Sarah Sze, The Waiting Room

Peckham Rye Station
19 May 2023 - 17 September 2023

Sarah Sze, The Waiting Room

Read more

For her long-awaited project with Artangel, New York-based artist Sarah Sze is transforming a large Victorian waiting room at Peckham Rye Station that has lain empty for almost 50 years.

An atmospheric construction of cascading lines emerges from the centre of the vaulted waiting room to create a mesmerising model of a fragile world. A multitude of flickering videos illuminate the structure and swirl around the space, conveying the velocity and volatility of living in the age of the smartphone.

The writer Zadie Smith recently compared the experience of Sze’s installations as like being in an opened-up iPhone, with the technology taken apart and the image bank it stores exploded into three-dimensional space. Tactile and imagined experience, momentous and incidental events are held in a precarious equilibrium in Sze’s immersive installation.

Sarah Sze recently said: “I’ve always been interested in certain times throughout history where our relationship to the way we experience time and space in the world speeds up radically. The invention of the aeroplane, the invention of the train, you see really interesting work coming out of that time, in film, visual arts and writing. We are in the middle of an extreme hurricane where we are learning to speak through images at an exponential pace.”

Image: Sarah Sze, Metronome, The Waiting Room, 2023. Photography: Thierry Bal.

An Evening of Readings: Landscape

Read more

An Evening of Readings: Landscape

14 September 2023

As a part of the public programme for the Waiting Room, artists and writers have been invited to present on the themes that emerge from Sarah Sze's new exhibition at Peckham Rye Station.

In this final instalment, join writer Khairani Barokka, artist Abi Palmer and artist Peter Adjaye for an evening of readings during the last week of the exhibition.

Access Information

BSL will be available at this event.

Sarah Sze's The Waiting Room contains bright, flashing imagery that may cause discomfort and /or seizures for those with light sensitivity and/or photosensitive epilepsy. The readings will take place within the exhibition space.

For information on step-free access, visit our access information page for The Waiting Room or email us at

Hand outs of the text will be available in print and digital formats.

Khairani Barokka (Okka)

Khairani Barokka (Okka) is a writer and artist from Jakarta, and Editor of Modern Poetry in Translation. Her work aims to centre disability justice as anticolonial praxis, and has been presented widely internationally. Among her honours, she’s been a UNFPA Indonesian Young Leader Driving Social Change, Delfina Foundation Associate Artist, Associate Artist at the National Centre for Writing, and an Artforum Must-See. Okka is currently shortlisted for the 2023 Asian Women of Achievement Awards, in the Arts and Culture Category. Her latest book is poetry collection Ultimatum Orangutan (Nine Arches), shortlisted for the Barbellion Prize.


Abi Palmer

Abi Palmer is an artist and writer. In 2020, she was selected to be part of Artangel's grant and mentorship programme Thinking Time, then in 2023 she created Abi Palmer Invents the Weather in collaboration with her cats, Cha-U-Kao and Lola Lola.

Key works includes Sanatorium (Penned in the Margins, 2020), a fragmented memoir, jumping between luxury thermal pool, and blue inflatable bathtub; and Crip Casino, an interactive gambling arcade parodying the wellness industry and institutionalised spaces. Crip Casino has been exhibited at Tate Modern, Somerset House, Wellcome Collection, and Collective Edinburgh.

Palmer has also been commissioned by Wysing Arts Centre, BBC Radio, Vice News, Wellcome, the Guardian and Shape Arts. In 2021, she was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation's Awards for Artists and Sanatorium was shortlisted for the Barbellion Prize.

A photograph of artist Abi Palmer sitting on a backwards chair in a colourful cluttered office

Peter Adjaye

Peter Adjaye is a conceptual sound artist, specialising in multi-disciplinary collaborations. He is an accomplished composer, producer, musicologist, a creative consultant and educator with a post graduate in mathematics. He is passionate about exploring the crossover between the arts, science, architecture design, fashion and film. His unique set of skills and vast experience have enabled him to continually develop his borderless collaborative work ‘Music for Architecture’. He uses sound as a component of how we experience space and architecture. This work has culminated in the publication, ‘Dialogues’ on Music for Architecture Records in association with Vinyl Factory Records. Peter has exhibited his sound art installations worldwide including London, Washington, New York, Oslo, Denmark, Rome and Miami and at Museums and Gallerys such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum, The Barbican Curve, Tate Modern among others.

A desaturated image of Peter Adjaye concentrating on a turntable.

Images: (top) portrait of Khairani Barokka, photography by Matthew Thompson; (middle) portrait of Abi Palmer, photography by Faith Aylward, styled by Mia Maxwell; (bottom) portrait of Peter Adjaye, photography by Nicola Hippesley.

Sarah Sze in Conversation with Christian Marclay

Read more

Artist Sarah Sze is joined in conversation by artist Christian Marclay to discuss her distinctive sculptural language and her wider practice, through which audiences are immersed in complex and dynamic environments that incorporate an abundance of imagery with everyday objects and materials.

Sze has recently said: “I’ve always been interested in certain times throughout history where our relationship to the way we experience time and space in the world speeds up radically. The invention of the aeroplane, the invention of the train, you see really interesting work coming out of that time, in film, visual arts and writing. We are in the middle of an extreme hurricane where we are learning to speak through images at an exponential pace.”

This event marked the launch of Sze's major new installation, Metronome, at the Waiting Room at Peckham Rye Station. It took place at local institution Peckhamplex on 19 May 2023.

Videography by Tim Bedingfield.

An Evening of Readings: Presence

Read more

As part of the public programme for the Waiting Room, artists and writers have been invited to present on the themes that emerge from Sarah Sze's new exhibition at Peckham Rye Station. For the second event in the series, artists Chloe Filani with accompanied soundscapes by Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Nicola Singh and Petra Szemán participated in an evening of readings and performances that will focus on the theme of Presence in relation to bodies, queerness, race and place.

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley (b. 1995, London) is a Berlin/London-based artist. They received an BA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 2019. Brathwaite-Shirley works predominantly in animation, sound, performance, and video game development. Their practice focuses on intertwining lived experience with fiction to imaginatively retell the stories of Black Trans people


Chloe Filani

Chloe AyoDeji Filani is an artist of Poetry, Performance, Black Feminism, Public Speaker and workshop facilitator. Her artistic practise/poetry works with her lived experience of being a black trans woman and the broader themes of identity of power structures and finding hope in the imagination and storytelling.

She has performed a dance, sound piece at Late at Tate, and has performed poetics at the ICA, HOME, spoken at the Victoria and Albert Museum, UAL, Somerset House and BCA.

Image credit: Bernice Muluger


Nicola Singh

Nicola Singh is British-Panjabi performance artist and experimental vocalist, working between experimental new music and visual art.

She uses text, sound and improvisation to explore the formation of diasporic identity. She focuses on embodied, ritual and somatic practices, often using Yoga-philosophies to explore notions and experiences of collective healing, liberation and decolonisation.

Selected commissions include HH Art Spaces (India), Tetley Gallery (Leeds), Xarkis Festival (Cyprus), Cinenova, London & CCA, Brighton (UK), La Bonne (Spain), David Dale Gallery (Scotland), Workplace Gallery (UK), Eastside Projects (UK), Hongti Art Centre (South Korea), Jerwood Visual Arts (UK) and BALTIC (UK). She has been resident artist at Porthmeor Studios (UK), Hospitalfields House (Scotland) and Art House (UK). Her work was acquired by the Government Art Collection in 2021.

Singh is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art and Curation at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and has a practice-based PhD in Performance Writing from Northumbria University (2017).



Petra Szemán

Petra Szemán (b. 1994, based between NE England and Japan / born in Budapest, Hungary) is a moving image artist working with animation and game-like landscapes. Their practice focuses on the murky borderlands along the arbitrary line separating real and fictional, and the kind of lives, experiences, and perspectival systems that are possible there. Turning away from thinking of the cyberspace as a radically ’other’ realm, Petra hopes to walk the line situated between dystopian and utopian frameworks, eyes set on new queer horizons. Their work has been exhibited at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art (Gateshead); NTT InterCommunicationCentre (Tokyo, JP); Seventeen Gallery (London); The Photographers’ Gallery (London); as well as various galleries across England, Continental Europe and East-Asia. Petra is the co-editor of the book WEEB THEORY, a joint animatic endeavour with Jamie Sutcliffe, published by Banner Repeater (London, 2023).


Metronome: The Catalogue

Read more

A year on from the launch of Sarah Sze’s Metronome at The Waiting Room at Peckham Rye Station, a publication documenting the multilayered installation has been launched. Photography from London and Turin is accompanied by new texts from Barbara Casavecchia, Katrine K. Pedersen and exhibition curators James Lingwood and Samuele Piazza.

Edited by Maria Kappel Blegvad. Catalogues are priced at £32.50.

Order your copy directly from Artangel by emailing, or clicking the button below.

Image: Cover of Sarah Sze: Metronome. Designed by Atelier Dyakova, London, photographed by Ed Park.

An Evening of Readings: Time

Read more

As part of the public programme for the Waiting Room, artists and writers have been invited to present on the themes that emerge from Sarah Sze's new exhibition at Peckham Rye Station.

For the first event in the series, artist Savinder Bual, artist Carl Gent and writer Belinda Zhawi with vocalist Plumm perform in an evening of readings on the topic of time at The Waiting Room.

About the performers

Carl Gent

Carl Gent (they/them) is an artist from Bexhill-on-sea. Much of their recent work has sought to refictionalise the life of Cynethryth, eighth-century Queen of Mercia through a range of amateur dramatics, tabletop gaming, self-publishing cesspits and the parading of decapitated kings in community carnivals. Through their collaboration with Kelechi Anucha they investigated the girly and divine links between folk and church song, and their ongoing collaborative practice with Linda Stupart has given birth to a range of live, published and exhibited restagings of the 1990s video game Ecco the Dolphin. Their latest pamphlet, The Balls of Alban, was published by Monitor Press in 2022.


Savinder Bual

Savinder Bual (she/her) is an artist whose practice explores the interplay between the moving and the still. Bual’s work has been screened and exhibited widely, including Turner Contemporary, Peer Gallery, Standpoint, Caraboo Projects, CCA Glasgow, Whitstable Biennale, Bristol Beacon, Manchester International Festival and The Crafts Council. She was a recent recipient of a Jerwood Bursary and is an Arts Foundation Futures fellow in Animation.


Belinda Zhawi with Plumm

Belinda Zhawi (she/her) is a Zimbabwean literary & sound artist based in London, author of Small Inheritances (ignitionpress, 2018), & experiments with sound/text performance as MA.MOYO. Her work has been featured on various platforms including The White Review, NTS, Boiler Room & BBC Radio. She’s held residencies with Triangle-Asterides France, Cove Park, Serpentine Galleries and ICA London. Belinda’s the co-founder of literary arts platform, BORN::FREE.

Plumm (she/her) is a genre-bending, stage strutting chameleon, dining with both light and shadow. Her tune “You Are The One Live” is the title track for new Apple TV series - Liaison. Plumm is an eccentric performer, recently selling out the Jazz Cafe with her Led Zeppelin band, has her own Rock/Jazz band that have staged the likes of the Royal Albert Hall and performs in larger collectives such as Levitation Orchestra. Catch her as Clash Magazines one-to-watch and Jamz Supernova’s After Dark Discovery. Plumm is also currently a Future Bubbler under Gilles Peterson. This year she'll be performing at Glastonbury, Love Supreme, Boom Town,PunchDrunk and more.


Images: (top to bottom) Carl Gent, photography by Hailey Ford; Savinder Bual, photography by Elena Blanco; Belinda Zhawi, photography by Caleb Azumah Nelson; Plumm, photograhy by Pablo Byrne.

Download: Your Digital Guide

Read more

Enhance your visit to Sarah Sze, The Waiting Room with the accompanying interactive mobile guide, now live on the Bloomberg Connects app. Access exclusive content via the free app, including the forthcoming Peckham Art Map, an artist video featuring Sarah Sze and more.

Download the Bloomberg Connects app and enjoy new Artangel exhibitions by using the app as your live guide, discover ongoing projects and more.

The Bloomberg Connects digital guide is part of a wider digital engagement programme at Artangel, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, to enhance digital access for all of our live projects – designed to guide you through each unique space with exclusive content, audio guides, exhibition text and more. 

You can download the app for free via the Google Play store or the App store.

About Sarah Sze

Read more

Since her first exhibitions in the late 1990s, the New-York based artist Sarah Sze has developed a distinctive sculptural language that challenges the static nature of sculpture and immerses audiences in complex, dynamic environments. 

Sze studied architecture, began working as an artist by making paintings, and then developed a sculptural practice that brings together fragile structures, found objects and video footage into large-scale installations. In recent years, the proliferation of images in everyday life has been at the heart of a series of new works which Sze calls Timekeepers.   

These multimedia installations have been exhibited at museums and galleries around the world including Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; Copenhagen Contemporary, Denmark; Haus Der Kunst, Munich; Fondation Cartier, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto.    

Timelapse, a major exhibition of Sze’s work is on show at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York until September 10 2023. 



Image: (above) Sarah Sze in her studio. Photographed by Deborah Feingold; (left) Sarah Sze at the Waiting Room, 2023. Photographed by Thierry Bal.


Read more

“★★★★★ Each part of the installation is porous, bleeding into its neighbouring elements; a composition endlessly being remade." - Ben Luke, Evening Standard

"She’s created a scenario in which we glimpse memory – that in our minds and the machines we carry – being exploded. It’s disorientating, often beautiful, and utterly compelling." - Ben Luke, Evening Standard, 17 May 2023

“Like an experiment in time travel and a vision of things to come, Sze’s exhilarating video sculpture gives the sensation of a brain fried by information overload.” - Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 18 May 2023

“Seeing one of Sarah’s Timekeeper installations several years ago was a lightbulb moment – an artist finding a brilliant way to convey how we experience time and space today: the marvellous and the mundane, the fleeting and the fragile, all together,” says Lingwood. - Claire Armitstead, The Guardian, 14 May 2023

"I’m interested in showing the viewer that the work is generating itself before your eyes." - Sarah Sze interviewed by Torey Akers, The Art Newspaper, 12 May 2023

"Another haunting Artangel commission, matching the acclaimed artist with a colossal waiting room that has been boarded up for 50 years inside an active London station." - The best free spring culture in Britain, chosen by Observer critics

About the Venue

Read more

Peckham Rye Station was designed by architect Charles Driver (1832-1900), and built by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway in 1865. The unusual size of the waiting room reflects the significance of Peckham Rye Station as an important junction station in South London and where people would change trains to visit the popular Crystal Palace. In 1922, the waiting room was repurposed as a billiard hall, before being closed by British Rail in 1962. It has remained inaccessible to the public for the past 60 years. Over the past 10 years, with significant community advocacy, sections of the station have been restored and re-opened, culminating with a major roof and facade restoration funded by Network Rail in 2023. Sarah Sze's exhibition is the first major presentation in the waiting room since it was closed to the public in 1962.


Image: Peckham Rye Station, 1892

Who made this possible?

Read more


Commissioned and produced by Artangel, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum & OGR, Torino with the support of Victoria Miro.  

Generously supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.  

Supported by Cockayne Grants for the Arts, a donor advised fund held at the London Community Foundation, The Henry Moore Foundation, Agnes Gund, Danny and Manizeh Rimer.

With thanks to The Arch Company and Network Rail.  

Artangel is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and the private patronage of The Artangel International CircleSpecial Angels, The Guardian Angels and The Company of Angels.


Cockayne logo