Explore the pull to the bottom of the ocean, the state of awe and euphoria associated with the Siren of the Deep, and the desire to return to it, through an evening live screening intersecting interview, film and experimental sound. This event expands upon some of the themes and ideas in Leah Clements’ exhibition Siren of the Deep. It has been developed with the personal account of Renu Arora of her NDE (near death experience).
Leah Clements is an artist based in London whose practice spans film, performance, writing, installation, and other media. Her work is concerned with the relationship between the psychological, emotional, and physical, often through personal accounts of unusual or hard-to-articulate experiences. Her work also focuses on sickness/cripness/disability in art, in critical and practical ways.
Leah is currently an artist in residence at Serpentine Galleries. Recent commissions include (2020): ‘Hyperbaric’, original performance as part of ‘Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy’, Somerset House Studios, with a second iteration commissioned by Rupert at the Artists’ Association Gallery, Vilnius; ‘Other Rooms’, group exhibition, Rupert, Vilnius (artist and co-curator), ‘Diagnosis’, written text, Chisenhale Gallery; ‘A sort of ‘no’ feeling’, La Casa Encendida, Madrid. (2019): ‘ON EDGE: Living in an Age of Anxiety’, Science Gallery London; ‘Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary Exhibition’, Baltic39, Newcastle; ‘On Allyship’, ICA, London; ‘Beyond the Perfect Image’, Wellcome Collection, London; ‘Still Here’, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius. (2018): Artist residency, Wysing Arts Centre; ‘I never promised you a rose garden’ Matèria, Palermo; On Cripping ICA, London; Artist residency, Rupert, Vilnius; ‘Skin of the Eye Act II’, Vermilion Sands, Copenhagen. (2017): HereNow Art+Technology Residency, Space, London. (2016): ‘we felt the presence of someone else’, Jupiter Woods, London. (2015): ‘ Beside’, live work, Chisenhale Gallery; ‘you promised me poems’ solo show, Vitrine, London.
In March 2019, Leah launched Access Docs for Artists: an online resource made in collaboration with Lizzy Rose and Alice Hattrick to help disabled artists create and use access documents.
Renu Arora is a UK based artist with over 16 years experience as an actor, singer, songwriter and director. She has worked at venues including Southbank Centre and New Vic Theatre and her work has appeared at venues such as Soho Theatre., Theatre Royal Stratford East & Arcola Theatre. She is a regular contributor on BBC Radio and her lockdown inspired work has recently been broadcast on BBC Sounds.
In 2017, Renu had a life-changing accident, along with a Near Death Experience, in which she was hit by a bus and dragged under its wheel. Since then, Renu has focused her artistic practice on creating work informed by her experience. The Burgundy Book, an arts podcast based on her accident and the journey that followed, is due for release on iTunes and all major podcast platforms in early 2022. Renu regularly gives talks based upon her NDE and will feature at the International Association of Near Death Experience Studies (IANDS) conference in September 2021.
Note: for an audio description of what’s happening visually on screen, please have this page open to listen to alongside the film.