The Sunday Skool for Misfits, Experimenters, and Dissenters is a new free art skool devoted to performance, and created for outsiders, subversives, transgressors and nonconformists. It has been established by Skool mistresses Martin O'Brien, Shabnam Shabazi, and Joseph Morgan Schofield. The idea evolved from a desire to create free art education systems based on processes of mentorship and support. The Sunday Skool is dedicated to a politics of dissent and experimentation. We want to reach those that are less privileged and those traditionally denied access to the arts. The Skool is dedicated to creating a space for all, especially those often excluded because of race, class, disability, gender and sexuality.

This open call is for participants for the first iteration of The Sunday Skool. It is a twelve-week long course for artists and creatives working in performance and live art, and other experimental practices on the edge or in between forms. It is designed for those in the early stages of their practice (any age), those with experience in other art forms but who are beginning to work with performance, and those who are struggling to maintain a practice during the lockdown restrictions.

The Sunday Skool will take place online, using zoom, and is open to people anywhere in the world. Sessions will be delivered in English.

The participants will undertake workshops led by Skool mistresses and guest artists, talks, lectures and discussions by creatives and scholars, peer-led crit sessions, individual mentor sessions with the Skool mistresses, and a final showing of work in progress or projects in process. The course will run every Sunday from 18th April to 4th July (12 weeks). Participating artists will be expected to be available 10.00 – 16.00. (GMT) every Sunday for the duration of the course.  

The Sunday Skool is supported by the Arts Council England and the Wellcome Trust, and hosted by VSSL studio.

Key Dates

Participants Notified: Thursday 18 March
Skool begins: Sunday 18 April
Skool’s out for summer: Sunday 4 July

Application Process

To apply for a place in The Sunday Skool for Misfits, Experimenters, and Dissenters, please write (up to 2000 characters) or record an audio/video statement (max 5 minutes) which answers these questions:

·  What are you pre-occupied with creatively?

·  Why do you want to take part in The Sunday Skool?

In answering these questions we invite creative, poetic or matter of fact answers, and encourage you to think about your way of approaching art, creativity and collaboration.

There is also the option to include up to two links to your work online - these could be links to websites, social media, or to google drive folders.

Open call goes live: Thursday 4 February

Open call closes: Thursday 11 March, 23.59

Access & ‘Braver space’

The Sunday Skool will take place on Zoom and we will use automatic live captioning as provided by Rev.

We have a limited amount of money available to contribute towards expenses incurred while accessing The Sunday Skool. This pot of money will be offered on an opt-in basis, aimed at those participants who self-identify as in need.  We will discuss the allocation of this money with those who opt-in.

We will discuss the holding of ‘braver space’ and any access needs with participants in advance of the programme starting, remaining committed and open to evolving conversations around access throughout.


If you have any questions about The Sunday Skool or the application process, please email Joseph:

Skool Mistresses

Martin O’Brien

Martin O’Brien is an artist, theorist, teacher, and zombie. His performance, writing and video art explores what it means to be born with a life shortening disease, politically and philosophically. Martin has cystic fibrosis and all of his work and writing is an act of resistance, a celebration of sickness and an attempt to keep breathing. He is best known for his long durational solo performances, and his collaborations with the pioneering body artist, Sheree Rose. His work has been written about in books and articles, including the major book about his work ‘Survival of the Sickest: The Art of Martin O'Brien’. He has shown work throughout the UK, Europe, US, and Canada. Martin is lecturer in performance at Queen Mary University of London.

Martin O’Brien, photo courtesy of The Wellcome Collection

Shabnam Shabazi

Shabnam Shabazi is an interdisciplinary ‘artivist’, a maker and enabler of creative projects, working across a range of art forms through  a solo and collaborative arts practice. In her solo practice she works with objects, video, digital media, text, performance and installation. Collaboratively working with artists and non-artists in different communities spotlighting them and enabling their interests. Participation and creating platforms giving voice to uncomfortable issues are central to Shabnam’s practice, animated by the interstices and intersections between art forms and cultures. Exploring notions of site-specific, subverting use of existing spaces and committed to a ’without walls’ approach.  Her signature theme is ‘home’. Ongoing research explores the idea of ‘body as house’; the ‘artistic practice of exorcism’, and ‘art as a guarantee of sanity’.

Shabnam Shabazi, Photo by Guido Mencari.

Joseph Morgan Schofield

Joseph Morgan Schofield is a performance artist and writer. Articulating their practice as ‘queer ritual action’, their work, which foregrounds the immediacy of the sweating, bleeding, wanting, sensate body, is broadly concerned with  desire, particularly in relation to ecology and futurity. They offer performance as a technology of divination; a place of mourning, yearning, processing and communing. Understanding acts of gathering and communing as central to their practice, Joseph’s work incorporates curating, producing, facilitating, mentoring and teaching. They are the co-founder of VSSL studio (London, UK) and the Assistant Director of ]performance s p a c e[ (Folkestone, UK). Joseph has performed throughout the UK and Europe.

devotion : seduction, Venice International Performance Art Week 2020. Photo by Fenia Kotsopoulou.

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Enclave, 50 Resolution Way
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Contact:  Benjamin & Joseph

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