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Dolly Sen is a writer, director, artist, filmmaker, poet, performer, playwright, mental health consultant, music-maker and public speaker. She has 8 published books since 2002; has taken on performance roles at The Young Vic, the Royal Festival Hall, and around Europe; undertaken a poetry tour; won a poetry award from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion; directed two plays and several TV films; and performed spoken word at City Hall and Oxford University.

A rare interview with Lux the Sculptor Dog

22 July 2012

Blog

Basket Case

 I don't know if many people know this but I share a house with a fellow artist. Her real name is Lucky, but her artist name is Lux. I have profiled her work previously on DAO.  To celebrate her birthday today, she created her latest masterpiece, called Basketcase. I think it is her most profound work to date. I interupted her discussion with me as to why dogs have elbows in their legs, to ask her about her art. DOLLY: Tell us about your latest work 'Basketcase'. LUX: It is a...

Comments: 6

Unwanted Epitaphs

24 July 2012

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Atos inspired gravestone

 Inspired by Spike Milligan, and disgusted by Atos' treatment of disabled people, I created this yesterday. 

Comments: 3

Cheap paint creationism

24 July 2012

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Cheap Paint Nude by Dolly Sen

 Was cleaning out some of my room yesterday, and found the remnants of some cheap paint, so I quickly created a painting of a nude, a 99p store nude. The painting is unfinished as I ran out of paint. And I think as human being, there is something not finished, or completed about us, which causes so much pain, but so much beauty too.  As an agnostic, I don't know if there is a God who created me out of the 99p store version of genetics, or if I am solely the product of my parents'...

Comments: 2

Dolly Sen does 4thought

26 July 2012

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Dolly Sen on 4thought

 Here is my itty-bitty contribution to Channel 4 Goes Mad season. 4Thought asked the question: 'What is Madness?' I could have talked for hours on the subject, but if fact the producer didn't want me to answer it but tell my story in a minute and a half. I would have liked longer to qualify some of what I said, but here it is www.4thought.tv/themes/what-is-madness/dolly-sen. What has been interesting about the 4thought this week, when it poses that question is the debate it has...

Comments: 0

Family album - thanks to psychosis

22 August 2012

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Family Portrait

I don't know how many people share this experience, but I am a bi-realitist. Having the intense, divergent mind psychosis brings but able to comprehend the world of consensual reality, albeit a bit strangely, and in an off the wall way. But sometimes one overpowers the other: when the psychotic side does it, I am compelled to create art to exorcise; when the 'normal' side does it, I am compelled to create lists. I needed to create this piece of art, and now I feel haunted by one less ghost....

Comments: 1

My piece at Shape's 'Perception of Balance' exhibition

5 September 2012

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Balanced Mind

I received the good news that one of my pieces was accepted for the Perceptions of Balance Exhibition at Shape Arts.   My piece is called ‘Balanced Mind’ I have been labeled ‘mad’ by society, so therefore seen as unbalanced. Society’s way of redressing that is not to help me make sense of the childhood trauma that triggered my psychosis, nor to tackle inequality and discrimination in society because of that label. Its way was to medicate me into...

Comments: 3

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Patrick Caufield

22 September 2012

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Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. Poetic...

Comments: 0

Poetic Responses to Outsider Artist - Mark Gertler

19 September 2012

Blog

painting of a path through grass and trees looking out over a seaside bay with a headland in the distance

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. This is...

Comments: 1

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Peter Howson

20 September 2012

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black and white woodcut of a man wearing a coat. He is seen looking at the viewer with a half smile on his face

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. This is...

Comments: 0

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Alfred Wallis

21 September 2012

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painting of four boats with black sails and a lighthouse on a rough sea

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. This is...

Comments: 0

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Frank Auerbach

23 September 2012

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Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. Poetic...

Comments: 0

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Scottie Wilson

24 September 2012

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Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. Poetic...

Comments: 0

My new business card

24 September 2012

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Funny Business card

 Who to hand this to, apart from psychiatrists and ATOS?

Comments: 1

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Nigel Henderson

24 September 2012

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Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail....

Comments: 0

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Barbara Hepworth

26 September 2012

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 Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail....

Comments: 0

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Auerbach's 'Reclining Head'

26 September 2012

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 Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail....

Comments: 0

Poetic Response to Outsider Artist - Paul Nash's 'Wittenham'

27 September 2012

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 Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail....

Comments: 0

Haiku for Mental Health Day at the Tate Modern.

30 September 2012

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Portugal Prints Haiku Event Flyer

 On October the 13th, as part of DAO 'Diverse Perspectives' Programme, I will be filming the Mental Health Day event at the Tate Modern. My film is about Portugal Prints . They are awesome and amazing and inspiring, and it will be a honour to follow them around for the day, filming their Haiku event. This is what they say of their event: The Haiku Festival 2012 is a pilot online social media event developed by Westminster Mind’s art project Portugal Prints. On Saturday the 13th...

Comments: 0

Blogging Workshop and the Shameless Promotion of Lux the Dog

22 October 2012

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Blogging Powerpoint by Dolly Sen

 I was asked by Creative Futures to guest speak at a blogging workshop run by our very own Colin Hambrook. I don't claim to be a blogging expert, but I enjoy it and have learned over the years its power and its lessons. I am glad I was asked because it made me think about my process, and why I like it so much. I distilled most of what I discovered about blogging into a powerpoint presentation. I think it is self explanatory. Except for maybe the pic of Lux, my dog. I try to slip my...

Comments: 3

This Diverse Perspective is looking for the heart of Portugal Prints

8 December 2012

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Portugal Prints Royal Academy Workshop

 My mind is sunshine distilled through a bed of nails, shining but hard to hold, especially also when the skin feels like shifting sands, and the soul and its perceptions seem like a mirage.  What is grounding me and connecting me to the world are lots of artistic projects. There is a new one on the horizon: I will be part of a project, still in its infancy, that hopes to explore unusual mental states and film, which will be launched in March 2013 at the Barbican, where one of my...

Comments: 2

Dolly Sen writes about the importance of DAO

31 December 2012

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I got an email from Colin a few weeks ago with a few questions as to what value I got from Disability Arts Online. I typed a few short answers, as I was hyper and couldn't dictate my own voice as it was swallowed up by many others, and poor Colin would have to have decipher it like lost words in a word search. My brain is a bit calmer so I can give a fuller reply to the importance of DAO  As a person within the disability arts scene and Mad Pride movement, I question identity and...

Comments: 9

Art and Pain in Digital and Analogue

2 May 2013

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Yesterday I went to ‘Open Circuit’, which is part of http://shortcircuit.org.uk/ Short Circuit is a strategic action research project commissioned by Arts Council England, South East designed to put digital acumen and disability artistry together – it’s not about short circuit meaning malfunction, it’s about a short circuit to create new possibilities through a path of least resistance. Open Circuit was the first event of Short Circuit, where artists, technicians,...

Comments: 1

Not Through the Glass Darkly - Madness and Film

21 June 2013

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The short documentary film 'Greenhouse of Hearts' came out of a commission from DAO and The Royal Academy. When I met with Kate Horbury, the then access officer of the RA, she said you have to go visit Portugal Prints, a mental health arts charity, who collaborate with the Royal Academy on a regular basis. So I did. The first thing that hits you is the warmth of the place, you are instantly accepted as family. So I decided to make a film exploring the heart of Portugal Prints. I could...

Comments: 0

Mixed Mind Media

27 June 2013

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The Eye of the Storm

One day I will write and make art about pretty things and being middle class, but I have still some terrors to release and some ghosts to make even more invisibile. I am having some therapy at the moment so I am able to make phone calls, and thankfully there has been some improvement. Yet at the same time I am creating art like this, where the compulsion to doodle wants to the rip the world to pieces.  Making phone calls is really difficult for me because it is a huge trigger; it's...

Comments: 0