Sheila Ghelani, Covet Me, Care For Me

Review in Issue 19-3 | Autumn 2007

Ghelani’s performance/ installation comprises three rooms. The first contains anatomical charts of the heart; the second, fifty clear-glass hearts laid out in rows on the stone floor. Each of these contains a covetable item that the artist calls ‘mongrel objects’. Some of the glass hearts lie broken into shards. There’s the invitation that if you really wish for one of these objects, if you truly desire one, to take one. I do. I take up the glass heart of my choosing, take it to Sheila Ghelani. She attires me in a apron, a helmet with a visor, and long industrial gloves. The glass heart is placed on the ground at my feet, I am given a hammer. With one aim I smash the glass heart into exploding pieces to free the mongrel object, a genuine nurses watch, dressed with ribbons, a small silver heart scratched with an ‘x’, and a tiny dot of sponge containing one tear from the artist.

Shelia leads me into the third room which is a chamber of care. As I sit, a beautiful woman wraps my gift with intricate care and attention, then places it within a box, which in turn is wrapped and placed within a blue velvet pouch, bearing the words, ‘a gift from Sheila Ghelani’. It’s a precious moment in which I feel deeply cherished. Quite simply, everything I could want from a performance!

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 2007

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-3
p. 26 - 27