Michelle Baharier is a critically acclaimed multidisciplinary participatory visual artist. She lives and works in South London and exhibits internationally across the UK USA, Europe and the Middle East. Artistic Director/Founder and CEO of the charity CoolTan Arts, run by and for disabled people. Michelle has also won the coveted  Julian Sullivan Award. 

Studied at Slade School of Fine Art University College London Uk, Exeter College of Art and Design UK, The University of the Arts, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main Germany, and Watford College of Art and design UK. 

AKA @dyslxicRant on twitter

@bahariermichelle on Instagram

The most emotionally touching piece of art Ive ever seen…

St Martin’s School of Fine Art lecturer, Anne Tallentire hails Michelle Baharier’s work as

“The making of the work is the part that excites me. I have made sinks that talk and water that gets sets on fire. My work happens outside and inside of the gallery,  such as “Shop Till You Drop”, at Peckham Women’s Centre, or “Lenons On Sale Again”, in Jaffa Tel-Aviv, Israel. Here I worked on an installation with my brother Daniel Baharier (also an artist), where we took over a co-education centre that taught both Arabs and Israelis. This piece coincided with the death of Yitzhak Rabin. I run Psychogeography walks in the style lead by the Flaneuse ‘Women walk the City’ As founder of CoolTan Arts I lead the Largactyl Shuffle

Baharier is Artist in residence at Sharp Gallery, Brixton, run by the Mausdely hospital. Her work was exhibited at The Museum of the Mind 2019/20 where the piece Miss Havishams wedding dress was put on show.

Miss Havisham
Miss Havisham is a character in Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations.

Baharier exhibited at Art Academy in ‘WOMEN FOR ALL SEASONS’ March 2020, with other women Artists celebrating International women’s day.

Baharier run a ‘women’s walk’ on the 8 March 2020 celebrated international women’s day.

Women’s Art Activism & Provocation . The Personal is Political Bring your handbag or rucksack.

Womens Walk
The women’s walk takes in historical places and sculptures of interest. Why did Boudicea or Boudica take on the Romans? Photograph by Michelle Baharier

Her work features as part of ‘Mad Covid Diaries’. https://madcovid.wordpress.com/2020/07/18/im-in-quarantine-its-not-a-good-place-to-be-because-its-scary-plagues-are-scary-government-needs-to-take-responsibility-for-putting-our-lives-in-danger/

She has been a featured Poet at Survivors Poets in Mach 2020. Baharier is a published poet with her collections available in local libraries nationally. Recently she was published in ‘What if we cant save the earth?’ By SIREN POETS.

Baharier is featured in ‘The Postcard Project, 2020′

Her work was chosen to be exhibited in Vigo this year as part of Covid exchange.

My Cat lock down
During the first lock down my cat Tiddles sat outside, looking in this is my painting. Acrylic on canvas.

Baharier also publishes blogs regularly for Disability Arts Online. National Survivors Network funded a series of live streaming and psychogeography and videos in 2020.

Baharier’s videos diaries include poetry and performance and are available on YouTube. 

Staute of Libity
When you feel blue, tears swell up, the depression kicks in. Anxiety and we start falling apart. Painting acrylic on canvas by Michelle Baharier

Baharier has worked with Professor Sharon Morris from Slade School of Fine Art. Together they curated the first artwork on the telephone commissioned by Projects UK Newcastle called ‘Sound Moves’ archives which was held at the Tate. Baharier has work in the Sound archive held by The Women Artists Slide Library. Her work can be found in Shape’s Disabled Artists Archive and at the London Bough of Southwark’s Archive where work from CoolTan Arts is held.

 At CoolTan Arts, Art Angel commissioned a walk in regards to Van Gough’s house At the Crossroads with Vincent: a sound piece, you could take as a walk. http://www.vangoghwalk.org/2014/02/we-are-very-excited-about-cool-tan-arts.html

At the Haywood gallery, CoolTan was commissioned to make a sound piece made in response to the exhibition “Walking in My Mind” at the Hayward Gallery summer 2009 and Arts. https://www.duncanchapman.org/past/creatures-lost-in-time-hayward-gallery-2009

Baharier has a number of commissioned murals: As lead Artist Baharier has also completed collaborations with artist ‘Vision’ who learning disabilities. This resulted in the Hoxton’s art wall, celebrating the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships. The Portraits featured were of Para Athletics, Dame Tanni Grey-ThompsonDavid Weir, Ade Adepitan, Jonnie Peacock, Kadeena Cox, and Ellie Simmonds all feature

Vison World Para Athilettics
Made for Hoxton Art Wall, Produced with Vison an arts group of adults with leaning disabilities. I was commissioned to do the portraits of Dame’ Tanni Grey-Thompson, Ellie May Simmonds, OBE, Kadeena Cox, MBE.


Sharp Gallery

Baharier also publishes blogs regularly for Disability Arts Online. National Survivors Network funded a series of live streaming videos in 2020.


Baharier worked collaboratively with ‘Sisters of Frida’ to produce a banner for the Votes for Women. 

She is an Ambassador for Outside in and her work is hosted in one of their galleries https://outsidein.org.uk/galleries/michelle-baharier/attachment/wictheshouse_001-jpg/

As founder, Artistic Director and CEO of CoolTan Arts for over 25 years. Baharier grew CoolTan Arts  from an old suntan lotion factory squatted social center in Brixton to user-run disabled peoples charity working with 3000 people face to face a year, running participatory arts.

Wining the 2015 GST Impact awards for the work in helping people with mental distress improve their lives.


Baharier set up and delivered a number of public art projects, The Largactyl Shuffle, the concept of psychogeographical walk public performances named after Chlorpromazine, one of the first antipsychotic drugs, whose side effects included deterioration of motor functions that often manifest in a slow shuffling walk hence Largactyl Shuffle walks.

Image from Time Out magazine online.

Baharier and Largactyl Shuffle walks were commissioned by the Southbank Centre to deliver a series of 4 mile community legacy walks from Hackney to the Olympic park for the Mayor of Londons Liberty Festival for 2011 and 2012 London Olympics.

The Science Museum for a year-long event called ‘Staying up staying up late’ events were we run the walks though the Medical gallery exploding the objects use in mental health, Southwark Council’s Public Health department, bringing art to new audiences and new places.