Liz Atkin

Profile  |  Artworks  |  Exhibitions  |  Network  |  Comments
The Flay, 2010 Photography © Liz Atkin 2010
Skin Threads, 2010 Photography © Liz Atkin
Burial, 2008 Photography, Performance © Liz Atkin, 2008
Tank, 2010 Photography © Liz Atkin 2010
Quick Facts
Lives in
Works in
Representing galleries
Bethlem Gallery, Havelock Walk Studios
performance, photography, digital, exhibition/performance

I am a visual artist based in London. Physicality underpins a creative practice with my skin as a primary source for corporeal artwork and imaginative transformation. Compulsive Skin Picking dominated my life for more than 20 years, but through a background in dance and theatre, I confronted the condition to harness creative repair and recovery. I create intimate artworks, photographs and performances exploring the body-focused repetitive behaviour of skin picking. I have exhibited and performed in therapuetic settings, galleries and venues in the UK, Australia, USA and Japan. I aspire to de-stigmatise Compulsive Skin Picking and mental illness. I aim to raise awareness and advocate recovery through public talks, specialist commissions, residencies and exhibitions. 

In June 2015 I won the Emerging Talent SAFTA by Southwark Arts Forum at an award ceremony at the Unicorn Theatre. My story and art has been profiled on BBC Breakfast, BBC World Service Outlook, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, and BBC Arabic TV’s art programme Afaq. My studio is on Havelock Walk in South London, a community of sculptors, painters, designers, photographers and other visual artists.

As a freelance creative practitioner I work in a range of educational and therapeutic settings including schools, galleries, prisons, hospitals and arts organisations. I teach visual arts, movement and drama from early years to adults of all ages. I was Artist in Residence at Northgate School in June 2015. Based in Edgware Community Hospital, Northgate School specialises in the education of students suffering from mental health challenges.


My artwork is currently in 'Dreams: Hurt, Hope and Happiness' an exhibition for City Arts Nottingham at Institute of Mental Health until Sept 2015. In February 2015 I took part in the  inaugural exhibition in Bethlem Gallery'pioneering new space for art and mental health in Where is the Work in the Work of Art? (19 Feb - 10 Apr 2015) Other recent exhibitions include Southbank Centre in Making Visible for the Winter Festival 2014/5 curated by The Bethlem Gallery, Curdled solo exhibition for the Anxiety Festival 2014 in London, at ORTUS Maudsley Learning and Events Centre, and solo exhibition My Singular Fascination at The Bethlem Gallery, for Bethlem Royal Hospital, coinciding with OCD Action Awareness Week in 2013. 


I was selected for City Arts Nottingham Recovery exhibition 2013/14 at the Institute of Mental Health. My work was exhibited at the Skin Gallery for the Skin and Cancer Foundation in Melbourne, Australia, and I was an international contributor to the PAIN postcard show at LRG Gallery at the David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles USA, 2014. Other London exhibitions include APT Gallery, Camden People's Theatre, Siobhan Davies Studios, Blackheath Halls, and curated group shows for Impact Art Fair, Muxima, Parallax AF Pall Mall, Showcase Cities, and Rich Mix. I have won awards with the British Women Artists, The Affordable Art Fair, and New Artist's Fair. 


I have collaborated with Photo-Performers: Manuel Vason - Julia Bauer - Thomas Pope - Barbara Kukovec - Jemima Yong - Holly Revell - Ting Jumper.  

I have also collaborated with Daniel Regan (Photographer) Luke Pell (Maker) Catherine Long (Dancer), Kitty Fedorec (Dancer), Lenka Rayn H.(Photographer), Dr Simon Park (Molecular Biologist), Cameron McNee (Photographer), Oliver Warren (Documentary film maker)

International residencies include Fellowship Artist at the Akiyoshidai International Art Village in Yamaguchi Japan 2011 and Artist in Residence on ART2102 Genesis Project at Sea and Space Explorations, Los Angeles in 2008. I was a contributing artist to an Arts Council England funded project residency The Long Time, in Dungeness and Chisenhale Dance Space. Most recently I was one of 8 artists on Art Admin's DIY 11: 2014 with Manuel Vason considering the notion of ‘The Photo-Performer’.