Speaker 2 – Liz Atkin

Posted in Speakers by drewbuddie - Oct 25, 2016

Liz Atkin

Visual Artist




Liz is a visual artist based in London. Physicality underpins a creative practice with my skin as a primary source for corporeal artwork and imaginative transformation. Compulsive Skin Picking dominated her life for more than 20 years, but through a background in dance and theatre, she confronted the condition to harness creative repair and recovery. She creates intimate artworks, photographs and performances exploring the body-focused repetitive behaviour of skin picking and has exhibited in the UK, Australia, USA and Japan.

As a freelance creative practitioner she works in therapeutic settings, schools, galleries, prisons, hospitals and arts venues, teaching visual art, set design, movement and drama to all ages from early years to adults. She regularly teaches for Arts Depot, Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Extant.

Liz has become well known for the art she produces on discarded copies of the Metro with charcoal which she then distributes as gifts to fellow passengers in her Underground carriage.

She is an advocate for Compulsive Skin Picking and mental illness, de-stigmatising these conditions via public talks, specialist commissions, residencies and exhibitions. In 2016 she was announced as a World Health Innovation Ambassador and was the keynote speaker at the Global Conference for Skin Picking and Hair Pulling Disorders in Dallas for TLC Foundation. Her international advocacy includes a week in California in October 2015 speaking to junior doctors at Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California, University of California: Santa Barbara, and to Skin Picking patients at The OCD Center of Los Angeles.

In the UK she has spoken at Wellcome Collection, Critical Voices Conference, Depression Alliance, Dragon Café / Mental Fight Club, Royal Society of Public Health, and Changing Minds at Southbank Centre. She will also be a speaker at the Global Conference for the Body Dysmorphia Foundation 2016, the Diversity Conference at University of Lancaster.

Her story and art has been profiled in interviews for BBC Breakfast, BBC World Service Outlook, BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio London, London Live, Al Jazeera TV and BBC Arabic. Other media interviews include The Daily Bruin Los Angeles (Oct 2015), The Londonist (2015), Bloomberg Business China (2015) VICE Magazine UK (Dec 2015), Diva Magazine (Feb 2016) and Like-Minded Magazine (Amsterdam, 2015).

You can learn more about Liz here.






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