the vacuum cleaner, holding a sign saying 'fuck the vacuum cleaner'.

“Dangerous” Metropolitan Police

“Disgusting” The Big Issue

“A pain in the ass” Nacht Kritik

“It’s not entertaining” The Scotsman.

the vacuum cleaner is the name of a UK based artist and activist who makes candid, provocative and playful work.

His work combines madpride and disability justice organising, direct action and deep ecology, but always with a lightness and silliness. Over the last 12 years he has focused on design of mad spaces, organising and crip aesthetics. Often working with large groups including young people, health professionals and different communities, his art and activism aims to challenge and change how mental health is understood, treated and experienced.

With roots in activism and radical art, the vacuum cleaner has created one-man interventions and large-scale actions as well as performance, installation and film.  His work has been shown in galleries, theatres, hospitals and schools and has appeared on streets, within social movements and in public spaces internationally.

Recent commissions include: Manchester International Festival in 2023, Chisenhale Gallery 2022 and Wellcome Collection 2021.

Selected performances, exhibtions and festivals include: Grand Rapids Art Museum (Michigan), Spielart Festival (Munich), Gessnerallee/Festspiele (Zurich) Steirischer Herbst (Graz) Politik im Freien Theater (Munich), National Gallery of Indonesia,  Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Zurich), Whitechapel Gallery (London). For the NHS: Great Ormond Street Hospital, Broadmoor Hospital and Edinburgh Royal Hospital for Children and Young People.

He co-founded the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination 2004 – 09.

He received the Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Fund 2018.

the vacuum cleaner’s studio Madlove is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation 23-26

the vacuum cleaner has come second in every art prize he has ever been nominated for.