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

Open call goes live: Thursday 4 February
Open call closes: Thursday 11 March
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.


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.

Gathering in a Time of Plague

October 2020 to May 2021

Forcing Hyacinth, Kelvin Atmadibrata, 2019. Helsinki. Photo by Julius Töyrylä.

We have established VSSL in a time of plague. In response to the conditions of pandemic, we intend that the studio remains a place where performance practices may continue to unfold, unmediated by the screen. Our work continues to foreground the power and immediacy of live performance.

Our first public programme - Gathering in a Time of Plague - involves a number of developmental and performance  opportunities, which were programmed by invitation and open call.

The programme is made possible thanks to public funding from Arts Council England.

What is a sense of self?, Adriana Disman, 2019Presented by Cross Attic & Holešovická Šachta, Prague. Photo: Svetlana Lopedo.

Studio Residencies

Our studio community will be joined by artists Kelvin Atmadibrata and Adriana Disman, who will undertake seven month studio residencies at VSSL, supported by Arts Council England and ]performance s p a c e[.

As an expansion of my post-graduate investigation of the performing masculine body, I was introduced to the language of queer abstraction and minimalist erotica that I have since been experimenting and developing within my illustration of the mecha and transhumanist fantasy. The past months of lockdown and consequential shift towards the digital have also evoked queries upon my personal pace as I struggled to keep up with both the pandemic and the online, both that have more than ever, evolved with such robust momentums. I plan to utilize the studio space, peer and mentoring support with V SS L to reflect on these observations and refocus my productive engine with the ultimate aim of progressing my current artistic inquiries.
Kelvin Atmadibrata

The love of my life is performance art. In the current context in which we are not able to witness the work of others, my own practice has shrivelled. It has no physical or mental space. It needs the nourishment and accountability to more creatures, to discover how it is now and what serves it. Through the support of this residency, I intent to cultivate a nourishing studio culture that mobilises potential exchange between artists to re-energise my commitment to my own practice. I am not looking for a simple physical space from which to transplant an already known practice, I’m looking for sparring partners who will challenge and push me with love and become part of the space that will form the practice. I dream that in this way, I might find some delicious edges from which to push off and kick out into a new ocean. Performance is vast.
Adriana Disman

Performance Programme

Gathering in a Time of Plague also features seven live performance works taking place at VSSL between January and May. Further details regarding the performances will be announced in the new year.

Description: the artist lies nude in a metal bath filled with wool, as though in a cocoon

E.M. Parry

E.M. Parry is a transgender, trans-disciplinary artist, working and playing across scenography, performance, drag and visual art. Flitting between genres and platforms, their work has been seen at Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, the V&A Museum and Bethnal Green Working Man’s Club, international opera stages and leaky basements. They work with, through and for the queer body, squinting at history, flirting with ghosts and the things that go bump in the margins.

Image: Cocoon  Ritual, Image courtesy of the artist.


Jade Blackstock

Jade (B. 1993, Birmingham) is a UK-based, British Jamaican performance artist. Her work explores questions of the body and identity in relation to historical, cultural and personal events and experiences. Her practice is particularly anchored in exploring Afro-Caribbean customs, rituals and material, and attempts to unpack how prejudicially embedded histories impact the lives and current representations of people of colour. She seeks to highlight how the body, material and space have shared capabilities of holding, transferring and embodying collective pasts or memories, which bears importance in our understanding of selves and each other. Themes of race and Black identity, feminism, ownership, class and loss are present in her work.

Image courtesy of the artist.

The artist has bound her head with twine, and walks wearing a white dress with white paint on her hand and leg, holding a bowl of honey along pass an ancient wall.

Kneeling on the pavement, the artist, wearing a blue boiler suit and protective gloves pores a murky liquid from a large plastic bottle onto a road.

Jasper Llewellyn

“My work attempts to trace and align with the latent, emergent characteristics of situations, sites and objects, as part of a more fundamental concern with mapping the (affective) composition of ordinary life. My practice typically involves the enaction of various sonic/written/sculptural/action-based doing-thinking strategies in public and domestic spaces, as a means to attune to the specific energetic, atmospheric dynamics of the site(uation). My recent work has been particularly concerned with improvisation, as a methodological approach in both living and art-making and as a key component in the ongoing actualization of ordinary life.”

Image: Annotation, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.


Kimvi (b.1982) is a Welsh born, Vietnamese visual and performance artist who is influenced by materiality and the environment. Her work explores the interdisciplinary qualities of materials; drawing on her background in textile, craft and design, her practice is multi-disciplinary and expansive and has been supported by artists such as Jurgen Fritz (Black Market International), La Juan Gallery, Helen Spackman & Ernst Fischer (LIBENZ) and ]Performance Space[ . Based in Hampshire, England, She graduated with a BA in Fine Art Sculpture from Winchester School of Art (2011). She is an international artist whose work have been shown at festivals across Europe, to include; Territori (Ibiza, Spain, 2020), Eugénio de Almeida Foundation (Evora, Portugal, 2019), BSide War ‘After Hiroshima’ (Udine, Italy, 2019)  & International Theatre and Art Festival (Valladolid, Spain, 2018).

Image: Sign for Peace, 3rd edtion, Kimvi, 2017. 3 hours durational performance Hastings. East Sussex,
England. Still from video. Image by Greig Burgoyne.

Gazing at the sea, under a  grey sky, the artist raises a white flag in her right hand. In her left is another white flag pointed to the floor.

Niya B

Niya B is a transfeminist artist, working at the intersections of visual art and performance to explore themes related to ecology, posthumanism, (trans)gender politics and equity in mental health. She uses video, soundscapes, text, voice-over, live image feed and live acts to create a meditative space of vulnerability, affect and interdependence.

Image: Snake Woman, Niya B. Photo by Zbigniew Tomasz Kotkiewicz.

Shaun Caton

Shaun Caton has made about 400 live performances over the past 33 years. Shaun understands Performance as a shamanic process of image making using the body as a tool instead of a brush or camera. Performances, often durational in the past incorporate painting, writing, movements, spoken word and sound.

Recent highlights include: ‘Il Giardino Grottesco’ The 58th Venice Biennale Palazzo Pesaro Papafava (Alive in the Universe) June 2nd 2019. ‘For Old Times’ Sake’ Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, County Kerry, Ireland, July 2017. ‘Rainschemes For Insomniacs: A Kitchen Stink Drama’ Produced by the Pacitti Company for SPILL Festival of Performance, 2016.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Chinasa Vivian Ezugha

Chinasa Vivian Ezugha is a Nigerian-born artist living and working in Hampshire. Her work looks at the transition of Black women and their identity within culture from colonised subjects to emancipated figures. Vivian works predominantly in performance, using the medium to decontextualise and reconstruct what it means to be alive in this present time andtoprotest for a worldwhere we are all allowed to dream. She is the founder of Live Art in Wymondham, a one-day site-specific series of events that aimed to bring emerging artists working in live art to rural Norfolk.

Her work has been presented in venues across Europe, America and the UK, including In Between Time Festival(Bristol, 2017),SPILL Festival (Ipswich, 2018) and Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival (Chicago, 2015). She is the winner of the New Art Exchange Open Main Prize (2019), and a recipient of the Santander Universities Post Covid-19 Performance Making Enterprise Award (2020).

Image: Rara Avis, the perception of the Gothic,
ArtVault, Southampton, England, 2018.
Image courtesy of the artist.


F U T U R E R I T U A L is a research and performance project considering the use, place and function of ritual in contemporary queer and performance cultures, and the relationship of these cultures and practices to futurity.

F U T U R E R I T U A L positions ritual as a technology of speculative transformation, and queer ritual action is understood as a method for divination and augury - as a way of mapping, visioning, fabulating or otherwise embodying future potentialities. A future ritual might function by gesturing towards or manifesting or otherwise calling forth these alternate states, these other ways of being.

The project is a lab for performative research by lead artist Joseph Morgan Schofield and other invited artists.

]performance s p a c e[

V SS L collaborates with ]performance s p a c e[, operating as a London-based venue partner and  platform.

Currently based in Folkestone's Creative Quarter (Kent), ]ps[ cultivates time-based work that critically and physically pushes the boundaries of body, time and space.

]ps[  strives to act as a hub to national and international artists - developing the performance art network, while acting as a place of research, development and education - outside of mainstream institutions.

We are commit­ted to supporting challenging and difficult work that embraces performance art as an ever-evolving medium.

]performance s p a c e ['s mission is to facilitate the prime conditions for the production of performance art in the UK (and beyond), while expanding an understanding of the medium through education.  

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VSSL studio
Enclave, 50 Resolution Way
Deptford, London, UK

Contact:  Benjamin & Joseph

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