S i t e



SPILL Festival of Performance

Curated by The Pacitti Company

Toynbee Studios, London, 2015

Toynbee Studios, safety belt

Eight hour duration over two days

Photos: Guido Mencari & Shona Hamilton

Jackson sits astride the gable of the apex roof of Toynbee Studios in East London for an eight-hour duration over two consecutive days. 

"Quietly moving to behold, Jackson's piece is definitely art - beautiful, disturbing and disruptive... 

She is a formidable figure, not to be messed with, gazing across the contemporary city as if protecting it. Perhaps from itself."

Read Naked Artist Poppy Jackson Straddles The Personal and Political review by Lyn Gardner in The Guardian here.

Site was part of the SPILL Showcase 2015

‘Site’ forms part of Poppy Jackson’s project ‘Re-Presentation: The Female Body as Autonomous Zone’ supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. 



C o n s t e l l a t i o n





Exquisite Corpse

Curated by Sarah Faraday

Fuse Art Space, Bradford, UK

Containers of Menstrual Blood (from various contributors - received through an online call-out), Stick and Compact Mirror, both painted white, Live Internet Stream of the piece 

2 hours duration

Photos: Sarah Faraday

Inside the gallery various containers are placed across the floor (drinks bottles, jam jars, an envelope) with varying amounts of menstrual blood inside, that Jackson has obtained through an online call-out in the lead up to the work. As audience members enter the space, Jackson sits on the floor amongst the containers, applying small red dots of menstrual blood to her body, beginning by polka-dotting the soles of her feet. When her whole body is covered in these dots she stands and takes a long white stick, opens another container of menstrual blood and and places the end of the stick into it, then raises this end of the stick to the ceiling to apply a tiny red dot to the ceiling. She repeats this process, covering the whole ceiling of the space in small red dots of different peoples menstrual blood over the course of the two hour duration of the piece.

Passers by, shoppers, and group of skateboarders view the performance through the windows of the gallery. Jackson acknowledges these viewers openly and with eye contact and moves around the space from the bar, to behind the gallery desk, to amongst the audience, to the entrance and window bays. As she opens more containers of blood to apply them to the ceiling, the smell of menstrual blood becomes more pungent as it floods the room. Lastly, she gathers all the containers of blood and holds these between her arm and belly before thanking the audience and leaving the space. A vast 'constellation' of dots remains on the ceiling of the space.

"You were completely focused and held the room, especially with your strong presence approaching the door and your unflinching actions near the distractions outside, and it was very powerful when you came close to each of us."

"Looking at the audience occasionally, I saw people mesmerised by your actions."

"It felt like a contemporary yet timeless cave painting"

Audience responses

Constellation was part of the Exquisite Corpse Performance Events 2015


H a y  B a r n


Hay Barn


Curated by Tif Robinette, Jill McDermid & Poppy Jackson

Rosekill, New York, USA 2015

Hay Barn

2 hours 30 minutes duration

Photo: Maria Forque

Jackson sits astride the top of the apex roof of the hay barn for the duration of the performance (across day to night fall).

"The work was perfectly composed, calm and contemplative, but required so much focus and strength to pull it off. I lost track of time, I had no idea how long Poppy was up there, after a while she became part of the barn and farm, as if there was nothing out of the ordinary taking place and it was just another typical Saturday evening on the farm. But at one point I looked up and saw her still sitting there as if in some kind of ancient ritual to exorcise everything she had to wrestle with to be where she was, high up there doing a performance that's deeply personal and creatively open at the same time."

Audience response from Ming, ESSENTIAL DEPARTURES, Rosekill 2015

Hay Barn was part of the ESSENTIAL DEPTURES Final Performance Event 2015

T e l e v i s i o n   L o u n g e

Television Lounge

SPILL Festival of Performance

Curated by The Pacitti Company

The Old Ipswich Police Headquarters, Ipswich, 2014

Menstrual Blood

7 hour duration

Photos: Guido Mencari

Jackson stands motionless in the corner of the Television Lounge of a derelict Police Headquarters, where the TV-set was previously situated when the building was a working Police Station.

She faces the wall continuously for 7 hours whilst menstruating, so that over the duration of the piece blood slowly drips down her legs and onto the carpet.


"It was a simple image, which required complete commitment and intense focus as a performer – and was beautiful with clear politics. There was a rigour and simplicity to the arduousness of the action. It was a work that rippled through the festival, and the artistic intention was felt."

Lois Keidan, Director - The Live Art Development Agency 

& Sally Rose, Project Manager - SPILL Festival of Performance on Television Lounge.

Read On Boundaries Written for Spill Festival of Performance, 2014 By Natalie Raven here

Television Lounge was
part of the SPILL National Platform 2014

I m p o s s i b l e



Curated by Joseph Ravens

Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Chicago USA 2014

Breadcrumbs, Defibrillator Curator Joseph Ravens jacket, Ajax Bleach Powder, pigeon, arson-damaged garbage can

1 hour duration

Photos: Veronika Merklein & Tongyu Zhao

Inside Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Jackson sings the word 'Impossible' repeatedly from the floor, her arm raised with her fingers crossed in a gesture of hope or luck, and her body covered in breadcrumbs. She makes eye contact with each audience member as they enter the space opposite her. After 20 minutes, with her voice becoming progressively strained, she inverts her body on the wall of the space, then walks through the audience and puts on the curator’s, Joseph Ravens, jacket. She exits the space continuing the chanting of the word 'impossible'; when needing to take a breath, this word shifts to 'possible'. The audience follow Jackson and file down a thin passageway where she climbs up the walls, becoming an archway that the audience to pass underneath as she sings.

Jackson leads the audience down West Haddon alleyway, drowning the word 'impossible' by singing it directly into a large puddle that she lies at the edge of and face-down in. A party of men from the alleyway join the audience as Jackson inscribes the word 'BORN' inverted onto a central wall by cleaning it with Ajax Bleach Powder. She leaves a handful of breadcrumbs in a hole above this inscription and uncrosses the fingers of her other hand. 

Jackson removes the curators jacket and pulls a large arson-damaged garbage can filled with water and trash into the middle of the alleyway and climbs onto the melted bin. Lastly, walking to the edge of the alleyway she crouches silently beside a live pigeon, rubbing her body and hair so that breadcrumbs fall onto the ground around the bird.

"Not only is the female body socially autonomous, but it is geographically as well, maintaining a level of “borderless-ness” communicated by the self-sufficient gestures that Jackson employs; within a single frame, point A and point B are depicted -- vastness, in spite of its changing environment, can still exist within a single body."

Read An analysis of Poppy Jackson's performance at Defibrillator Gallery By G. M. Peterson here

Impossible formed part of Poppy Jackson's project Transatlantic Performance Practice, funded by Arts Council England and the British Council through the Artists’ International Development Fund awarded to the artist.

I n n e r   P a r a m e t e r s   ( C o r n e r   P i e c e )

Inner Parameters (Corner Piece)

Poppy Jackson & Didier Odieu

Curated by Jill McDermid

Grace Exhibition Space, New York, 2014

1000 Ladybirds, gold-leafed dunces hat

30 minutes duration

Photos: Miao Jiaxin

Jackson sits in the corner of Grace Exhibition Space, facing the wall and wearing the gold-leafed dunces hat. She is motionless apart from sections of the thin gold-leaf that flutter as she breathes.

After 10 minutes she releveals the 1000 ladybirds by placing them in her lap. The ladybirds crawl over her body from her lap outwards to her legs, stomache, shoulders, feet, face, and hat, and then crawl over the floor, walls and fly through the air towards the audience. 

"I can definitely distinguish the resistance of the physical female body to any change in its state of motion, including changes to its speed and direction or the state of rest. A body in tension yet standing still in the power of motion...a body resisting to external physical factors of nature...beautiful work."

Blue Light Skies

Inner Parameters (Corner Piece) formed part of Poppy Jackson's project Transatlantic Performance Practice, funded by Arts Council England and the British Council through the Artists’ International Development Fund awarded to the artist.

O p e n




Curated by Zvonimir Dobrovic

Grace Exhibition Space, New York, 2014

Neon 'open' sign, ash, glass, bottle of soda, two 2014 cent pieces

20 minutes duration

Photos: Miao Jiaxin

The performer enters the space with an 'open' shop sign. She plugs this into the wall socket and switches it on, facing the wall so that the neon light makes a silloette of her body. She hangs the sign on the wall upsidedown, then inverts her body so that her weight is on her shoulders on the floor and her feet almost touch the sign. She begins covering her body with ash from a glass, and when this is empty, stands and moves towads the audience,
vigorously shaking a small bottle of soda. The audience move back as the soda bottle is opened.

Jackson takes a mouthful and pours the remainder over her head; the soda fizzes over her body and filters the ash that covers her skin into a glass held between her legs. She opens her mouth and the soda inside it also falls into the glass. The glass, half full of ashy soda, is then placed on the floor and the performer takes a step back from it. She pulls one shiny cent from her vagina and flicks this into the glass, takes another step back and repeats this action with another cent piece, then exits the space leaving the inverted neon sign on the wall. 


Ester Neff, Co-Director - Panoply Performance Laboratory

Open formed part of Poppy Jackson's project Transatlantic Performance Practice, funded by Arts Council England and the British Council through the Artists’ International Development Fund awarded to the artist.

D u a l


Collaboration with Benjamin Sebastian

FWD International Festival of Performance

Curated by Dominik Lipp & Bruno Schlatter

Noseland, Switzerland 2014

Rope, beer bottles, gold leaf, electric blue false eye lashes, electric blue nail varnish

40 minutes duration

Photos: Rob Nienburg

From either side of a forest-lined valley, Jackson and Sebastian shout 'hey' to each other as loud as their voices can manange. They meet in the middle, then part again, using a rope to counter-balance the other.

The artists lick and gold-leaf each others palms, Jackson balances on Sebastian's back, then walks into the distance and removes her shorts as Sebastian uses his gold-leafed palm to reflect the light of the sun at dusk.

Sebastian carries Jackson towards the audience on his shoulders, she covers his head with her t-shirt and shakes the bottle of beer she carries and empties it over her head. They gift the audience the performance materials and walk away across the valley.

L i l l e x



Collaboration with Nina Arsenault

aGender: Nina Arsenault In Conversation With Poppy Jackson

Curated by Bean & Benjamin Sebastian

]performance s p a c e [, London 2013

Corn Snake, katana sword, wedding cake, menstrual blood, gold leaf, razor blades, ash, paint, charcoal, string, wigs

5 day duration

Photos: Marco Berardi

Lillex was a 5-day performance that resulted from the 'aGender' online residency between Poppy Jackson & Nina Arsenault.

The artists inhabit a white purpose-built structure for the 5-day duration of the performance, with 6 windows through which the audience view thier actions. The performance begins with Arsenault shaving her head as Jackson shaves off her entire body hair with a cut-throat razor. Jackson independently consumes an entire wedding cake over the course of the 5 days, and inserts a Katana sword into her vagina, whilst Arsenault delivers '5 dollar rape stories' and morphs from reincarnations of Lilith to Cleopatra to Marilyn Monroe.

The installaction includes sound works and various interactive projected videos that create a visual kaleidoscope encasing the performers. The work is anchored by repetitive gesture and sound, various interactions with the snake that also inhabits the structure, and the accumulation and continual reconfiguration material inside and upon the surfaces of the structure and on the performers bodies. Various unplanned actions evolve over the course of the piece as Jackson and Arsenault pass through heightened states of awareness, exhaustion and responsiveness to material, space and each other due to the work's demanding duration.

"It’s a hell of a neat bit of performance art, the room practically pulsating with the energy of traumatic memories, aesthetics that straddle the line between erotic/grotesque and a constant sense of danger."

Read a review of Lillex by Nina Arsenault & Poppy Jackson by David C James here

A c c u m u l a t i o n s


Totemic Festival

Curated by Lili Spain

The Freud Museum, London 2013

Hoover dust collected from The Freud Museum over 3-months previous to the performance, white paint, water, 'Totem & Taboo' by Sigmund Freud

6 hour duration

Photos: Marco Berardi

In the 3 months prior to this performance Jackson collected the Hoover dust from the daily cleaning of The Freud Museum. Wearing white gloves she methodically applies this dust to the window panes of Freud's study using water. The study is the centerpiece of the museum and contains Freud's vast collection of antiquities and his psychoanalytic couch. Audience members view the piece from the gardens as well as from inside the study, where the room grows gradually darker as each window is coated with a layer of dust.

As dust is applied to the panes of glass, Jackson intermitantly applies it to her eyelids. A copy of Freuds Totem and Taboo is held above her knees throughout the performance.

"A metaphoric action so tidy it speaks for itself"

Read the review by David C James here

( c u p )



Collaboration with Josephine Were & A-Wing Hsu

Upstream MA Performance Making Festival

Goldsmiths College, London 2013

Bricks, white dress, projector, bowl of water, lamps, t-shirts

40 minutes duration

Photos: Marco Berardi

As Were and Hsu carry out a slapstick choreography that denies the other the chance to communicate, Jackson uses bricks to create a sound and visual score on the wall that her head is encased inside, dust and segments of the bricks and the wall falling onto her body.

P e n e t r a t i n g   G e n d e r   ( D i p t y c h )

Penetrating Gender (Diptych)

Collaboration with Benjamin Sebastian

]performance e x c h a n g e [

Curated by Bean & Benjamin Sebastian

]performance s p a c e [, London 2013

Bottes of water, pennies, eggs, text

30 minutes duration

Photos: Marco Berardi

Facing each other, Sebastian and Jackson place their fingers on each others lips. Opening lips simultaneously, they feel the inside of each other's mouths, trying to insert their whole hand into the others mouth.

Jackson cracks eggs over the back of her neck as Sebastian cracks them into his mouth until he vomits. Pages from texts are burnt while pennies are dropped into twelve two litre water bottles along the front edge of the audience. The artists hit the bottles against the wall until they smash and water flies out of them and over their bodies in large arcs, flooding the space up to the audience. The performers very different physicalities mean that Sebastian breaks his quickly and with ease while Jackson struggles at full force. Lastly, as Sebastian urinates in his underwear Jackson collects and puts the ash from the fire into hers.

P u b l i c   G e o g r a p h i e s 

Public Geographies
Collaboration with Victoria Grey & Bean


Curated by BLUD ZER0 Collective

Cornwall Autonomous Zone Project Space, Penzance 2013

Gold leaf, cake, menstrual blood, projector, leggings

3 hour duration

Photos: Jon Greenland

Jackson uses the sense of touch to navigate the flooded, basement space of CAZ, with her eyes closed and a cake held between her thighs. She applies dust, gathered from the walls with her finger tips as she feels her way around the room, to her gold-leafed eyelids. As she slowly traverses the space, the cake is ground to crumbs that fall to the floor and menstrual bleeding slowly becomes apparent down her legs. 

E y e



Curated by Annabelle Stapleton-Crittendon

Bruno Glint Gallery, London 2012

Cake ingredients, text on wasps mating habits, birthday cake candles, wine glass, bottle of red wine, 2012 penny

20 minutes duration

Photos: Marco Bererdi

As the audience enters the gallery, Jackson combs through her hair with her fingers from underneath, reading the text on the floor that her hair conceals from the audience. She slowly pours the cake ingredients one by one over the back of her neck, the ingredients falling on the text so that she can read increasingly few words.

The performer lights the cake candles and insert them into the pile of ingredients on the floor. She stands, places a wine glass between her thighs and pours the bottle of wine over her head, moving her body so that the glass catches the wine.

As Jackson's feet shuffle apart the glass drops to the floor. She reaches inside her vagina, pulls out a new penny and flicks it into the pile of ingredients and lit candles on the floor, then leaves the space walking through the center of the audience.

M a s s



Curated by PAErsche

Kunselforum, Cologne 2012

Ash, gold leaf, birthday cake candles, matches, razor blade

20 minutes duration

Photos: UJ Batholomaus

The audience enters the Kunselforum opposite Jackson's inverted body, her weight resting on her shoulders on the floor in the far corner of the space. Placed next to her head is a pile of ash from her mothers house, the same size and shape as her head.

Jackson strikes a match and lights two birthday cake candles and inserts these between her toes. As the candles burn down, the ash is dusted over over hair, face and body. Jackson manoeuvres her body as far up the wall vertically as possible. When all the ash has been transferred to hair and body she blows out the candles and climbs down from the wall.

With a fine razor blade she cuts a thin circular line around the ring finger of her left hand. Using this blood 'ring' as adhesive she then gold-leafs the cut.

Jackson walks towards the audience and slowly begins to shake fingers, hands, arms, head, hair, until her entire body is
shaking violently. She shakes like this for as long as possible, creating a large ash cloud in the air that emanates from hair and skin towards the audience.

She leaves the space as the ash cloud disperses in the air.




Alien(s) in New York

Curated by Bean & Benjamin Sebastian

Grace Exhibition Space, New York 2012

WIN sign, gold leaf, razor blade

10 minutes duration

Photos: Anna Martinou

Jackson maintains eye contact with every audience member as they file down a narrow corridor in close proximity to her body. She is positioned upside-down in the corner with the 'WIN' sign inserted into her vagina, a pile of gold leaf in one hand and a razorblade in the other.

When all the audience are seated, Jackson pulls her body up the wall with her legs, takes the razorblade and cuts red bird-shaped line from one shoulder to the other. As the cut bleeds upwards, over her upside-down shoulders, she sticks the gold leaf over the cut. Jackson then pulls out the 'WIN' sign, stands, and begins to shake violently as pieces of gold flutter from her body to the floor. She steadies herself, aknowledges the audience once again and parts them as she leaves the space. 

"This work is good for New York"

"Both you and I are exploring the world and everything that has come before us through our bodies in our time, in our space. No one can tell us how to do this or that we are doing it wrong. There are no benchmarks, no one has ever lived in our bodies, here and now. Watching you reclaim your body from the violent histories of misogyny and patriarchy was so inspiring and gave me courage to dream of other ways of being. I will hold onto this lightness Poppy, thank you."

Tehching Hsieh, audience response

Benjamin Sebastian on Win, in Reflections on 'WIN', a Performance by Poppy Jackson

Read Reflections on ‘WIN’, A Performance By Poppy Jackson by Benjamin Sebastian here

N e e d l e   i n   t h e   H a y  /  A d a t a   S i e n o   K u p e t u j p


Needle in the Hay/Adata Sieno Kupetuj
Group performance with jamie lewis hadley, Benjamin Sebastian & Bean

CREATurE Festival of Performance

Curated by Vaida Tamoševičiūtė

Fluxus Ministeria, Lithuania 2012

Trophy, bucket of river water, bottle of black paint, sticks

5 hour duration

Photos: Darius Daškevičius

Jackson rubs her body on the interior and exterior walls of the derelict shoe factory turned arts venue of the Fluxus Ministeria. She collects river water, brings it inside the space and write 'Adata Sieno Kupetuj' (Needle in the Hay) with the water that trickles out of a
hole in the bottom of the bucket onto the floor. She pours the remainder into the trophy and places her body over the trophy in different positions.

Small sticks build a 'nest' over her head. Intermittently Jackson shakes her body violently for short episodes, finally whilst holding a bottle of black paint.

W o n d e r l a n d


Group performance with Benjamin Sebastian & Bean

The Performance Exchange

Curated by Soozy Roberts

The Goods Shed, Stroud 2012

The Sport newspaper, bowls, flags dyed with menstrual blood, marker pen

2 hour duration

Photos: Ian Whitford

Jackson soaks flags coloured with her menstrual blood in small bowls of water that she positions her body around and over. She creates chereographic shapes with her body and an inverted Daily Sport front page. Moving to another area of the vast Goods Shed, Jackson balances bowls on her head, tipping the dyed water over her hair and finally throwing these off her head so that they smash on the concrete floor. She then uses the pieces to cover her face as she rests on the floor.

As a final action she writes 'WONDERLAND' across her body from shoulder to shoulder.

W o m e n ' s   C e l l

Women's Cell

Walls of Authority

Curated by Alexandra Unger

The Old Deptford Police Station, London 2010

Black paint

15 minutes duration

Photos: Viva la Wida

Jackson coats her hair in black paint and walks around the edges of the women's cell. She makes contact with the wall with her head so that a black line is drawn around the circumference of the cell.

F l a g


Contexture BA Visual Performance Final Degree Show

Dartington College of Arts, 2005

Handmade silk dress

1 hour duration

Photos: Michelle Kidd

The performer wears an inverted silk dress - the dress goes upwards at the shoulder straps, rather than downwards to cover the body. She stands on Dartmoor allowing the wind to blow the fabric of the dress.