28 December 2023

End of year December 2023


I present my special newsletter,

dedicated to all of my supporters





I wish all my readers, my collectors and friends the warmest of wishes to you and your loved ones for a holiday season filled with love, laughter, and the joy of cherished moments.




Photo by Jim Hoe at London Colourwalk 


On that note, as part of Camberwell Arts week, I am having an open studio, on the 9th and 10th December from 12pm - 7.30pm. My studio is at my home, so please book an approximate time and get your festive spirits going, have a mulled wine or a cup of tea, enjoy talking art, grab a nibble.   

Here’s the Eventbrite link: Tickets for Michelle's open studio 
Also, if you'd like to purchase any of my works as a gift, please make sure you do so in person, or allow time for Xmas posting and printing. 
Thank you to all my collectors, who have already ordered prints and paintings in good time!







I’d like to take a moment to reflect on this season of goodwill, as sadly we all know the holiday season is not all joy, for many this season brings up painful experiences and especially the loss of loved ones. On 10 October 2023 I lost my cat Biggie, she was seventeen years and seven months old. Like many cats she had kidney disease. Of course, I miss her, as you all know she was an inspiration for my Art. 
This year I had a month long solo show of my cat portraits at Cafe Deli Felice in Albion Street.






The festive season is not always full of the happy moments reflected on social media, adverts, TV or movie screens. 

So please welcome friends and acquaintances who may need you to offer a hand of friendship in these traumatic times. 
I am reminded of the work I did for the ‘Being Present’ exhibition, at the Bethlem Gallery, where I was a part of a project consisting of artists from Bethlem Gallery, London and Primary, Nottingham. We had worked together during lockdown. I made work in collaboration with Chris Lewis-Jones called ‘The Great British Tea Break’, which was an installation/performance piece and involved drinking lots of tea and eating biscuits, with Chris playing his amazing accordion. 



The piece was awarded extra funding from the Responsa foundation so we could perform it more than once. I will be talking about the process of working in this way on the 14th December at the Primary in Nottingham. I am in the process of putting the tea bags together to make a book.




How do I make you feel?

The Solo Show

This year I was honoured to be selected and funded by Equality Work for a solo show at the Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London. 

I showcased over 70 pieces of work, including portraits of disabled activists and others, as well as my painting the Judges. My portraits highlighted inspirational disability human rights activists and were commissioned by Disability Arts Online in 2021. 
I created portraits of Jess Thom who runs Tourette’s Hero; John Pring, a journalist who produces Disability News Service; Katherine Araniello a live art, performance and video artist who died in 2019 and was a very close and dear friend; Penny Pepper, a fellow creative writer and journalist for the Guardian and the Byline times; Jane Baroness Campbell, who is in the House of Lords; Sue Elsegood, disability rights activist; and Liz Carr, disabled actor and activist.
The exhibition ran from 7 March - 1 June. I would like to say a really big thank you to all the people I have painted for the show, and those who supported me.




I really enjoy painting people, as my followers you will know that I like to put a person in their element and showcase their personality. 


In this portrait of Sue Elsegood, I have painted her at home with her cat and her plants that bring her personality out. In one corner of the painting there are a few astronauts. They are there because Sue said - ‘We can put people on the moon, but we can’t get a wheelchair user on a bus!’. It made sense for her to lock herself to a bus, to campaign for change. Painting Sue took over three months. The painting is acrylic, painted on canvas and is glazed. The painting measures 120cm by 100cm. 


If you would like to discuss having your portrait painted by me, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Price varies by size and materials.





This year I have exhibited three times with the South London Women Artists, 

an artist group I currently chair.


One of the pieces I exhibited was my painting of Medusa which was shown at Brixton Library in the exhibition called Female Icons. I painted this in 2022 and again in 2023, I have two paintings. The works are a response to ongoing Women's oppression. No-one can ignore the killing of women and children in Iran and women who wish not to wear the hijab, who are imprisoned and murdered. We are living in times of turmoil and upheaval.




I have had three shows with the Bethlem Collective including my billboard at Turff, which I loved doing.




I had two shows with Invisible Women with who I created my rather large polyptych – four paintings together - on the theme ‘All The Women I Could Have Been‘ and actually it's more 

Who I am – titled ‘Life as Is, Not as Expected’



As the shortest day of the year comes nearer, I think about how incredible this year’s journey has been and who I have shared it with. 


I wanted to share my Weeds painting as we come to the Pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice. Weeds is something that evergreens and holly make me think about, being the trees that survive winter.





Do you need a special Xmas card or even one for a winter festival? 






I want to say a big thank you to everyone I’ve worked with this year, but as I started to write I just realised how long this list is and I am bound to have missed somebody! 


So I am going to say a few big 'thank yous' to: Paola Minekov, who has been working with me in the background; Vici Wreford-Sinnott, Artistic Director at Little Cog and facilitator of Invisible Women; all the Invisible Woman; Amanda Glynn, Sophie Leighton and others at the Bethlem Gallery; Mike Buttler and others at the Foundry; Colin Hambrook and others at Disability Arts; Rosie Walbancke, Ron Briefel and others at the Bookery Gallerie; Meg Lee Chin, the Temple of Ideas; Women at South London Women Artists; Nicholas Okwulu and Melissa Jo Smith at LEX2; Anna-Maria Amato from SHARP; Johnny Waywrill – Support Worker; Maddalena at Cafe Deli Felice in Albion Street.Rossella Black at Lambeth Libraries; Beth Mander at the Paxton Centre; and a big thank you everyone who has supported me by coming to a show, attending a poetry event, making a purchase and just being there to enjoy spending time with. 


Of course, the person I could not live without, Amos Phillips, and my cats Tiddles and his auntie the Late Biggie. 


No matter whether you celebrate or not here’s wishing you a happy, healthy, warm and celebrative Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali or any other winter festivity. 


Michelle Baharier

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