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Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist As Medium

Past exhibition
Hayward Gallery Touring

Blue Oval Drawing Ann Churchill

A Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition of artists and works inspired by mediumistic methodologies and their deep cultural history

Bringing together more than 30 international artists and collectives from the 19th century to the present day

Featured artists

William Blake, Cameron, Bonnie Camplin, Ann Churchill, Ithell Colquhoun, Louise Despont, Casimiro Domingo, Madame Fondrillon, Chiara Fumai, Madge Gill, Susan Hiller, Barbara Honywood, Georgiana Houghton, Anna Mary Howitt, Victor Hugo, Augustin Lesage, Pia Lindman, Ann Lislegaard, André Masson, Grace Pailthorpe, František Jaroslav Pecka, Olivia Plender, Sigmar Polke, Lea Porsager, Austin Osman Spare, Yves Tanguy, and Suzanne Treister with The Museum of Black Hole Spacetime Collective.

Noviadi Angkasapura, Robert Barry, Vidya Gastaldon, Jock Macdonald and Emma Talbot are included in the exhibition tour.

Not Without My Ghosts explores the changing terms of artistic engagement with mediumship.

The exhibition takes in works based on spirit experiences performed in a state of trance, practices of automatism, surrealist experiments, ritualised forms of occultism, and communications with higher powers and other realities. 

Taking as its starting point the visionary works of William Blake and the largely forgotten Victorian spiritualist artists Georgiana Houghton, Anna Mary Howitt and Barbara Honywood, the exhibition processes through the 20th century.

It concludes with works from artists including Susan Hiller, Bonnie Camplin, Suzanne Treister, Pia Linderman and Louise Despont to d​emonstrate how contemporary artists are using the power of the unseen and the ghostly to explore the radical ambiguities of the modern world.

As these creative practices challenged traditional forms of art, religion and politics, and were often associated with female artists, the exhibition also considers spirit art and the mediumistic in relation to the history of feminism over the last two centuries.

Not Without My Ghosts is a Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition, developed in partnership with Drawing Room, London, and curated by Lars Bang Larsen, Simon Grant and Marco Pasi.

Exhibition venues

This exhibition toured to the following venues:

  • 10 Sep – 1 Nov: 2020: Drawing Room, London
  • 15 Oct – 11 Dec 2021: Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool
  • 8 Jan – 13 Mar 2022: Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea 
  • 26 Mar – 26 Jun 2022: Millennium Gallery, Sheffield