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Dolly Sen is a writer, director, artist, filmmaker, poet, performer, playwright, mental health consultant, music-maker and public speaker. She has 8 published books since 2002; has taken on performance roles at The Young Vic, the Royal Festival Hall, and around Europe; undertaken a poetry tour; won a poetry award from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion; directed two plays and several TV films; and performed spoken word at City Hall and Oxford University.

Dolly Sen writes about the importance of DAO

31 December 2012

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I got an email from Colin a few weeks ago with a few questions as to what value I got from Disability Arts Online. I typed a few short answers, as I was hyper and couldn't dictate my own voice as it was swallowed up by many others, and poor Colin would have to have decipher it like lost words in a word search. My brain is a bit calmer so I can give a fuller reply to the importance of DAO  As a person within the disability arts scene and Mad Pride movement, I question identity and...

Comments: 9

This Diverse Perspective is looking for the heart of Portugal Prints

8 December 2012

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Portugal Prints Royal Academy Workshop

 My mind is sunshine distilled through a bed of nails, shining but hard to hold, especially also when the skin feels like shifting sands, and the soul and its perceptions seem like a mirage.  What is grounding me and connecting me to the world are lots of artistic projects. There is a new one on the horizon: I will be part of a project, still in its infancy, that hopes to explore unusual mental states and film, which will be launched in March 2013 at the Barbican, where one of my...

Comments: 2

Blogging Workshop and the Shameless Promotion of Lux the Dog

22 October 2012

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Blogging Powerpoint by Dolly Sen

 I was asked by Creative Futures to guest speak at a blogging workshop run by our very own Colin Hambrook. I don't claim to be a blogging expert, but I enjoy it and have learned over the years its power and its lessons. I am glad I was asked because it made me think about my process, and why I like it so much. I distilled most of what I discovered about blogging into a powerpoint presentation. I think it is self explanatory. Except for maybe the pic of Lux, my dog. I try to slip my...

Comments: 3

Haiku for Mental Health Day at the Tate Modern.

30 September 2012

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Portugal Prints Haiku Event Flyer

 On October the 13th, as part of DAO 'Diverse Perspectives' Programme, I will be filming the Mental Health Day event at the Tate Modern. My film is about Portugal Prints . They are awesome and amazing and inspiring, and it will be a honour to follow them around for the day, filming their Haiku event. This is what they say of their event: The Haiku Festival 2012 is a pilot online social media event developed by Westminster Mind’s art project Portugal Prints. On Saturday the 13th...

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Poetic Responses to Outsider Artist - Mark Gertler

19 September 2012

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painting of a path through grass and trees looking out over a seaside bay with a headland in the distance

Pallant House Gallery will be hosting a few Outsider Art Exhibitions over the autumn months this year. I became involved with Pallant through their Step Up Programme, which trained marginalised artists to be workshop leaders, and was very happy to be asked to provide poetic responses to several well known - and some lesser known - outsider artists, as part of an audio trail for one of their exhibitions. I went into the studio on September 17th to record these poems for the audio trail. This is...

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My piece at Shape's 'Perception of Balance' exhibition

5 September 2012

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Balanced Mind

I received the good news that one of my pieces was accepted for the Perceptions of Balance Exhibition at Shape Arts.   My piece is called ‘Balanced Mind’ I have been labeled ‘mad’ by society, so therefore seen as unbalanced. Society’s way of redressing that is not to help me make sense of the childhood trauma that triggered my psychosis, nor to tackle inequality and discrimination in society because of that label. Its way was to medicate me into...

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Family album - thanks to psychosis

22 August 2012

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Family Portrait

I don't know how many people share this experience, but I am a bi-realitist. Having the intense, divergent mind psychosis brings but able to comprehend the world of consensual reality, albeit a bit strangely, and in an off the wall way. But sometimes one overpowers the other: when the psychotic side does it, I am compelled to create art to exorcise; when the 'normal' side does it, I am compelled to create lists. I needed to create this piece of art, and now I feel haunted by one less ghost....

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Within WIthout You - an Outsider Art Exhibition and blog

4 April 2012

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Within Without You Exhibition Flyer

I will be exhibiting at the Within Without You Exhibition, as part of the the Bath Fringe Festival. The exhibition was the brainchild of Brian Robert Gibson, whom I met at some Outsider In training, and with some other artists who are part of Outsider In www.outsidein.org.uk/, plus a few from further afield, this exhibiton and blog came about to explore what it is to be an outsider. As Brian says himself, this event is 'a space to explore where we are placed and where we place ourselves...

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Dolly Sen's Subversive Powerpoint

24 January 2012

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Dolly Bo Peep

 Powerpoint is probably one of the most unsubversive mediums around, it is used 40,000 times a day to tell people what to do, I thought I would reverse the trend a tiny bit by creating a subversive powerpoint. It all came about when I was part of  the Sync Leadership  www.syncleadership.com and coaching scheme. It really helped me find my focus regarding my arts practice. I was asked to do a presentation at a conference on my subversive career, and Sarah Pickthall, my coach,...

Comments: 2

Dolly Sen's artistic response to the condem's treatment of disabled people

24 September 2010

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Blood on your Hands

This artwork is an artistic response to the condem's treatment of disabled people. The two incendiary expressions of the piece that both the distortion of facts and blood of the inevitable suicides are in the hands of the condem's.

My next piece in the series will just be a blank canvas with the word: 'BASTARDS!'

Comments: 2

Dolly Sen will present a paper at Currents In the Mainstream Conference

18 August 2010

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On September 22nd I will be presenting a paper at the 'In the Mainstream' conference at De Montfort University, Leicester, organised by The MeCCSA Disability Studies Network. The  conference aims to re-visit and re-evaluate the complex issues at stake in contemporary representations of disability and impairment from a variety of critical perspectives, investigating both continuities and new trends in representing disability My presentation will be on my experience as both a...

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Dolly Sen pays tribute to Amita Patel

16 August 2010

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I am well aware of the statistic that states one in ten people with serious mental health difficulties will commit suicide. But statistics are for the safe and sound, statistics turn human hearts into empty numbers. They don't say one in ten people are failed by the mental health service, they don't say one in ten sensitive, kind hearts couldn't take any more of the cruelty and selfishness of the world, or that one in ten talented, artistic people will no longer create. Two lovely people, two...

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Dolly Sen on Soap and Sync

14 August 2010

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Hey guys, sorry for the delay in the blogging. It is ironic that at the Sync SouthEast event on the 21 July I said you should keep updating your blog regularly... it should be as regular as Eastenders. Well, I haven't kept it up because my life has actually become Eastenders. The Sync South East event was amazing, uplifting and a definite though-provoker, because the event was on the day the government announced 50% cuts in the arts. I wish the Government ministers involved...

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You know you are normal when...

9 July 2010

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You know you are normal when...

 I actually don't like mind normal people, I just don't like normal fundamentalists. I published this a few years back, and the hatemail I got because of it astounded me. How dare I make fun of normal people, although these labels of 'mad' and 'normal' are invented labels and human being is good enough for everyone. Or that I am satirising the unthinking tenets of what normality seems to be.

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Dolly Sen gives a definition of mad culture

3 July 2010

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pretending to be human cartoon of dolly sen

What is Mad Culture? It is a celebration of the creativity of mad people, and pride in our unique way of looking at life, our internal world externalised and shared with others without shame, as a valid way of life. It is an acknowledgement that we are reacting to a society that is scared of us and will hijack our art and literature once our artists and writers are dead and therefore deemed safe and easy to control, corrupt and capitalise. Our culture is that we have control of our lives...

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Dolly Sen is addicted to making new websites

2 July 2010

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I have 2 new websites set up, I am dogsitting at the moment, so I can't really cause havoc in my public as I usually do, so I am stuck inside, so what to do with my time? Well, I am painting, writing, and creating websites like there is no tomorrow. My new visual art website has a gallery of painting, drawing and graphic works. And to ensure better search engine optimisation (SEO) I have created another blog about how I started my career as a professional mad person. I intend to...

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Dolly Sen on poetry and the darkness of the soul

1 July 2010

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I am mostly a happy go lucky person, with a certain cheekiness. I hope when people meet me, they detect the light in me. But I haven't had an easy life, as I have dealt with extreme abuse as a child, and its consequent madness and pain. Over the period of decades, my madness went from darkness to a strange light with some lapses into the shadows. The soul must do its work, dip into the shadows to see why they are there, and try to remove the caustic monoliths that cast them. I do not...

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Dolly Sen writes a poem while waiting for the gasman under a Lithium Sun -

22 April 2010

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Am waiting for the gasman to make an appearance at my mum's so they can fix her boiler, I have done my work for the day, so instead of twiddling my thumbs, I did a bit of writing about bipolar. I was inspired by my friend Lynn Harrison posting 'Lithium' by Nirvana on her FaceBook page. LITHIUM SUN You say my sun shines too bright, but if you have had the dark clouds I've had, you could give nothing less. Yes, sometimes the sun blinds others. But with it, I can just about see where I am going....

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Doctor who hears voices film night

28 October 2009

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fundraiser poster

Fundraiser Event at the Candid Arts Trust
6th November 2009

screening of Leo Regan/The Doctor who Hears Voices with Q/A with Doctor and the protagonist Rufus May

This is to raise money for a documentary on psychosis by Dolly Sen

www.idomind.org.uk

Starts at 19.00 2 Torrens Street, London, EC1V 1NQ

(Right behind Angel tube station)

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Dolly Sen says:

30 August 2009

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I DO MIND FILMS presents ‘voices from a strange land’ Lurking behind tabloid interest in the mental health crises of celebrities is a vast unease around mental ill-health. The everyday stigmatisation of the Mad affects everyone. Films about madness are usually made by people who have not been there. Dolly Sen has been there, and is making a travelogue about a place few return from unscathed. Most films about madness turn us into something to be feared or vilified, it does not see...

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Dolly Sen will be reading from a tree top in Regents Park, London!

27 August 2009

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Survivor's poetry and music - Mad Chicks and the Bath Mad Hatters Budding Hub Gallery, Fri 28th August 2009 6:00pm - 8:00pm A multi-faceted cornucopia of readings, talks and sound performances around the works of those who have suffered from mental illness from Mad Chicks and the Bath Mad Hatters. Mad Chicks is about women psychiatric patients and survivors of the psychiatric system. The movement developed from within Mad Pride, a user-led mental health civil rights movement, committed to...

Comments: 0

Dolly Sen says 'life has been normal - this must change!'

7 August 2009

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hey there guys, the last month I have been mostly in front of my computer, fundraising and form filling, and there's nothing to report about that, except it seems easier to write a book than fill out a funding application. The only time I have left the house is to go scouting for locations for my Trapped Birds documentary or meeting with my lovely producer Nora Somogyvari, a fellow LCC student and native of Hungary. She has been amazing, and has brought a lot of Hungarian crew to the project,...

Comments: 1

Raising money for documentary on psychosis

29 June 2009

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trapped birds logo

I was over the moon to get picked to direct a documentary on psychosis as my graduation for university, but now it is the dirty business of raising funds. I want to raise unrestricted funds, in that the usual suspects who fund these kind of films are medical based, and I want to get away from the medical model. So here are the details of what I want to do: A synopsis of the idea It is a self-reflexive documentary about the experience of psychosis, focusing on the sensory aspect of it but also...

Comments: 1