Pictured: Portrait of Baroness Jane Susan Campbell
“Thankful to Michelle for making me one of her models! I love the paintings, her artwork speaks for itself! What a wonderful idea!”- Baroness Jane Susan Campbell, a life peer.
Michelle Baharier is an award-winning multi-media artist, graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art and exchange student of the Städelschule Fine Art Academy in Frankfurt, Germany.
She exhibits widely and her art is held in both public and private collections, including digital portraits in the British Transport Museum and Sound Moves, in the Tate sound archive. Michelle is a recipient of the Glaxo Smith Kline Impact Award and the Julian Sullivan Award for ground-breaking work in the arts.
Michelle’s artwork addresses the many barriers that she and others face, some due to disability discrimination and prejudice.
'My artistic practice is strongly influenced by injustice, inhumanity and my everyday experience of disability, addressing barriers and prejudices about dyslexia.’
Michelle Baharier's powerful paintings are vibrant, emotionally charged pieces, that encourage the viewer to have a dialogue with the images, as seen in her recent highly acclaimed solo portraiture exhibition, 'How Do I Make You Feel?', at The Foundry Gallery in London 2023 which arose from portrait commissions from Disability Arts Online, as was her solo show in 2021 at Sprout Gallery.
Michelle was commissioned to paint Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and seven other Paralympic athletes for Hoxton’s art wall in 2017, with ‘Vison’ a group of learning disabled artists.
TATE Largactyl Shuffle Walks, Cooltan Arts, 2006. Limited Edition 3/3
Michelle is well known for founding CoolTan Arts, an arts and mental health charity, that won 27 Awards and the artist Maggi Hambling was its patron.
She was famous for its/her Largactyl Shuffle Walks of which she was the co-founder. She ran Midnight Walks that took audience on a vivacious live performance of myth and fact, from the powerhouse to the mad house.
CoolTan Arts created a celebration in 2012 bringing to life Charles Dickens stories, Michelle made Miss Havisham's wedding dress, which has been exhibited widely and is available for hire.
Michelle Baharier and disabled activist Sue Elsegood, in front of Sue's portrait at the opening on 'How do I Make you Feel?', 2023
Miss Havisham’s wedding dress was showcased by the Bethlehem Museum of the Mind in 2020 and a Women For All Seasons. It was for the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens in 2012, first shown at the London Alternative Fashion Show.
Michelle Baharier's oeuvre includes colourful and expressive paintings, storytelling, poetry, performance, photography, installations, and digital media.
With Tony Blair
Michelle is a regular blogger for Disability Arts Online. She is a Chair of South London Women Artists, and a member of the Bethlem Gallery collective, Sharp Gallery, the Visual Artists Association, Red Orange gallery, Axis Arts and Arts Lab.
Michelle says ‘I love what I do, making art, and I use my practice both as an individual and as a socially engaged artist by activism and community initiatives.'