A masked hand drawn person holding a sign saying 'This is what a crazy person looks like"

“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.

the vacuum cleaner wants to find better ways to go mad.  Drawing on his own experience of mental health disability, he works with groups including young people, health professionals and vulnerable adults to challenge 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 and in public spaces internationally.

Recent commissions include: Manchester International Festival, Chisenhale Gallery and Wellcome Collection

the vacuum cleaner is James.  He works from his Margate studio with his dog, Doris.

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

He received the Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Fund 2018.

the vacuum cleaner is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation 23-26

Disability Awareness Document (DAD).

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