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2016 - Present multidisciplinary, contemporary artist, curator, performer, poet, and facilitator. In 2021, I was awarded funding from the Arts Council England, to work with the London Transport Museum and Disability Arts online on an ongoing project, resulting in a work called Walkie-Talkies, based on the poem Routemaster Race, by David Morris. It entailed collecting bus stories of individuals who experienced physical and psychological barriers along with gathering the accounts of Golden Oldies, Disability Action Network, Survivor’s Poetry, Highgate Poets, and other community groups. Ten documentaries can be viewed on Disability Arts on-line the You-Tube channel.
Furthermore, Disability Arts on-line commissioned me to paint the portraits of five inspirational individuals from the disabled community, It included the late Katherine Araniello a live art, performance and video artist; John Pring, disabled journalist and editor of the Disability News Service; Penny Pepper a disabled writer and activist; Liz Carr, disabled actor and activist as well as Baroness Jane Campbell, disability rights campaigner and member of the House of Lords.
I also had an opportunity to participate at the Live Arts Development Agency with my work ‘Head Fuck,’ which was inspired by the late performance artist Katherine Araniello.
At Age Exchange, London, I work as a visual artist with individuals suffering from Dementia. I prepare and deliver workshops for these individuals and their carers, in collaboration with musicians. The project received funding until December 2021. In addition, I have been running art workshops on zoom with HoardingUK, supporting persons with an obsessive accumulation disorder.
Furthermore, the Arts Council provided me with a grant to develop my own arts practice (DYPC), which includes learning new skills to expand my knowledge and expertise.
In 2020, my video work was presented online by Mad Covid, Dwell Time Press and other websites including YouTube, to reach a wider audience with an interest in live art experiences. Furthermore, I was invited to participate in the exhibition Gabinete Secreto - Letters of Friends from Confinement, Vigeo, Spain. In addition, I secured funding from Unltd to deliver the psychogeography walks through London’s Bermondsey and Southwark, working with local unemployed people, gathering local stories for walks. My strolls often attracted a wide interest and were funded by Public Health organisations, such as the National Survivors where I arrange virtual walks during various lock downs.
As a member of the Sharp Gallery, London, part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation, I was invited to do an online residency during 2019-20 and worked with the Trust, presenting workshops at the Welcome Foundation, in London. What does Colour mean to you? The new body of work referenced the seminars and was exhibited at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London where Yinka LLori, created a colour pavilion. I was invited by the Sharp Gallery to exhibit at this event.
My work Miss Havisham’s Wedding Dress was on view at the ‘Museum of the Mind,’ Bethlem Hospital, London in 2019-20 as part of an exhibition exploring the experience of people who use mental health services. In March 2020, the gown was also displayed at the ‘Women for All Seasons’ exhibition at the Art Academy, London. The dress was created for the Alternative Fashion show to celebrate Dickens bicentenary in 2012 and has been displayed and used in many contexts.
In 2019, I was engaged by Turning Point, an organisation providing a range of health and wellbeing services, to work with homeless people to deliver psycho-geography walks in West London, mainly under the Westway. Furthermore, I was commissioned to paint a private mural for an international company, called EMH Global, and participated at the Live Arts Development Agency, in Colchester, in the DIY GILF Island workshops which led to the creation of a collective video artwork.
In 2017, I worked by invitation with VISION Artists, a group of adults with learning difficulties, to celebrate the World Para-Athletics Championships. The group was commissioned to create a mural on London's Shoreditch Art Wall, run by Murals for Mankind, managed by Peter Mackeonis.
1993-2016 Founder, Artistic Director and CEO of CoolTan Arts, London. In twenty-five years, I grew CoolTan Arts from an old suntan lotion factory squatted social centre in Brixton to a user-led disabled people’s arts and mental health charity. CoolTan Arts worked with over three thousand people face-to-face per year with its participatory art programme. The charity improved the lives of individuals with mental distress through creativity, self-advocacy, and volunteer opportunities within the arts. During my tenure at CoolTan I developed psycho-geography walks and other collaborative events with different communities. The Largactyl Shuffle was part of our phenomenally successful walks project being run by CoolTan participants with lived experience of mental distress. This project drew attention to the medication Chlorpromazine, one of the first anti-psychotic drugs, causing the deterioration of motor functions which manifests in a slow hobbling walk. The project was first commissioned by the Department of Health and awarded a section 64 innovation grant. The walks were also supported by the Tate Modern and The Maudsley Hospital NHS trust and in 2011 was specially commissioned for the Liberty Festival at the Southbank Centre, then at the Olympic Park in 2013/14 as well as at the Science museum as part of their late-night openings to their Mental Health collections. The guided participatory walk was then commissioned by Southwark Council’s Public Health Department through which we published a book in 2014 entitled Cool Walks - Available to download. In 2014 CoolTan Arts won funding to deliver Arts on Prescription with GP surgeries.
There were amazing events, such as in 2014, Artangel invited CoolTan Arts to develop Van Gogh walks in collaboration with Saskia Olde Wolbers piece ‘Yes, These Eyes Are The Windows,’ and M Sánchez-Camus. We used copies of Van Gogh letters for participants to understand the artist’s mental distress and engage in a shared experience. At the Science Museum 2013-14, CoolTan Arts were commissioned to deliver their popular Science Museum Lates programme for a year. I managed and organized relevant walks and as a collective we produced a book and CD, Science Museums Lates, in collaboration with Paula Roush.
1996 Manager & Curator, Women’s Centre Peckham, where I curated six exhibitions, including my own installation, Shop Till You Drop, and others.
1985-87 Manager & Curator, Submarine Gallery, London, where I collaborated with Peter Lewis, on several exhibition projects.
1985-87 Slade School of Fine Art, London, P.G. Dip Fine Art. My studies focused on drawing, photography, sound, performance, installation, and filmmaking.
1982-85 Exeter College of Art and Design, Exeter, BA Hons 2:1. I studied painting, drawing and sculpture. My dissertation focused on Concrete Walls: Mental and Spiritual.
1981-82 Watford College of Art & Design Foundation, Watford, London. It involved printmaking, fashion, photography along the traditional art subjects.
1984 Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. During my time at the Städelschule, I mainly studied photography, print making and performance.
2006 ILM Level 3/5 Management.
2006 ILM Level 5 Coaching.
2004 School of Social Entrepreneurs, Certificate.
2001-02 Morley College, City & Guilds 7307 Certificate in Teacher Training.
1998-99 University of the Arts, Diploma in Digital Media.
1997-98 University of the Arts, Certificate in Digital Origination.
1993 Goldsmiths’ College, Certificate in Supervisory Management.
1980 Hertfordshire County Council, Stage II Youth and Community Work.
AWARDS AND FUNDING
2021 Arts Council Funding for Developing your Creative Practice, received funding £9,000.
2020 Arts Council Funding for the Walkie Talkie Project, received funding £24,000.
2020 UnLtd, Funding for Psycho Geography Walks, received funding of £5,000.
2019 Turning Point, Funding Psycho Geography Walks in West London with homeless people, received funding of £2,000.
2015 GSK IMPACT in collaboration with Kings Foundation, developing several artistic projects, dealing with mental health issues, received funding of £40,000.
2014 Health Education East London, NHS, Art on Prescription, received funding of £14,000.
2012 CoolTan Arts was recognised as ‘Creative Hero’ in Mental Healthy.
2010-11 CoolTan Arts Community Project Award.
2006 UnLtd, India learning journey, residency to learn from other social enterprises in India to create an income.
2005 UnLtd, Women make Art, Women Art Group, received funding of £5,000.
2004 UnLtd, Women make Art, Women Art Group, received funding of £2,000.
1996/97/98 Represented UK women Artists in the USA at the Women’s caucus of Arts for the Arts Council England
1996 Art of Housing Magazine with Nat West Markets, publication.
1996 Sex health and education exhibition at CoolTan Arts, funded by the London Arts Board,
1995 Slump, South London Undiscovered Master Pieces CoolTan Arts,
1987 The Slade School of Fine Art, Julian Sullivan Award, Student of Merit, PG Diploma, received funding of £500.
1986 The Slade School of Fine Art to publish a small collection
1985 Exeter Arts Centre, Springboard Competition, received funding of £150.
COURSE TUTOR & VISITING LECTURER FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION
2021 Art Exchange
2016- Present, Artist at Vision.
2002-16 Morley College.
2006-11 London Business Fine Art Tutor.
1996 Lambeth College Foundation Course.
1996 West Ham Technological College, Foundation Course.
1996, Exeter College of Art & Design Degree Course.
1996 Southwark College, Foundation Course.
1995 St Martin’s College of Art and Design.
1994-99 Access to Art Course Foundation, Lambeth Adult Education College.
1986-93 Watford College of Art & Design.
2016 Trustee of the Mental Health Providers Forum.
1997-98 Chair Tenants and Residents Association
1997 Trustee of CoolTan Arts.
1986-87 Trustee of Southwark Arts Forum.
2021 Bethlem Gallery, Artists Collaborations, ongoing, currently working Chris Lewis James on a performance called Tea Break.
2021 Disability Arts Online commissioned Ivan Riches and Richard Downes to film a poem recital. The filmmakers commissioned me to write a poem about the pandemic.
2020-01 Five Portraits for Disability Arts on-line. I was commissioned to paint the portraits of five disabled people.
- Mural for Private Office. EMH Global, in collaboration with VISION Artists.
2017 Hoxton Art Wall, Murals for Mankind.
2012 Camberwell Green CoolTan Arts, the Bench was commissioned to be placed under the Gingko Tree for people to sit and talk. The bench was conceived by me and made by Rossen Daskalov.
2011 Camberwell Green, Gingko Tree, planting a Gingko Tree with the comedian Arthur Smith and CoolTan Arts users, to commemorate individuals who took their lives, due to benefit changes.
2000 Artist Studio Company logo, Brit Art Poster.
1999 This is My Life, National Children’s Bureau, Greater London Arts Development, Disability Arts Network.
1994 A Book for Printed Matter, NY, NY, USA. A one-off handmade book.
1992 Performance at Nose Paint (Now Gasworks)– Like Insects We Won’t Go Away, Vauxhall, London, UK.
1990 How many Bars of Soap can you make out of me? Two billboards for the Lewisham Visual Arts Festival, London UK.
1988 Sedition - Projects UK, tape recording, broadcasted over the telephone on British Telecom. Newcastle Upon-Tyne, UK. Available at Tate Gallery Archives.
1984 Mural for Acre Lane Centre, Brixton, London, UK. It involved working elderly people in a pension centre.
2021 Visual Artists Association, UK.
2020 South London Women Artists Association, UK.
2015 Bethlem Gallery UK
2015 Sharp Gallery, UK.
2009 Outside-in, UK.
2008 Fellow of Royal Society of Arts, UK.
2005 Fellow of the School of Social Enterprise, UK.
1999 Alumni University of the Arts
1999 Axis, UK.
1987 Alumni Slade School of Fine Art, UK.
1985 Alumni Exeter College of Art and Design, UK.
1984 Artists Newsletter, UK.
2021 The Haiflu Project Haiflu - More to life than Covid
2021 My work appears in the Artists responding to a post card project, published in the Postcard project, ISBN: 978-1-5272794-9
2021 A. Morrison & K. Jay-R, The Brown Envelope Book, produced in collaboration with Don’t Go Breakin’ Our Arts. ISBN 978-1-8384966-1-6.
2020 Siren Poets – What If We Can’t Save the Earth
2021 Poetry Express Newsletter #64
2020 Poetry Express Newsletter #62 ISSN 2056-970X.
- Poetry Express Newsletter #61 ISSN 2056-970X
- Book with Public health and Southwark council.
2014 Science Museum Lates. Book and CD
2013 Food for Mood ISBN 9780952419020
2012 Diagnosis-Hysteria prescription Hysteria, Women of CoolTan Arts. ISBN 978-0-9524190-3-7
2011 Anthology of Poetry. ISBN 978-0-9524150-1-0
2006 Brainwave Magazine.
2002 I am Elimination Reiteration by Michelle Baharier ISBN 09524190 17
1999 A small collection selected poems by Michelle Baharier ISBN 0-9524190 09
1995 Sex Health and Education Catalogue.
1995 Slump Catalogue.
1994 Liberation Criminal Art Show Catalogue. Selected Poems ISBN 095 24190 09
1993/98 Ongoing Brixton poet’s magazine.
1987 Slade School of Fine Art A Small Collection by Michelle D Baharier.
2018 Smashing Records Abs Tripp from DASL (Disability Advice Service Lambeth) discusses how music fires people up to jump higher, ride further and shout louder. This week Abs interviews Michelle Baharier, creative leader, artist, and leader of midnight walks. [Repeated Monday 4am.]
2013 Food For Mood.
2013 CoolTan Arts Wins Innovation Award. Disability Arts Online- Cooltan Arts Innovation Award.
2006-12 Radio shows on Resonance FM.
2010 Disability Arts Online - Disabled People Make History.
2001 South London Press, Artery, Private Eye.
2000 The Times.
2000 Thoughts on a Page.
1998-97 South London Press.
1996 Dial magazine The Jerusalem Post Galie Zahal (IDF Army radio Israeli) Radio Radius
100 FM. (English show on Israeli radio.) Radio Radius with Rivka Michaeli (in Hebrew).
1995 G.L.R. Radio UK.
1995 South London Press. Artists Newsletter, Wayzgoose Magazine, University West England) Don't tell it.
1994 Big Issue. Time Out.
1991 Working it out Feminist Art News. 1988 Women Artists Slide Library Journal.
1988 Kaleidoscope, Radio 4 BBC.
- Mad Covid, Dwell Time Press,
- –19 Sharp Gallery, on-line residency.
- Sharp Gallery, on-line residency.
2006 UnLtd, India, A learning journey. Residency to learn from social enterprises in India to generate an income.
https://www.instagram.com/bahariermichelle/ Michelle Baharier instagram .
References can be made available upon request.