Associates 2022-23

Leon Clowes sits on sunlight in a grey tee shirt

Leon Clowes

Leon Clowes is an older disabled white working-class queer transdisciplinary artist navigating lived grief and loss in self-compassionate ways.

Their first remerging work (‘Nan Kids’ at SPILL, Deptford X and Wandsworth arts festivals, 2021-22) was featured on BBC1 news and resulted in a BBC Sounds podcast, foregrounding the hidden his/her-stories of people raised in kinship care.

Leon’s recent transdisciplinary artworks have featured in, and been commissioned by, Frieze Art Fair, Cafe Oto, Queer Art Projects, Disability Arts Online, Margate Pride/Crate, Squish Rotterdam, Queer Contemporaries, Datscha Radio Berlin, Britten Pears Arts and Exploding Cinema.

Leon won a scholarship for PhD study at London College of Music conducting research into his self-compassionate autoethnographic trauma-inspired performance practice. Together with their supervisor Dr Cathy Sloan, and working curatorially with international groups and artists, Leon is using lived experience to help establish the national Addiction Recovery Arts Network.

josefina-mellado wears a black t shirt with drak brown short hair and red lipstick infront of a baby blue graphic circl

Josefina Mellado

Josefina Mellado is a visual artist based in Santiago, Chile. She works with colour and its relationship with architecture, specifically using painting and installation media. At the same time, she runs her own independent art space ( Their mission is to provide a friendly place for artists to develop their work, while engaging with the 10 de Julio neighbourhood in downtown Santiago.

In 2019 there was a social outburst in Chile, which consisted in many great riots. The feminist movement took a fundamental role in those raids during the outburst.

Since then Josefina has been building spaces with a hyper feminine approach and investigating concepts that are misjudged by architecture due to their relationship with the feminine: such as colour, decorations and domesticity.

Jaccaidi smiles against a mountain view with lush vegetation, the image is black and white but is sunny

Jaccaidi Hypolite-Dyer

Jaccaidi Hypolite-Dyer is an interdisciplinary artist who works across paint, moving image, text and sculpture.

Informed by research, gathered in many forms, her practice delves into the socio-political, the global, and the personal. Interested always in the intricate interplay between the individual/the collective and our relation to systems, institutions, global movements (past, present and future). Jaccaidi also draws on our rich points of connection in community. Through research, she attempts to understand the webs that bind the world around us and explore how we may repurpose these to make something anew.

Her practice pulls from a research background; Jaccaidi has an MPhil in International Relations and Politics at the University of Cambridge, and studied a range of theoretical approaches across disciplines in the US, at the University of Pennsylvania.

Aliaskar wears a yellow open top with a gold chain, they have dark hair and stubble and are against a paisley patterned material

Aliaskar Abarkas

Aliaskar Abarkas is a trans-disciplinary artist and creative producer from Iran based in London. His diverse work includes live events, images and writings, exploring themes of transformation, the emergence of beings and ecosystems, the fabrication of complex realities and effective communication through art. He has also initiated and facilitated “The Community Whistling Choir”.

Alaskar’s practice is deeply rooted in alternative and collective education; He is an associate artist at Rupert Residency (Lithuania), Open School East (UK) and the Institute of Postnatural Studies (Spain). Aliaskar completed a BA and MA in Fine Arts and Theory of Art at Goldsmiths University of London and from the University of Tehran. He was an associate artist and researcher at Advanced Practices, The Centre for Arts Design & Social Research, The New Centre for Research & Practice and Syllabus V, amongst other international programmes. In addition, Aliaskar is a community and neighbourhood committee member at Culture Mile, Barbican Centre.

Emily wears a natural toned roll neck jumper with red cuffs in a ceramic studio. There are clay pots and form around them.

Emily Stapleton Jefferis

Emily Stapleton-Jefferis graduated in 2018 with an MA in Ceramics and Glass from The Royal College of Art, where she was awarded The Griffin Scholarship and The Eduardo Paolozzi Travel Award.

Along with the human body Emily looks to inspiration from the biological, botanical and geological, zooming in on the overlooked or unseen, extracting the wonder, beauty and strangeness that exists just out of sight. By re-contextualising the macro and micro of the natural world she aims to provide an escape from the anthropocentric perspective humans are locked within. She hope this transformation of the viewer carries an ecological message of kinship with even the strangest incarnations of life.

She has exhibited her work alongside fellow artists in a range of venues in the Uk and abroad including at the British Ceramics Biennale in Stoke-on-Trent. She has previously undertaken artist residencies on the Packington Housing Estate in London, at The Leonora Carrington Museum in Mexico, at Hogchester Arts in Dorset, and at The Kunstlerhaus in Germany.

Jamie sits on the floor infront of a box monitor screen and listens using headphones

Jamie Lee

Jamie Lee is an artist based in London and Margate. He is a graduate of Art and Visual Culture at UWE and was awarded the Spike Island Studio Fellowship. His current research looks at the physical properties of places and how their materiality affects the body and the ethereal. ’Printing the Space’, his socially engaged project working with the public to create an installation took part in Bristol City Hall.

Jamie’s still work has been published in Art Licks Magazine and his video work screened at Plymouth Art Weekender and Sheffield Doc Fest. He was part of East Bristol Contemporary’s Day School programme ’22 and is currently an Associate of Open School East 2022-2023. Jamie is also co-producer of ‘A Forest of Things’, a collective of artists and researchers that use Arduino microcontrollers to create sensing artworks, as a way of collectively thinking around ecological and human networks.

Lizzy Deacon wears their hair in a middle parting in a white tee shirt, the portrait is cropped to their head and shoulders, standing in front of a drawing

Lizzy Deacon

Lizzy Deacon is an artist based in London and Margate. Her work explores specific social dynamics in relation to fictional and non-fictional tragedies, critiquing the power that is present in these situations. Deacon’s storytelling features darkly comic and satirical characters, which she develops through the process of intense improvisation.

She graduated from Goldsmiths (BA Fine Art) in 2022 and Central Saint Martins (Foundation Diploma) in 2018 and her interdisciplinary practice employs video as well as drawing, text and performance. Deacon has a number of ongoing collaborations.

She has recently exhibited at Associação Audio-Visual CUT, Macau (2022), The 60th Ann Arbor Film Festival, Michigan (2022), LUX Moving Image, London (2018), London Short Film Festival, Rio Cinema London (2022), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2022), Serf, Leeds (2019), WetDovetail Gallery, Middlesbrough (2020) and has had her work featured in Columbia University’s Journal of Art Criticism, New York (2020). Together with her long term collaborator Ika Schwander, she has been awarded The Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for an Emerging Experimental Video Artist (2022), The Video Power Distribution and Mentoring Award (2021) as well as residencies at AUST, Lisbon (2021) and The High House, Norfolk (2021).

A head and shoulders shot of Kieran who has brown hair, wearing a white tee shirt and infront of a pink background.

Kieran Rook

Kieran Rook specialises in installations, painting, film, sculpture, and sound art. Working with immersive installations that involve wall-based works, floor pieces, sculptures, screens, and sounds. Creating alchemy by combining various sculptural installation aesthetics with time-based mediums and sound art compositions to create exaggerated and disorientating artworks.
In the past year, Kieran’s focus has shifted towards merging film and painting mediums, evolving from a foundation of exaggerated and disorienting narratives cultivated from a deep fascination with the intricacies of human desire and the ways in which they intersect with symbolism. Exploring themes of culture, consumerism, artifice, and subversion within the collective lived experience. By incorporating everyday objects and constructed sets made from recycled materials and repurposing them in unexpected ways to explore themes of desire, identity, and the complex relationship between individuals and the contemporary consumer culture. His artworks are characterized by a vibrant and surreal aesthetic, where he juxtaposes familiar and often nostalgic symbols to create new subverted hybrid narratives.

Sam sits in a studio with many colorful sculptural objects around him. Sam is wearing shorts and a white t-shirt and has curly brown hair.

Sam Vilanova

Samuel Vilanova is a Portuguese artist based in Margate, working across sculptures and paintings that usually exist as part of installations. His work develops from moods and scenes of a British everyday life, mixed with idyllic memories of a past in Portugal. Resulting in a familiar but also magical and foggy visual world, through which Vilanova explores alternative versions of the mundane and searches for an understanding of our condition.

He has recently had solo exhibitions at Outpost Gallery, Norwich (2022) and Quench Gallery, Margate (2021) and graduated from UCA Canterbury (BA Fine Art) in 2020.

Headshot of Simina Neagu wearing a black top, they have shoulder length dark hair and are smiling

Simina Neagu

Simina Neagu is an artist, curator and writer based in London. She works primarily with text that takes the shape of digital works, publications, events, exhibitions, and moving image work. Often informed by her own experience of migration, her projects have explored structures, collectivity and multiple, overlooked histories.

Simina has been commissioned by international arts organisations including Akademie Schloss Solitude (DE), International Curators Forum (UK), Salonul de Proiecte (RO), CCA Ujazdowski Castle (PL), Gothenburg Museum of Art (SE) and Project Biennial of Contemporary Art D-0 ARK Underground (BA). Her writing was published in English, Polish, Romanian, Swedish, German and Bosnian in publications such as springerin – Hefte für Gegenwartskunst, Revista ARTA, and Kajet Journal. She was part of the CuratorLab 2020/2021 programme at Konstfack University and between 2021-2022, she was part of the “Postsocialism and Art” project at TrAIN research centre, University of Arts London.

Artist kiera saunders sits in a green haze of light wearing a costume created with organic materials and holding a stick made from similar materials and wood

Kiera Saunders

Kiera Saunders is a multi-disciplinary artist, seamstress and collaborator. She frequently up-cycles low-tech materials creating bizarre costumes. Her works reflect on sustainability and is interested in making carnivalesque hybrid creatures, creating work surrounding disguise, silliness and grotesque feminism. Kiera is apart of the exciting costume-making team, Vomiton, whose motto is ‘art made from rubbish isn’t rubbish art.’

They have exhibited with CIRCA at the Piccadilly Lights and collaborated with multiple musicians: Edinburgh’s Hidden Door Festival / Kelburn festival with Maranta, Glasgow’s Stereo with Avantgardeners and Roundhouse London with Mermaid Chunky.

Milou Stella stands in a room with colorful artowrk and a costume in the corner of the room. They wear balck and have black hair with a fringe.

Milou Stella

Milou Stella’s interdisciplinary art practice merges digital technology, animation, performance, sound, and painting to challenge and question normative concepts of identity, gender, and social categorisation. Their hybrid artworks, including sculptures, installations, and multimodal performances, resist simplistic binaries and categories and blur boundaries through collaborations and research. Stella’s artistic practice explores the tension between the personal and the collective, rooted in folklore and storytelling. Her current work looks at queering family narratives through creative experiments that include participation, conversation, and devising techniques; they draw inspiration from thinkers such as Donna Haraway, Joan Joan, Michel Foucault, and ideas from Glitch feminism and experimental and improv theatre. Stella’s work celebrates expansive ways of seeing and being in the world, inviting us to question and deconstruct societal norms and embrace fluid and dynamic identities.

Sarah Khan takes image of them self in mirror with a mobile phone visible, they have black hair with a middle parting and a beige round neck top

Sarah Khan

Sarah Khan is an artist-filmmaker and writer. Through her practice, she draws on her lived experience and collective memory to explore themes of cross-cultural identity,
embodied resistance, and the boundless potential of worldmaking when exclusion is confronted by the ‘othered’. With an autobiographical underpinning, her works engage with poetics as a radical tool to relay personal histories and centre narratives that are otherwise rendered invisible. Sarah is a co-founder of the London-based collective Baesianz and Baesianz FC.

Sarah graduated with an MA in Writing from the Royal College of Art in June 2021.

Lisa Smirnova

Lisa Smirnova was born on 21.04.1996 in the city of Kropyvnytskyi, Ukraine. Studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture in Kiev, at the faculty of fine arts, specialty – monumental painting. She was a member of the STO art group. The STO was formed as a result of the student movement in NAOMA, around criticism of the art educational system in Ukraine. Lisa studied at KAMA, majoring in contemporary art with the artist Lesya Khomenko and at the Lada Nakonechnaya Method Fund course. Now she is studying in the independent art school “Open school east” in Margate,UK. The artist Lisa combines different eras and trends in her work. In her conceptual studies, she creates a new “mythology” that can be found in various genres and techniques such as drawing, painting, installations, stained glass and video.