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Michelle Baharier

Camberwell Green
Age five, my art work was exhibited at School. Inspired by daily life, I create the ordinary/extraordinary, voicing the unseen/invisible/unheard, bringing neglected stories to life. Via color and interaction with audiences.

Artist Statement Michelle Baharier 2024,

My passion is Colour, People, and the extraordinary ways people make a difference to the world we live in. I communicate this by creating vibrant powerful paintings, telling the stories of people through their portraits, I take photographs that observe our landscapes that reflect the personal, the urban, and natural environments. These works leave a trail of historical change. I am dyslexic and I write poetry that explores the here and now. I am a performance artist too and use walking in my practice. My work is emotionally highly charged, I find the medium to suit the work, My work addresses many barriers that I and others face some due to disability discrimination and prejudice.

My oeuvre includes powerfully expressive portraits, that tell stories, performances, poetry, photography, phone drawings, and digital/video collages.


Michelle Baharier aka Dyslexic Rant Contemporary, multidisciplinary, practising Artist.

Anne Tallentire, artist and lecturer at St Martin’s School of Fine Art, described Michelle Baharier’s work as The most emotionally touching piece of art I’ve ever seen…

 Michelle Baharier You-Tube



2021: I have been awarded funding from the Arts Council England, to work with the London Transport Museum on an ongoing project throughout 2021, collecting bus stories with people who face barriers.

I was commissioned by Disability Arts online to paint five portraits of disabled people and I am also a regular blogger for them.

My poems have been published in the Brown envelope book, by Alan Morrison and Kate and Jay-R published by Caparison, an anti-austerity anthology. I am in three other publications due out this year.

I am exhibiting in ‘The curators salon’ with South London Women Artists April 23-May 23 2021.

I was part of a live Arts development agency’s DIY weekend and invited to be inspired by the work of Katharine Araniello.

2020: I my work went online and I used Youtube to reach audiences with live art and experiences. I had my work exhibited in Spain and by Mad Covid alongside many other websites. I am funded by Unltd to deliver psycho-geography walks throughout Bermondsey in Southwark working with the local unemployed population, collecting local stories for walks. My walks often attract wide interest and funding from Public Health.

My work is exhibited by the Bethlehem Gallery and as one of their artists I have been commissioned to work with an Artist in another part of the country to collaborate on a performance piece.

I am a member of the Sharp Gallery and I had a residency during 2019-20 on-line and I have worked with them and presented workshops at The Welcome foundation. As a member of Sharp my work has been exhibited at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London.

My piece Miss Havisham’s Wedding Dress was exhibited by the Museum of the Mind in 2019/20 as part of an exhibition exploring the experience of people who used mental health services. I am an ambassador for Outside in and a blogger for Disability Arts Online. It was then exhibited in ‘Women for all seasons’ an all women artists show in March 2020.

2019, I was commissioned by Turning Point to work with homeless people to deliver psychogeography walks in West London, notably under the Westway. I was commissioned to paint a private mural for an international company. I was part of the Live Arts Development Agency addressing Grand Mothers who Fuck, DIY workshops. 

In 2017 I was invited to work with a group of Disabled Artists ‘VISION’ to highlight The '2017 World Para Athletics Championships' we collaborated by painting a mural on London's Shoreditch Art Wall,

I have been running psycho-geography walks for decades and developed a collaborative walks with communities such as  ‘The Largactyl Shuffle.’ This project is named after Chlorpromazine, one of the first anti-psychotic drugs, whose side effects included a deterioration of motor functions that often manifest in a slow shuffling walk. I have co-designed psycho-geographical, with CoolTan Arts participants, who are people with mental distress. The Largactyl Shuffle has been commissioned by the Southbank Centre for Liberty Festival 2012, the Science Museum 2013/14 and now by Southwark Council’s Public Health department 2014-2018, bringing art to new audiences and new places without prejudice. In 2014, Art Angle invited CoolTan Arts and myself to develop Van Gogh walks in collaboration with Saskia Olde Wolbers piece ‘YES, THESE EYES ARE THE WINDOWS’ In collaboration with M Sánchez-Camus

In 2011, I was commissioned by Southwark Council’s Public Realm Department to create a sculpture on Camberwell Green – representing CoolTan Arts.  Using a two part process, we created a live sculpture - a Ginkgo tree to mark the Largactyl Shuffle and to symbolise positive mental health, resilience and memory. I then worked with artist Rossen Daskalov to produce a bench that Celebrated all the Largactyl Shuffle represents for the local community – a place of safety, contemplation, friendship and de-stigmatisation. 

1993 - 2016, I was Founder and Artistic Director of CoolTan Arts based in Southwark, London. This charity existed to improve the lives of people in mental distress through professional creative, self-advocacy and volunteer opportunities within the arts. CoolTan went on to win 27 awards and was continually funded by public bodies such as Big Lottery and Southwark Council.

1994/95/96 I exhibited work in the USA, representing the UK Disabled and Woman’s Artist Network funded through Arts Council England.

I have also been commissioned to create work in collaboration with the  Wellcome Collection 2019, Tate Modern, Science Museum, SHARP Gallery, Heywood Gallery, UnLtd Millennium, and I have won awards including the Julian Sullivan and the NatWest Bank award for Arts.

Full CV

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