Liverpool Hope Logo
Find Your Course
Section Menu

Dr Silvia Battista

School of Creative and Performing Arts
0151 291 3878
Arts and Humanities

Dr Silvia Battista is a visual and performance artist/scholar, who has engaged, over the last twenty years with a multidisciplinary set of artistic languages - performance, drawing, photography, video - and research methodologies - hermeneutics, phenomenology and semiotics. Her research lies in the intersection between visual art, performance, installation and theatre, particularly in the study of meditative, contemplative and ecstatic practices/technologies employed for creative and epistemological purposes. She researches, teaches and publishes on contemporary performance and art, religion and spirituality involving audiences, readers and students to reflect on perception, ecology and our relation to inner and outer environment.

She began her career in 1998 soon after her BA in Fine Art with two participative, performance-art-projects: the first A Message Before Leaving was realized in USA in the maximum security prison in Huntsville, with the support of Washington University, the Italian charity Hands off Cain and The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP); the second The Shock of the Real: McDonald’s in Prague was devised between Prague and Rome with the support of FAMU University (Prague) and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Italy and Czech Republic.

In 2000 she moved to London and assisted the Turner Prize winner Wolfgang Tillmans, contributing to the production of the Turner Prize Exhibition in 2000. She has also worked for the realization of Tillmans' shows at the following art institutions and museums: Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2001); Castello di Rivoli - Museo d’arte contemporanea, Turin (2002); Regen Projects, Los Angeles (2003); Louisiana - Museum Of Modern Art (2003); Humlebœk, Denmark (2003); Tate Britain, London (2003). 

She holds a PhD (2008-2014) in performance studies awarded by Royal Holloway University, London; an MA (2004-2006) in Communication Art and Design granted by the Royal College of Art, London; and a First Class Honours Degree (1992-1996) in Fine Art awarded by the Accademia delle Belle Arti, Rome.
Between 2009 and 2015 she worked as visiting lecturer for the Department of Drama and Theatre of the Royal Holloway University, teaching the following modules: Theatre and Culture, Boundaries of Performance, Performance Making and Applied Theatre.

Her visual and performance work is presented regularly in national and international contexts and her scholarly outcomes are published by Intellect, Routledge and Palgrave MacMillan. With the latter she published her monograph Posthuman Spiritualities in Contemporary Performance: Politics, Ecologies and Perceptions (2018).

Research Interest for Supervision:
Performance, religion and spirituality; posthuman ecologies and art; animism and performance; ritualistic practices and art processes; contemporary art and religion; shamanism and performance art; analytical auto-ethnographic art practices; ritualistic use of language in performance.

Teaching and Other Academic Responsibilities

She teaches first and third year BA Drama; first and second year BA Creative and Performing Arts, and at Master level the MA Performance of which she is the co-director.
She is a member of the European Institute, a partnership between Liverpool Hope University and the Université catholique de Lille, intended to promote closer cooperation between the two universities and to encourage debate and discussion about European affairs.

Since 2018 she convenes the International working group Performance, Religion and Spirituality of the International Federation of Theatre Studies.


  • Battista Silvia 2018. Posthuman Spiritualities in Contemporary Performance: Politics, Ecologies and Perceptions. London: Palgrave.
  • Battista Silvia 2014. 'Worlds Bodies, Matters: Theatre of the Late Twenty Century by Valentina Valentini'. In Contemporary Theatre Review. Jul 1.
  • Battista Silvia 2015. 'Repetition as a Technology of the Self in Performance: The Artist is Present by Marina Abramović'. in On Repetition: Writing, Performance and Art, Eirini Kartsaki ed. London: Intellect.
  • Battista Silvia 2012. 'A Posthuman Interpretation of Wolfgang Laib's Work with Pollen as an Ecological Proposition.' In Peformance Research, 17:4, 67-73.

Selected Exhibitions and Performances:

  • Performance, Persephone. Liverpool Independent Biennial. Liverpool, July 2018.
  • Performance A River is Never a Matter of Peace, Dartington Hall, Totnes, UK. June 2018; at the Stockport War Memorial Gallery, Stockport, UK. June 2017 

  • Performance Sonnets, The Reeds, Liverpool. March 2018 

  • Performance Tactile Non-Human Experience, Threshold Festival, Liverpool, UK. October 

  • Performance The Make and Stone, Capstone Theatre, Liverpool, UK. March 2016. 

  • Performance Spirits Read Foucault, International Conference of Psychedelic Studies. 
Greenwich University, London. July 2015; FIRT/IFTR 2015. Hyderabad University, Hyderabad, India. July 2015; Annual Symposium on Sacred and Secular. Goldsmith University. London, 2015 

  • Installation of Drawings. Leyden Gallery, London, 2015 

  • Video installation Beholding the Ancient Trees of London: An Experiment in Performance for 
the symposium Ecology and Performance. Central School of Speech and Drama. London, 

  • Performance Queering the Rosary, Modern Panic III Festival. Apiary Studios. London, 2012 

  • Performance and Drawing Installation You Speak, I listen, He whispers, Nightingale Theatre. Brighton, 2011 

  • Performance The Waking Up Of An Unplugged Mind in collaboration with the artist Angelo 
Madonna, Hatch Gallery. London, 2011 

  • Installation Revolutionary Dawn, Core Blimey Gallery. London, 2010 

  • Film Screening Icarus Dream. University of Siena and University of Salerno. Italy, 2008; Asu 
Art Museum. Arizona State University. USA, 2008; Alsager Gallery. Manchester, 2008; 
Cultural Centre of Fljotsdalsherad. Iceland, 2007 

  • Multimedia Installation for Punctum, Redchurch Street Gallery. London, 2007 

  • Installation of Drawings Convulsive Illustration, Market Gallery. Glasgow, 2007 

  • Performance and Installation You Speak, I listen, He whispers, Crypt Gallery. London, 2005 

  • Installation and Performance The Shock of the Real: McDonalds in Prague, Jam Factory. 
London, 2001