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Lou Lou Sainsbury, deadnames of the world fka earth, 2021. Ink on paper sketch. Courtesy of the artist.

Lou Lou Sainsbury, my hole is the place where I call myself a mother, 2020. Video still. Commissioned by Well Projects. Courtesy of the artist.

Gasworks presents the first solo exhibition in London by Margate-based artist Lou Lou Sainsbury. Identifying as a time traveller, Sainsbury works across film and performance, poetry and textiles. Her work unwrites and rewrites the natural history of living beings, inviting the viewer to delve into alternate mythologies informed by queer and ecological activisms.

Sainsbury’s performances and films result from long-term research developed through collective study and collaborative processes. Her recent work maps a constellation of holes, vampires, aliens, miracles, mysticism, impossible births, interspecies encounters and life in constant transformation, bodies that seep out and words that crack open.

For her first institutional solo exhibition, Sainsbury presents a newly-commissioned body of work that seeks to reimagine transgender experience beyond the limiting language of medicalisation, rewriting its histories into an interplanetary poetics of trans sensuality, relation and desire.

Based on a series of 'trans-for-trans' writing workshops and collaborative experiences, Earth is a Deadname is a trans-erotic space opera, a heartfelt love song for more-than-human life after the end of this world. In Sainsbury’s words, “We return to the earth, where ‘Earth’ is a deadname, where the night is also a sun, and earth feeds on the placenta of its own rebirth”.

(Visit Sainsbury's page from her recent residency at Gasworks to see her work in progress and watch an interview with the artist.) 


Artist Biography 

Lou Lou Sainsbury is based between Margate and Rotterdam. Recently graduated from the Dutch Art Institute, she was an associate artist at Open School East in 2017 after completing the BA in Moving Image at the University of Brighton in 2016. She has exhibited individually at Well Projects, Margate (2020). Recent performances and group exhibitions include: Yaby and La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Centre for Contemporary Arts Prague (both 2020); Nottingham Contemporary; Tate Modern, London; Yaby, Madrid (all 2019); and Flat Time House, London (2018).



Lou Lou Sainsbury is the sixth artist to take part in the Freelands Gasworks Partnership, a programme for emerging UK artists based outside of London. Made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Freelands Foundation, the programme combines a three-month residency with a solo exhibition commissioned by Gasworks in partnership with Humber Street Gallery (an Absolutely Cultured project) in Hull, where a second instalment of the show will be presented in 2023. The previous participants were Jamie CreweRachal BradleyLibita ClaytonLauren Gault and Bassam Al-Sabah.

Gasworks commissions are supported by Catherine Petitgas and Gasworks Exhibitions Supporters.