Sheila Ghelani and Sue Palmer

Sheila Ghelani and Sue Palmer are the creative duos behind Common Salt a tabletop performance tracing the legacy of colonialism through objects. As part of the Work In Progress project, they are developing a performance titled Atmospheric Forces exploring themes of nature, colonialism, connectivity and memory. 

Sheila and Sue’s practice is rooted in theory and criticism thus lots of support lay in critical conversations and explorations. The duo reprogrammed Common Salt at the Museum for English Rural Life (MERL) in which academics, students and the public were invited to engage with their practice. Following this, an ‘in conversation’ event was hosted at the University of Reading to discuss and explore theories that could be dissected and utilised in the development of Atmospheric Forces

We also hosted numerous student workshops which enabled Sheila and Sue to further explore memory, and the significance of objects, as well as directly experiment with Atmospheric Forces, by braving the cold weather of Reading!


Artist Response

“We felt looked after.”

‘[Being put into contact with academics] was such a rich part of the residency; each conversation (Andrew and Laura in Meteorology, Isabela and Christina in Architecture) was a resonant, in-depth and inspiring exchange, and we sensed that it was also interesting for the academics, which meant a lot to our work and our research.’

“We loved doing the workshop with the students.”

“We loved sharing Common Salt at MERL.”


Process: Meeting online…

Second year student Conor Chamiec attended one of the many online planning meetings for the Work in Progress project, as part of his placement on the project. Here, he reflects…Read More >

Process: Sheila and Sue: Interview

  In March 2020, second year film student Conor Chamiec conducted an interview with Sheila Ghelani and Sue Palmer about their previous work and plans for the development of their…Read More >

Process: Atmospheric Forces: A conversation

On 10th June 2021, Sue and Sheila held an informal conversation event with guests, responding to the question ‘Atmospheric Forces – what does this mean to you?’ Topics that they’re…Read More >

Reflections: Common Salt Workshop

On 5th February 2020, students from the Department of Film and Theatre attended a workshop led by Sheila Ghelani and Sue Palmer, following a performance of Common Salt. Here, Alice…Read More >