still further, Pickering then repaired to the secure premises where Scotland Yard keeps seized forgeries, to take yet more photos. Which is a way of showing the copy of a copy of a forgery.
Adopting a strategy of re-appropriation, Pickering makes visitors completely lose the plot, ending up totally unable to tell what is 'really genuine'. The Assyrian-style bas-reliefs, like the princesses seen earlier, are replicas made for television. The contact sheet nearby, on the other hand, is a real contact sheet made by Greenhalgh on which we can see the amusing detail of a leg in front of the lens.
In the videobox, Forger's Palette shows a totally computer-generated sequence of a painter's palette turning round and round. Perhaps shown as evidence, shown from every angle, this video work illustrates very well the treachery of images which is so fascinating to the artist.

2011 - C-type Digital Print - Nederlands Fotomuseum

Radicalisation has been a hot topic since 9/11 and radicalism is regarded as negative by definition. But born out of idealism, isn’t it often also a force for social change? Who is radical and who decides? Has there really been an increase in radical behaviour among young people in our current society or is it ‘only’ a matter of distorted representation?
The multimedia project ANGRY was presented as an exhibition, website, educational modules and the debate The Day of Anger. The work of 31 international artists is juxtaposed with statements made in the media by governments, politicians, journalists, scientists, and activists over the past 50 years (1960 – 2010). The central part of ANGRY is formed by ten video portraits of (former) Dutch radicals, differing in age from 19 to 67 – who raise essential questions on their motivations. Workshops with young people resulted in video clips, a photo project, and graffiti. For the website, a game was developed “How radical are you?”, as a tool to trigger discussion amongst students as well as visitors.
ANGRY shows that radicalism exists in all ages, and all cultures. Looking back on history, one notices that angry, protesting youths are often considered foolish utopians, but that their ideals frequently became the norm later on. This is why ANGRY is just as much an ode to being able to devote yourself uncompromisingly to a good cause as it is a mirror for those who have lost their youthful idealism. Because isn’t indifference more radical than engagement?

Revealing Evidence
2010 - C-type Digital Print - PM Gallery and House

Two artists explore the area between hard evidence and supposition, realism and theatre are the subject of a new exhibition opening at PM Gallery & House. Textile artist Shelly Goldsmith and Photographer Sarah Pickering explore the working methods and thought processes of forensic scientists, to fill their work with stories and imagined scenarios. Together, the work illustrates the extent to which both scientists and artists, working in very different practices, build pictures, construct scenarios and make assumptions. Sarah Pickering's photographs feature a series of specific environments and events, including crime scenes, fires and explosions created for training the police, fire service, and military. Each highly realistic ‘set' of domestic rooms or city streets has been constructed to give a vivid sense of the people involved in or affected by each dramatic incident. Shelly Goldsmith uses textile materials to imagine how intense emotions and psychological states might be left behind as memories within the clothes we wear. Shelly has worked with a senior scientist at the Forensic Science Service to explore their joint interest in constructing narratives from worn clothes; considering how the examination of the latent material within clothing can reveal the experiences of a life.

2010 - C-type Digital Print - Jerwood Space

An exhibition of three new commissions that respond to the concept of ‘site’. Featuring the work of artists Mel Brimfield, Sarah Pickering and Aura Satz.
Each of the artists was asked to propose ideas for new works that responded to the idea of ‘site’, be it a geographical location, institution, collection, a fictional or conceptual space. The selected artists then undertook a five month research project to develop their ideas and the resulting works will be exhibited at Jerwood Space in August.

Incident Control
2010 - C-type Digital Print And Silver Gelatin Photographs - Museum of Contemporary Photography

The Museum of Contemporary Photography is proud to present a monographic exhibition featuring the work of British artist Sarah Pickering. While appearing to exist between reality and illusion, Pickering’s images are actually documents of simulation. The exhibition will present a total of 36 photographs from four recent series of Pickering’s work, spanning from 2002 to the present: Explosions, Fire Scene, Incident, and Public Order.

Sarah Pickering’s photographs disturb our sense of security and illuminate the ways in which we cope with traumatic events that are beyond our control. Her pictures depict environments and events crafted specifically for simulated training to prepare police officers, firefighters, and soldiers for calamities ranging from fire and civil unrest to terrorism and war. By exposing the absurdity and controlled nature of these environments, Pickering’s images reveal our predilection to deflect fear by trying to anticipate and plan for it—and our tendency to create a story to help us process it.
Ultimately Pickering’s photographs raise questions about the efficacy of preparedness and hint at the psychological effort needed to combat and recover from trauma—the struggle to live with the anxiety that can accompany security. Pickering’s Fire Scene pictures (2007), made at the British Fire Service College, document containers outfitted as home environments and set on fire to train forensic teams and crime scene investigators. The interiors are staged as elaborate, crammed domestic spaces, deliberately heavy with a narrative: each fire has been designed according to a specific cause, such as an electric heater malfunctioning, or a glue-sniffing escapade gone wrong. The fire investigators must decipher the origin. Pickering photographs just as the fire catches, and there is a captivating beauty in the blaze and a thrilling quality in the danger and implied rescue it represents.
Like Fire Scene, Pickering’s Incident pictures (2009) are shot at the Fire Service College, but in facilities designed less for forensic analysis than for logistical and tactical training. Sparse rooms built of concrete and metal contain simple forms such as a steel framed bed, filing cabinets, chairs, and human-shaped dummies made to withstand fire for future use. The only evidence of human presence is seen in finger and foot-prints in the ash, traces of life that activate these charred spaces. Pickering takes inspiration from the grayness of the scene by pushing the contrast of her matte silver gelatin pictures to emphasize the expressive markings and their relationship to drawing.
In addition to Fire Scene and Incident, Pickering has two other bodies of work. She began the first, called Public Order (2002-05), when she was still a graduate student at the Royal College of Art in London. These photographs depict various locations used to train specialists from the British Police Service. Charged with maintaining public order, the specialist officers respond to terrorism, as well as to mayhem such as football riots and protests. The training locations are fabricated, large-scale backdrops that simulate urban environments. The largest of these, Denton, where Pickering shot most of her pictures, is a huge network of fake streets and cinder-block facades, with all of the hallmarks of a midsize British working-class city, including a football stadium, a nightclub, and a Tube station. Less realistic than a film set, Denton is staid and cartoonlike

Manmade: Notions of Landscape from the Lannan Collection
2009 - C-type Digital Print - New Mexico Museum of Art

Curator Laura Addison was given access to the Lannan collection and noted one of the threads that runs through the Santa Fe-based Lannan Foundation collection is an exploration of man and the landscape—not landscape in its most literal sense, but landscape as a construction of meanings and relationships that are always morphing, growing, decaying, and exploding. These various facets of landscape include the natural, the cultural, the social, and the political.

Manipulating Reality: How Images Redefine The World
2009 - C-type Digital Print - Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina

The exhibition focuses on the meaning of the term "reality" in contemporary artistic research, as it explores different ways of visually representing the world in the ambiguity that lies between the real and the verisimilar, the concrete and the apparent, the present and the past.

In today's mass-media society, only what becomes image is considered real. In a process of reversal, the representation of the world comes to replace the world itself, a world in which the user operates digitally.

Several different scientific disciplines have already defined a paradigmatic change when they contend that the "real world" does not exist as an independent category, merely as a projection or a construction by the individual; and this, even though in daily life we still tend to raise concepts of reality and truth to the lofty rank of objective facts, on which we then base our actions and our beliefs.

Photography and video art have always been based on the conflict between recording reality and, at the same time, becoming themselves a falsification of that reality. Today, with the spreading popularity of easy-to-use digital technology and the massive dissemination of images through the mass media and the Internet, that ambiguity has if anything increased, pushing the conflict between appearance and reality to its outer edges and demanding that the spectator play an active role in defining what he or she is seeing as real.

Rather than set itself the impossible goal of finding the answer to the question of the nature of a reality reproducible in image form, the exhibition Manipulating Reality presents a selection of 23 artistic approaches that work through photography and video to develop possible models of reality. Its aim is not to understand whether photographs can convey reality but how this can occur. The works exhibited represent different artistic strategies addressing the construction, reflection or distortion of reality in images. In addition to investigating the value of documentary photography today, many of the artists presented reflect in part the conditions of the tool of photography and adopt known artistic techniques such as collage, presentation in model form, abstraction and the assemblage of different elements. Visitors find themselves faced with different constructions of reality, thus being prompted to reconsider their criteria for what is real and subject them to critical reappraisal in the light of the works exhibited.

Manipulating Reality is a CCCS project that availed itself of the scientific advice of Luminita Sabau (director of the DZ Bank collection of contemporary photography in Germany), Brett Rogers (director of the Photographers' Gallery, London), Martino Marangoni (director of the Fondazione Marangoni, Florence) and Franziska Nori (project director of the CCCS).

Totale Erinnerung – 3rd Fotofestival
2009 - C-type Digital Print - Alter Meßplatz, Mannheim, Germany

The Internet blog is perhaps the most popular contemporary form of collecting images based on the ease of sharing data—the "same” picture or the "same” video can be used time and again in a variety of ways within the context of a blog. A blog is a global image archive for a private community of interests. Completely different images are presented within the blog in a uniform format, and it is this succession of images, the visual chain of association, that accounts for their charm. The blog reacts to the variety and torrent of images by means of this formatting. We invited the bloggers on vvork to show a collection of images in the form of an installation in public space, thus creating a walk-in, three-dimensional blog on the Alter Meßplatz in Mannheim.

Holding Fire
2009 - C-type Digital Prints - Ffotogallery, UK

Holding Fire brings together for the first time two bodies of work Incident and Explosions, capturing the fascinating and bizarre spectacles to be found in the training centres of the emergency services. On gallery level one, large black and white images of fire-damaged interiors present us with an institutional simulation of potentially tragic events - scenarios that are recreated, restaged and repeated endlessly by the fire fighting services. By way of contrast, the ground floor exhibition features full colour images of pyrotechnic explosions used by British police and military instructors to intensify the sense of drama and tension in training exercises.

Photography Collection Gallery
2009 - C-type Digital Print - VIctoria and Albert Museum, London UK

White Goods from the Incident series will be featured alongside other new acquisitions and works from the museum collection

2009 - C-type Digital Prints - Meessen de Clercq, Belgium

The simulation pyrotechnic industry has rapidly expanded over the last few years: atrocious acts have happened in conflict throughout history, yet training in recent times has had to become more and more realistic to psychologically prepare our forces for the worst. Police and soldiers who have grown up playing computer games and seeing ever more spectacular special effects in films are simultaneously disconnected from and situated closer to the ‘real’. These photographs, which depict pyrotechnic explosions used by British police and military instructors to intensify the sense of drama and tension in training exercises, are part of a series taken at test sites in the English countryside where the bursts of light, flames, sparks, and smoke sit incongruously in the rural environment.

Whether real or artificial, we enjoy looking at explosions and, as an artist I’m of course fascinated by their visual seductiveness. I’m also interested in the forms of violence they represent, in our relationship to them, and in identifying the imaginative references they instantiate.

With names like Artillery, Groundburst, and Napalm, the pyrotechnics evoke not only violent and destructive events from wars and conflicts, but also the dramatic re-enactments of such events familiar from feature films or war documentaries. Witnesses to extreme situations often describe what they saw as being “like a film,” and modern filmmakers use CGI and special effects to conjure the most realistic possible disasters to entertain viewers. Indeed, one of the pyrotechnic manufacturers was also responsible for making explosive effects for James Bond and war films.

By using photography to record a simulated or imagined scene, I am creating a document that is already a departure from reality. Moreover, most of the photographs in this series were in fact taken during manufacturers’ demonstrations for military and police shopping trips rather than during training itself—in this sense, the images represent artificial instances of artificial explosions, packaged here as ‘product.’ Both cataloguing and decontextualizing the explosions they depict, these photographs permanently suspend them in a tranquil and contemplative moment. The image of a past event hovers between then, now, and what might be; what should be a decisive moment is confounded.

Rethinking Landscape
2008 - C-type Digital Print - Taubman Museum of Art, US

Rethinking Landscape: Contemporary Photography from the Allen G. Thomas, Jr. Collection

2008 - Silver Gelatin Photographs - Brighton Photo Fringe - Phoenix Gallery

A series of fifteen black and white images produced during a residency
at the UK Fire Service College from 2006 – 8. Taken from
purpose built environments that have been repeatedly set on fire and
extinguished, the blackened spaces reveal traces of human presence,
yet remain strangely pristine. The work can be experienced on many
levels, from the formal aspects and tensions inherent within the richly
textured compositions, to the implied narratives and their associations
with extreme events such as war and disasters.
Selected from an open call for submissions. Organised in partnership
with Brighton Photo Fringe 2008.

Theatres of the Real
2008 - C-type Digital Print - Fotomuseum, Belgium

Theatres of the Real presented photography from eight British-based artists whose works extend and redefine a tradition of British documentary photography. Straddling the boundaries between fact and fiction, the works in the exhibition created a hallucinatory and critically engaged vision of contemporary Britain.

New Typologies
2008 - C-type Digital Print - New Typologies

Magnum Photographer Martin Parr’s exhibit, New Typologies, highlights the use of the photographic series as an attempt to bring order to the chaos around us. The show features the work of WassinkLundgren, Donovan Wylie, Jeffrey Milstein, Jan Banning, Sarah Pickering, Ananké Asseff, Michel Campeau, and Jan Kempenaers.

In Our World. New Photography in Britain
2008 - C-type Digital Print - Galleria Civica de Modena

In Our World: New Photography in Britain, curated by Filippo Maggia, organised and produced by the Galleria Civica di Modena and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena (opening 20th April 2008, 11.30am, Palazzo Santa Margherita in Modena), in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, London.

Fire Scene
2008 - C-type Digital Prints - Daniel Cooney Fine Art, US

As an artist in residence at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in- Marsh, England, from 2006 to 2007, Sarah Pickering took pictures of “burn units,” set-dressed interiors set on fire to educate forensic teams and crime scene investigators. The blazes in these photographs provoke an immediate adrenaline response. More interesting, however, is the carefully orchestrated clutter of the imaginary households.
Like the photographer An-My Lê, who documents Marine Corps exercises in the California desert, Ms. Pickering blurs the line between real and simulated dangers. In an earlier body of work, “Public Order” (2005), she photographed the eerie yellow brick and cinder-block sets at a police training center.
Each of the large-scale color photographs in “Fire Scene” is titled after a particular scenario. Some — “Glue-Sniffing Kids,” “Vandals” — seem to address specific social ills. Others represent the kind of accidents that could happen to anyone, but tend to be associated with lower-income communities. In “Electric Radiator,” a space heater brushes up against a chintz sofa; in “Makeshift Cooking,” a similar device is being used to warm a teakettle.
All the burn units have been staged persuasively, down to the dirty dishes left on tables, toys strewn around the carpet and jackets thrown over the backs of chairs. They amount to a broken-windows theory of disorder as the root of disaster.

Contemporary, Cool and Collected
2007 - C-type Digital Print - Mint Museum of Art

Contemporary, Cool and Collected contains exceptional, contemporary works of art by today's extraordinary artists. The exhibition includes various art mediums such as photography, painting, drawings, sculpture, print making and new media. Selected by Carla Hanzal, Curator of Contemporary Art for The Mint Museums, the art on display comes from private collections of contemporary art located within a 360 mile radius of Charlotte, North Carolina. The exhibition provides rare access to pieces owned by influential and emerging collectors. The exhibition will also incorporate programs that reveal the challenges, risks, and rewards of collecting contemporary art.

2007 - C-type Digital Prints - The Photogaphers Gallery, UK

How we are: Photographing Britain
2007 - C-type Digital Print - Tate Britain, UK

This is the first major exhibition of photography ever to be held at Tate Britain. It takes a unique look at the journey of British photography, from the pioneers of the early medium to today’s photographers who use new technology to make and display their imagery.

The images in this exhibition have come from the length and breadth of the UK, and include well-known oeuvres alongside mesmerising lost masterpieces. As well as famous names – William Henry Fox Talbot, Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Bill Brandt, Madame Yevonde, Susan Lipper, David Bailey and Tom Hunter among them – the exhibition includes postcards, family albums, medical photographs, propaganda and social documents. It includes work by many women photographers and photographers from different cultural backgrounds who are usually underplayed in the history of British photography.

The Big Picture
2007 - C-type Digital Print - North Carolina Museum of Art

The BIG Picture presents twenty-three large-scale photo- graphs by a diverse group of thirteen contemporary photographers who are expanding the size and pushing the boundaries of their medium.The installation highlights recent acquisitions from the permanent collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art, along with loans from two private collectors in North Carolina:Allen G.Thomas Jr., of Wilson, and Dr. Carlos Garcia-Velez, of Raleigh.

The featured photographers experiment with the photo- graphic medium in a variety of ways, including subject matter, digital manipulation and printing, inventive uses of historical techniques, and performance-based images. The works on view include portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, and fabricated worlds that explore a wide range of themes, including personal identity, fantastic narratives, environmental issues and consequences, the changing landscape of major cities, systems of power, the passage of time, and pictures of contemporary life.

System Error: war is the force that gives us meaning
2007 - C-type Digital Print - Palazzo delle Papesse

Palazzo delle Papesse opens the first exhibition cycle of 2007 introducing the group show System Error: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning. The show is co-curated by Papesse chief curator Lorenzo Fusi and New York/Dhaka based artist Naeem Mohaiemen.

Featuring the artwork of more than 40 international artists working in video, music, comics, flash animation, print, sculpture, installation, collage, t-shirts, and various other media, the show will explore the response of artists to the current period of expanded and endless wars, both and intense cross-border battles, and the quiet violence of “disappearances”.

The curators set out to explore this fundamental question: if war is universally opposed, why do new conflicts keep breaking out? Is there an addiction to warfare in the human psyche? Has it become a drug we cannot quit? These and many other questions regarding the nature of “soft” conflict; the allure of flags, national anthems and nationalism; and pop culture’s fascination with bloody violence are explored in this show.

Brian Alfred, Rheim Alkadhi, Dawolu Jabari Anderson, Julieta Aranda, Shishir Bhattacharjee, Sarah Bridgland, Matt Bryans, Kevin Carter, Richard Dedomenici, Birgit Dieker, Meir Gal, Felix Gmelin, Jon Haddock, Usman Haque, Young-hae Chang, Heavy Industries, Alfredo Jaar, Emily Jacir, Agnieszka Kalinowska, Chris Marker, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Carlos Motta, Chris Moukarbel, Chris Naka, Negativland, Chaleerat Ngamchalee, Tom Nicholson, Damir Niksic, Stefano Palumbo, Gilles Peress, Sarah Pickering, Wilfredo Prieto, Walid Raad/Atlas Group, Joe Sacco, Jackie Salloum, Yara El-Sherbini, Francesco Simeti, Speculative Archive, Do-Ho Suh, The Critical Voice, Alejandro Vidal, Lebbeus Woods.
Artists in Companion Book
Ayreen Anastas René Gabri, Doug Ashford, Jimmie Durham, Jean Fisher, Coco Fusco, Matt McAllester, Josh Neufeld Martha Rosler, Michael Rakowitz, Raqs Media Collective, Israel Rosas, Collier Schorr.

Blown Away
2007 - C-type Digital Print - Krannert Art Museum, US

Serving as the visual focus of Hollywood blockbuster films and television news stories pertaining to the current war in Iraq, explosions have become a part of popular culture. This exhibition featured work in a variety of media by artists expressing an interest in explosions—from the intensity of an impending event to the sensation of the release and the reverberations of the ensuing shockwaves.

War Fare
2006 - C-type Digital Print - Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography

The five artists in this exhibition are interested in exploring the consumption of imagery as information about war. Some look directly at combat and its aftermath, trying to communicate from within the subject. Others seek out atypical views and the random, unnoted props of war—objects that range from the surreal to the prosaic and surround the reporting and waging of war in its various contexts. By focusing on these seemingly innocuous details, their work tells a larger story of how economic and corporate interests often intermingle with political ideology.

Mexico City's Art Fair, MACO 06
2006 - C-type Digital Print - Expo Reforma Convention Centre, Mexico

Public Order (2002-2005)

Riots and scenes of civil unrest are a daily occurrence in a small town called Denton. Despite the heavy police presence the violence is only ever temporarily suppressed. Another day brings more trouble – an incident at the underground station; barricaded streets; an injured civilian to bring to safety.

Denton is a set used by the police, designed to provide a realistic backdrop for a riot. The violent aggressor is defined here by the estate he could inhabit. Although absent from the photographs, his identity can be pieced together from the elements of social stereotyping in this purpose-built environment. The Public Order series of photographs documents the attention to detail and simultaneous lack of realism within this artificial environment. This is a living invention, a fantasy placed within the real world - an attempt to make violence and disorder tangible and knowable.

Jerwood Photography Award 2005
2006 - C-type Digital Prints - The Royal Pump Rooms, UK

New works by early-career photographers Daniel Gustav Cramer; Nina Mangalanayagam; Sarah Pickering; Oliver Parker and Luke Stephenson enabled by the Jerwood Photography Awards.
The six artists were selected in response to an open call to photography practitioners who had recently graduated from a UK based educational institution. They each received an award of £2,500 to support the making of new work for this exhibition and their work was published by Portfolio Magazine. The selectors were Gloria Chalmers, Editor, Portfolio Magazine; Andrew Dewdney, educationalist and writer; Patrick Henry, Director, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; Val Williams, writer and curator; and Bettina von Zwehl, visual artist.

2006 - C-type Digital Print - Daniel Cooney Fine Art

The simulation pyrotechnic industry has rapidly expanded over the last few years: atrocious acts have happened in conflict throughout history, yet training in recent times has had to become more and more realistic to psychologically prepare our forces for the worst. Police and soldiers who have grown up playing computer games and seeing ever more spectacular special effects in films are simultaneously disconnected from and situated closer to the ‘real’. These photographs, which depict pyrotechnic explosions used by British police and military instructors to intensify the sense of drama and tension in training exercises, are part of a series taken at test sites in the English countryside where the bursts of light, flames, sparks, and smoke sit incongruously in the rural environment.

Whether real or artificial, we enjoy looking at explosions and, as an artist I’m of course fascinated by their visual seductiveness. I’m also interested in the forms of violence they represent, in our relationship to them, and in identifying the imaginative references they instantiate.

With names like Artillery, Groundburst, and Napalm, the pyrotechnics evoke not only violent and destructive events from wars and conflicts, but also the dramatic re-enactments of such events familiar from feature films or war documentaries. Witnesses to extreme situations often describe what they saw as being “like a film,” and modern filmmakers use CGI and special effects to conjure the most realistic possible disasters to entertain viewers. Indeed, one of the pyrotechnic manufacturers was also responsible for making explosive effects for James Bond and war films.

By using photography to record a simulated or imagined scene, I am creating a document that is already a departure from reality. Moreover, most of the photographs in this series were in fact taken during manufacturers’ demonstrations for military and police shopping trips rather than during training itself—in this sense, the images represent artificial instances of artificial explosions, packaged here as ‘product.’ Both cataloguing and decontextualizing the explosions they depict, these photographs permanently suspend them in a tranquil and contemplative moment. The image of a past event hovers between then, now, and what might be; what should be a decisive moment is confounded.

EAST International 05
2005 - C-type Digital Print - Norwich Gallery

For EAST '05, Metzger has selected more than 20 artists to showcase their work for the seven-week exhibition which will explore economic, political and ethical issues.
The Norwich Gallery, at the Norwich School Of Art And Design, will become a broadcast centre for the duration of the exhibition. The gallery will receive, mix and transmit images and sounds through television, radio, the internet, print, film and mobile platforms, 24-hours-a-day.

Jerwood Photography Award 2005
2005 - C-type Digital Print - Jerwood Space

New works by early-career photographers Daniel Gustav Cramer; Nina Mangalanayagam; Sarah Pickering; Oliver Parker and Luke Stephenson enabled by the Jerwood Photography Awards.
The six artists were selected in response to an open call to photography practitioners who had recently graduated from a UK based educational institution. They each received an award of £2,500 to support the making of new work for this exhibition and their work was published by Portfolio Magazine. The selectors were Gloria Chalmers, Editor, Portfolio Magazine; Andrew Dewdney, educationalist and writer; Patrick Henry, Director, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool; Val Williams, writer and curator; and Bettina von Zwehl, visual artist.


The Sixth: Susan Collins in conversation with Sarah Pickering London, Summer 2019
- Journal Article for Katalog 30.2 2019/11/01

Match - 38 Metre Public Artwork
- Artefact (Photography) 2015/06/01

The Camera Never lies
- Chapter in The Photographer's Playbook , published by Aperture , New York , edited by Fulford J,Halpem G 2014/01/01

Seven Nights, Seven Photographers. British civilian defence forces fire on German Navy airship caught in searchlights overhead during WWI, 1916. Archive photograph selected by Sarah Pickering
- Artefact (Archive Photograph) 2014/08/04

Explosions, fires and public order
- Book , Aperture 2010/01/01

Sarah Pickering In conversation with Susan Bright
- Internet Publication (Video Interview) , Aperture Foundation 2010/04/01

Fire Scene Interview with Anthony Luvera
- Working Discussion Paper , UK 2009/04/30

Interview with Anne-Celine Jaeger
- Working Discussion Paper , Amsterdam 2008/09/01

Interview with Francesca Gavin
- Working Discussion Paper , UK 2007/04/01

Locus+ commission for a new extensive body of work and exhibition with NEPN
- Artwork (C-type digital prints) in Celestial Objects

Public Relations Imaging the City – Cardiff
- Artwork (Photographic Book) in Down to Earth