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Phoebe Davies’ The Sprawl follows a small wrestling club on the outskirts of Oslo, Norway, and their team of young female wrestlers. Filmed over the course of a year, it documents day-to-day routines at the club, team interactions, and their training, sparring and recovery from injury. Moving between moments of tenderness, strength and aggression, we are witness to the wrestlers being encouraged to struggle against each other, testing their mental and physical resilience. Engaging in combative and compassionate exchanges, the wrestlers recount personal narratives of care, recovery, ambition and drive. 

The film takes its title from a defensive wrestling move to prevent the body being taken down to the mat. 

The Sprawl is one of three pieces of work that form Phoebe Davies solo exhibition Points of Rupture. While it is not possible for everyone to experience the exhibition in person, we are streaming it on our website, along with a video walkthrough, soundscape and images of the exhibition. You can find these on the exhibition page for Points of Rupture here.


Phoebe Davies is a Welsh artist and researcher based at Somerset House Studios, London. Her practice investigates how people perceive their social framework, often working with and in response to individuals and communities, generating work through collaboration, collective action and DIT (Do It Together) strategies.

Her outcomes are often project dependent, including constructed social spaces, live performances, video, audio and print works. Through her work Davies often finds herself referencing and exploring collaborative models of working across different social and cultural sectors, drawing on methodologies from feminisms, organic farming and athleticism.

Recent projects have led her to work with sex educators, secondary school students, elderly care home residents, sports teams and DJs as well as art spaces and institutions, including Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (OR, USA), Tate Modern (London), Wellcome Collection (London), Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff), steirischer herbst (Graz), Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo) and British Council Connect ZA (Johannesburg). In 2015 she was awarded the British Council’s Social Practice Fellowship for the International Cultural Exchange USA Program in partnership with Portland State University.

She currently co-facilitates two research groups, Synaptic Island, a London-based womxn and non-binary sound collective and Art is Action, a UK-based social practice research group.

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