CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #15: Leon Clowes

Leon Clowes is an older queer working class transdisciplinary artist in recovery. Their practice research examines the application of autoethnographic techniques in creative practice. As an artist that explores their own lived trauma, they are keen to self-compassionately mediate the sharing of their lived experience with participants, audiences, listeners and viewers.

"I work in participatory ways with other recovering alcoholics to explore their journeys of recovery through taking walks around old haunts they associate with past behaviours, and recording interviews and photographs of these walking for display and broadcast. This is the public-facing stage of a joint collaborative project with Emma B. Hewitt, 'Recovery: the shadows & the light'. We will be exhibiting this next phase in September 2022 as part of Deptford X's fringe festival, and are planning walks, talks and workshops in this phase.

September is National Recovery Month, and I am coordinating the Recovery Arts Knowledge Exchange on 8th September led by Dr Cathy Sloan at University of West London (UWL). Participants and I will be safeguarded through 12 step fellowship programmes, all of us having at least one year's sobriety, and an ethical framework ratified by UWL's Research Ethics Committee.

Throughout this project, Emma and myself explore the territory we tread in our recovery from self/relationship abuses and addictions. We consider how artistic, spiritual, and self-compassionate practices have been essential resources in our life journeys. My long term aim is to create a pragmatic toolkit for other artists exploring lived trauma."

You can see more of Leon's work on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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