INSOMNIA. Leah Clements. 02.12.22-29.01.23

Exhibition Dates and Times:

2nd December 2022 - 29th January 2023
Thursday-Sunday, 12-6pm

Thursday 1st of December 2022, 6.30-8.30pm

Winter closure:
19th December 2022 - 18th January 2022
To visit by appointment, during this period please contact

Location: South Kiosk London

South Kiosk is pleased to present INSOMNIA, a solo exhibition by Leah Clements. INSOMNIA will be Clements’ first exhibition of photographic work, looking into the emotional and psychological effects of insomnia-related sleep phenomena and sleep paralysis, through ambiguous, grainy and in-depth photographs, accompanied by vocalised image descriptions.

INSOMNIA reveals the surreal or paranormal side of being estranged in one’s own home. Body and mind thrown out of time, between hyper-alertness and loss of consciousness. In these images, there are shadows lurking, eerie lights flickering, water, silence... Taken at night when the atmosphere drops and in the blink of an eye, the hinterland is revealed.

Clements’ work often suggests this otherworldly space as a collective alternative to that of the present sick body. In INSOMNIA this will be further explored through integrating creative access adjustments into the artwork, the exhibition-making process and the public programme.

You can download the full exhibition text here.
The complete public program details are available here, and are also listed below the image descriptions.

Leah Clements’ practice includes performance, installation, writing and film to develop a language of chronic illness and disability.

Curated by Mariana Lemos.

You can download the full exhibition text here.
The complete public program details are available here
, and are also listed below the image descriptions.
A plain language text of INSOMNIA and its public program are available here.

This project has been supported by an Arts Council England Lottery Project Grant.

Image descriptions:

Images 1 & 2
This image in front of you is glowing - lit from inside. In it, a cascade of ghostly white fabric folds appear from the surrounding darkness. They gently flow underneath gentle turquoise water.
Is this anti-gravity? Slow-flowing water facing us upright? Are we looking from above? Or are we inside it?
Ripples shine in soft lines, like rays lazily stroking sand at the bottom of the ocean. Outside our immediate view, darkness encroaches at the edges. Who knows how far that darkness stretches.
And then, at first not noticed, a blurry dark thing that is much closer to us, just shows a bump of itself at the right. It is an unknown presence.

Images 3 & 4
There is a sibling image opposite - facing it in glowing communion. You go over to the other side of the room, around five metres straight ahead.
This one is more secreted away - curtains line it either side to create almost a fabric corridor. You arrive in front of it. Water, in the dark. It’s spotlit as if by our sight - as if we’re wearing a head torch and this is where our attention has landed. Like it hasn’t been seen for centuries, until now.
This circle that the light casts feels almost like an independent object - a ball of water levitating. Its turquoise depths recede into the darkness at the corners, and its highlights ripple in movement. The surface underneath is unclear, implaceable. This base layer at the bottom is light coloured and perhaps semi-solid. It’s pinched into a fold in the top right, and opens out into an oval that swells towards us at the bottom. Here, the closest point to us glistens out of focus. It’s sharper at the top, where ripples form intentional lines, crisscrossing one another intricately. The scale could be any size. We could cover it with our finger, or fall right in and be swallowed whole. 

Image 5
This space holds five images: three on the long wall in front of you, and one on each wall either side. 

Images 6 & 7
The top corner of a room. The ceiling is concrete, the left-hand wall is all windows, with a sheer white curtain covering them from the top, but see-through enough to share the darkness outside. The right-hand wall is plain white with a square mirror almost meeting the other wall, which we can just see the top of, reflecting the curtains back. We can also just about see the reflections of the opposite corner which looks very far away from us because of its double distance. There the curtains meet the opposite wall, and a steel extraction unit is fixed in the corner. But there is something else here. A bright blur flickers across the ceiling and curtains: something in between reflected ripples and suspended fire, it holds an active and ghostly presence. Hovering, and burning without heat.

Images 8 & 9
Now, turning to your right, you greet the long wall with the series of three photographs. In the first, we stand before an open set of blank white doors, at an angle. The door frame we’re facing the inside of  is deep - normally shuttered by the doors either side - which are now flung open and bent back to expose their hinges. The room beyond is almost completely bare. A wooden floor stretches away into darkness, where in the furthest corner there is a simple steel sink and oven. But we know there is more. Two acid purple streaks of light indicate a presence around the corner. One runs along the floor, the other runs in parallel across the concrete ceiling, together giving away the presence of an ajar door beyond our eyeline.
Should we be here? 

Image 10
In the last of this row of three photographs, another couple of metres to your right, a hard reflective surface - its colour is light but it's in the dark - shaded.  The bottom half is distinct from the top: two glowing flares, one at each side, hold between them a network of threads of light. These lines of light flow into each other in a complex and non-repeating pattern. They possess a white and turquoise glow. Then finally, you turn to face the wall on the right and the last image - the only one in portrait. In it, a slightly open door is directly in our path - but we’d have to move across the room to get to it.  The dark room we’re in is almost empty. On the left the closest wall to us, facing us, also has a door - but it’s closed and doesn’t hold the same allure as the one straight in front of us. The close wall ends abruptly, giving way to the rest of the room beyond. The far corner, just in from the right, is slightly  lit with yellowish greenish blocks which pool together at the corner’s crease to form a straight line. A simple steel sink here catches some of its highlights.  In between these parts of the room, in the middle of the far wall, in the middle of our view, that alluring door is only just ajar, emitting a violet glowing jet of light from the innards of the room it guards.
We don’t know what’s in there, but there is a slither of a shape at the edge of the door, an elbow shape at an elbow height.  

Image 11
A warm and eerie glow. An intimate, dark corner. Inside a midnight bath. We are dipping low, close to the tiled wall and interior side of the tub that we’re facing. The dark and warm white tones of the bath and the tiles above it make up most of what we can see, turning orangey where they meet, in a tilted straight line running from left to right. The room could be candle-lit going by its shadowy quality and level of illuminance, but that doesn’t quite make sense given the direction and quality of light. Its source is not clear. It seems to emanate from the water itself. Mapped across the enamel and tiles is a net of light - a bright patterned reflection, woven and swirling, spanning its ghostly arms along the line of the three white tiles that we can see, dipping into shadow as the side of the bath curves, then reappearing along the smooth interior of the tub. But it never touches the water, it stays hovering above. A dark white mound is at the left, ebbing into darkness the further it gets away from us. Its soft shape, like a plump cloud, is formed of thousands of delicate bubbles. At the very bottom, where the cloud of bubbles breaks, there is only a small triangular glimpse of the water. It glows turquoise - nuclear, natural, or supernatural.

You can download the exhibition’s full image description text here.

Access information:

South Kiosk is wheelchair accessible by a ramp. The closest train station is Peckham Rye, which is a 3 minute walk from the gallery at a google map ‘walk’ pace. The station doesn’t have wheelchair access. The closest bus stop is just outside Peckham Rye station. Chairs with backs, as well as softer seating, will be available. An audio track describing the photographic work is part of the exhibition, all attendees will have a chance to hear this. For any further questions about access please contact

Public programme:

The full public programme will be presented in partnership with publishing platform Chateau International, in an attempt to democratise access to situated programming and provide a lasting resource that extends beyond the duration and context of the exhibition.

We kindly ask that for all in-person events, attendees take a Lateral Flow test before arriving, or wear a mask provided by the gallery, while in the space.

Saturday 10th December 2022, 5-7pm
Readings by Kirstie Millar, Nina Mingya Powles and Memoona Zahid at South Kiosk
RSVP for the poetry evening through this link 
This event will have BSL interpretation, and the audio will be recorded, broadcasted with RTM.FM on episode 2 and afterwards available online with Chateau International with a transcript. Please contact for further information on access.
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will be served.

Wednesday 14th December 2022, 7-9pm
Feminist Duration Reading Group at South Kiosk
RSVP for the FDRG event through this link 
If you require BSL interpretation for this event, please let us know by 1st December by contacting
For further information about the event please contact

Friday, Saturday & Sunday 16, 17 & 18th December 2022
Broadcasting 3 episodes on radio
These broadcasts will be audio-only. Following this, the audio recordings will be available online at Chateau International with a transcript for each episode.

Saturday 14th January 2023, 5-7pm
Talk at Copleston Centre, Copleston Rd, London SE15 4AN
RSVP for the talk through this link 
This event will have BSL interpretation.

Wednesday 18th January 2023, 7pm
Event online hosted by Chateau International
Stream the talk through this link 
This video will be BSL interpreted and have captions. The speakers will self-describe and will describe any visual information shared throughout.

Saturday 21st January 2023, 3-5pm
Workshop exploring the exhibition at South Kiosk
RSVP for the workshop through this link 
If you require BSL interpretation for this event, please let us know by 7 January by contacting

Saturday 28th January 2023, 5pm
Exhibition tour at South Kiosk
RSVP for the tour through this link
If you require BSL interpretation for this event, please let us know by 14 January by contacting