Professor Sarah Perks (Artistic Director: Visual Art) has announced that she will be leaving HOME to pursue a number of independent international curatorial and writing projects. Sarah will continue to work with HOME as an Artistic Associate leading a number of future creative projects including HOME Artist Film, and will also stay at Manchester School of Art in her role as Professor. Sarah is chair of the forthcoming Asia Triennial Manchester (ATM18, 5 – 21 Oct) and chair of the Islington Mill Foundation, leading on the development of new peer-led approaches to art education and artist-led endeavour.
In addition to directing and leading the visual art programme for HOME, Sarah was also vital to HOME’s transition from Cornerhouse, where she led the entire artistic programme for the venue’s final six years. Over this combined period at HOME and Cornerhouse, she curated over 30 major exhibitions, working with artists including AL and AL, Sophia Al-Maria, Rosa Barba, Phil Collins, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Rachel Maclean, Noor Afshan Mirza & Brad Butler, Stanya Khan, Clifford Owens, Rashid Rana, James Richards, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Qasim Riza Shaheen, David Shrigley and Gillian Wearing, and many more. Sarah was one of Creative Review’s Creative Leaders 50 in 2017, and her exhibitions and projects have connected Manchester across Europe and internationally including China (K11), USA (MIT List Visual Arts Center), and Norway (Tromsø Kunstforening).
Sarah is at the vanguard of artists’ film with highlights including setting up HOME Artist Film, an innovative project across production, theatrical & festival distribution, exhibition and academic research. She executive produced Gabrielle Brady’s Island of the Hungry Ghosts, which won Best Documentary at Tribeca Film Festival this year. She created Feature Expanded with curator Leonardo Bigazzi & Lo schermo dell’arte (Florence), the first development initiative for European visual artists making their debut feature film. Sarah established HOME Publications with Senior Producer Bren O’Callaghan including partnerships with Hayward Publishing and Sternberg Press, producing 12 publications, since HOME opened in 2015. Sarah has also written and co-edited a number of books where creative meets critical writing such as Dark Habits, Feat Eats the Soul, Transactions of Desire Vol I and II.
Future large-scale curatorial projects include presentations with HOME and other Manchester partners, whilst further afield, she is building upon her collaborative cross art-form practice in countries including Pakistan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Australia and New Zealand. Forthcoming publications include artist book One Day the Sadness Will End with Declan Clarke (autumn 2018), her debut novel and also Artists’ Moving Image in Britain Since 1989 with Erika Balsom and Lucy Reynolds for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (Yale University Press, autumn 2019).
Sarah says: “Following the much loved Cornerhouse, I decided to join HOME’s artistic directorate and be a part of the transition, with the intention to be a part of the first programming cycle. Being Artistic Director: Visual Art at HOME meant commissioning, curating and producing amazing cutting-edge work including group exhibitions exploring contemporary socio-political issues, from race and representation via Imitation of Life, transgression and counterculture in La Movida and a consideration of the post-soviet ‘New East’ in The Return of Memory.
“I just want to say a huge thank you for the politics, parties, performances and people – you know who you are! And rest assured, I’ll be popping up with long-term curatorial collaborator Dr Omar Kholeif on many occasions!”
Dave Moutrey, Director and CEO of HOME said: “I have worked with Sarah for nearly 16 years, during which time she’s had an enormous impact on the visual arts landscape of this city and beyond. I wish her every success as she embarks on the next chapter of her career, and I look forward to working with her on some exciting forthcoming projects here at HOME.”