Amy Sharrocks

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Amy Sharrocks is a UK based live artist, sculptor, filmmaker and curator from London, England. Sharrocks' work focuses on collaboration and exchange, inviting people on journeys that they also help to create.. She is known for large scale, live artworks in public places that use everyday activities, such as swimming or walking, in spectacular ways. Many of her artworks investigate the nature of cities, explore the importance of fluidity as a way of thinking, and question our constructs of city life. Her work has been supported by Arts Council England, The Live Art Development Agency and Artsadmin. Major works include SWIM (2007), a 50-person swim across London, and the ongoing Museum of Water (2013-Ongoing), a collection of over one thousand bottles of water from around the world.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Sharrocks grew up in Camden and was educated at the Sorbonne in Paris, the University of Bristol, where she studied English and French, and in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Arts. She is the daughter of Anne Norman, a painter, and Torquil Norman, founder of the Roundhouse Trust.[2]

Selected works[edit]

Since 2005, Sharrocks has made live artworks about people and water.[2] Her work often involves walking, swimming and other everyday frameworks to create 'new avenues for exploration and fantastic visions within the everyday'.[3] She is currently organising Swim the Thames a proposal for an annual mass swim across the Thames as a live-art event.[4] Sharrocks is a member of the Walking Artists Network, and has been interviewed by Andrew Stuck for the Talking Walking podcast.[5]

pause (2005-2010)[edit]

A film shot on Oxford Street in which Sharrocks asked passers-by to hold their breath. It has been exhibited in London, Cambridge, Newcastle, France, Israel.[6]

SWIM (2007)[edit]

Inspired by Frank Perry's film "The Swimmer", Sharrocks invited people to 'swim across London from Tooting Bec Lido to Hampstead Heath ponds'.[1] It has been referred to as a 'flesh mobbing'[7]

drift (2009-2010, 2015)[edit]

drift (2009-2010, 2015) saw Sharrocks take participants one at a time for a drift on a boat in swimming pools throughout the United Kingdom, including an overnight drift in the London Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.[8]

London is a River City (2009)[edit]

London is a River City was a series of public walks exploring London's underground rivers through dowsing and re-mapping. The largest of these was Walbrook.

Walbrook (2009)[edit]

Walbrook saw 65 people walk silently through London at rush-hour, along the surface route of the subterranean Walbrook.[9] The walk took place as part of Artsadmin's Two Degrees 2009.

Season for Falling and Invitation to Fall (2013)[edit]

Sharrocks makes work about falling, exploring the trips and stumbles of everyday life. She focuses not only on the physical act of falling, but also the conceptual framework around the experience and meaning of falling.[10][11] Sharrocks won the Sculpture Shock Award from the Royal British Society of Sculptors, which resulted in the exhibition Season for Falling.[12] She also created An Invitation to Fall on the King's Road with the Museum of London. The work was an open invitation for participants to fall, and questioned notions of risk and shame, and explored the complicity of acts of witness. In 2012, Sharrocks hosted a Study Room Event at the Live Art Development Agency called A Guide to Falling; a full slide show is available at the LADA Study Room.[13] She has recently written about the work for the journal Performance Research, in a longform essay titled 'An Anatomy of Falling',[14] which was subsequently reproduced in the Live Art Almanac.[15]

Museum of Water (2013-Ongoing)[edit]

The Museum of Water is 'a collection of publicly donated water and accompanying stories',[3] in which the public is invited to browse the collection and add their own water samples and stories.[16] As of 2017, the collection includes over 1000 bottles.[17] The piece was featured at London's Somerset House in 2014 before touring the UK for three years. It has also toured across Europe and was nominated for European Museum of the Year 2016.[18] It spent 18 months in the Netherlands 2016-7, and from 2018 the Australian collection will be permanently housed at the Western Australian Museum.


WALKING WOMEN (2016)[edit]

She is co-curator with Clare Qualmann of WALKING WOMEN at Somerset House and the Edinburgh Art Festival. With Qualmann she produced a Study Room Guide for the Live Art Development Agency based on the WALKING WOMEN exhibition as part of an ongoing effort to reshape the canon of walking to reflect the practices of walking women.[19]

Do Rivers Dream of Oceans (2016)[edit]

Sharrocks curated Do Rivers Dream of Oceans? as part of WaterFest 2017 in Reading, England as part of the Reading Year of Culture.[20] Also in Reading 2017 she organised the Fry’s Island Swim, accompanied by the curated programme, What’s the point of rivers, anyway?.



  1. ^ a b "Amy Sharrocks". Artsadmin. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  2. ^ a b "Amy Sharrocks: the woman with the key to London's water". Evening Standard. 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  3. ^ a b "Museum of Water by Amy Sharrocks, London UK". Museum of Water by Amy Sharrocks, London UK. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  4. ^ Sharrocks, Amy. "Swim the Thames | Thames swimming London, UK". Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  5. ^ "Amy Sharrocks talking walking". 2013-05-25. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  6. ^ "Forest Fringe | The Place". Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  7. ^ "Free for all by Amy Sharrocks - Live Art Development Agency". Live Art Development Agency. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  8. ^ "DRIFT COMPETITION | Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park". Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  9. ^ Gratza, Agnieszka (2011-08-17). "London Waterworks". PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. 33 (3): 89–93. doi:10.1162/PAJJ_a_00059. ISSN 1520-281X.
  10. ^ Sharrocks, Amy (2013-08-01). "An Anatomy of Falling". Performance Research. 18 (4): 48–55. doi:10.1080/13528165.2013.814368. ISSN 1352-8165.
  11. ^ "Connect10 Competition Artist Amy Sharrocks". Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  12. ^ "Sculpture Shock: Ambulatory—SEASON FOR FALLING » Exhibitions » Royal British Society of Sculptors". Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  13. ^ Sharrocks, Amy (2012). A Study Guide to Falling (PDF).
  14. ^ Sharrocks, Amy (2013-08-01). "An Anatomy of Falling". Performance Research. 18 (4): 48–55. doi:10.1080/13528165.2013.814368. ISSN 1352-8165.
  15. ^ Keidan, Lois; Wright, Aaron; Curtis, Harriet (2016-06-09). The Live Art Almanac. Oberon Books. ISBN 9781783193233.
  16. ^ "Museum of Water: A live artwork by Amy Sharrocks, 6 – 29 June 2014". Somerset House. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  17. ^ "The Collection - Museum of Water by Amy Sharrocks, London UK". Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  18. ^ "European Museum of the Year Award nomination for Museum of Water | LIFT". Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  19. ^ Qualmann, C. and A. Sharrocks (2017) WALKING WOMEN: A Study Room Guide on women using walking in their practice. Available at: (Accessed 28 July 2017)
  20. ^ "Do Rivers Dream of Oceans?". Reading: Place of Culture. 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  21. ^ "The Museum Oskars 2015: Winners Part 1 | Museum140". Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  22. ^ "Sculpture Shock: Ambulatory—SEASON FOR FALLING » Exhibitions » Royal British Society of Sculptors". Retrieved 2016-07-05.