Dolly Sen


DOLLY SEN is an award-winning writer, artist, performer and filmmaker. She has had 10 books published, been nominated twice for a Dadafest Literary Award (2006 & 2007), and won several awards for her poetry. Her subversive blogs around art, disability and humour have a huge international following. Since 2004 she has exhibited and performed internationally. Her most recent projects have been a digitally commissioned work for Short Circuit and the Brighton Digital Festival, where she gave an ordinary website a psychotic episode and changed its programming forever, and the creation of the popular Madvent Calender for Christmas 2014.

As a child, Dolly Sen was an alien in Empire Strikes Back. She knew then she would never know normal life. Her journey as an artist has taken her up a tree in Regents Park, to California’s Death Row, to the Barbican, Tower Bridge and the Royal Academy, Trafalgar Square, and up a ladder to screw a lightbulb into the sky, using words, art, film and performance. She is interested in non-consensual reality, outsidership, empathy, authenticity and absurdity. She has been labeled ‘mad’ by society. Her work aims to show she makes perfect sense. To that end, I want to disrupt systems that produce ‘copy and paste’ identities/thoughts/perceptions/life/death, as a Trojan horse dressed as a my little pony on acid with a little sadness in their hearts. My anti-virus programme is my art and creativity, it is putting sanity over my lap and smacking its naughty bum bum.

1970        Born London, UK

2010       BA (hons) Film & TV,University of Arts
London, London (1st Class honours)
2012       Sync Creative Leadership Programme


2004    Deconstructed: Reconstructed, South London Gallery
2005    Her Noise, South London Gallery
2006    Talking Lampposts, Bonkerfest, London
2010    SidAction Exhibition, Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
2012    Within Without You, Bath Fringe Festival
2012    Tight Modern, UK (touring)
2012    Perceptions of Balance – Shape Arts – London
2013    Impact Arts Fair – Block 336 – London
2014    Art at the Bridge – Tower Bridge – London
2014    You are not Alone Exhibition, Stoke Newington Gallery, London
2014    Exhibit Here Summer Exhibition, 59 London Wall, London
2014    Who’s Self Portrait, SHARP, London
2014    A letter in Mind, National Brain Appeal, Oxo Tower, London
2014   [In]visible, Shape Gallery, London
2015    Around the Kitchen Table, Bethlem Gallery, London
2016    Letting in the Light, Stratford, London.
2016    VI Comtemporary Art Bienale, Madrid
2017    ShapeOpen ‘Power: The Politics of Disability’, London
2017    Em-Re-Un – Bohemian Agenda, Norwich
2017    Modern Panic VIII – Guerilla Zoo, London
2017    EUFAMI Exhibition – PsychArt Gallery, Brussels
2018    Pride with Prejudice – St Margarets Church of Art, Norwich
2018    My Future Likes – Bethlem Gallery, London


2003    TVAK, Amsterdam
2006    Streatham Film Festival
2006    Bonkersfest Film Festival
2006    Southwark TV Film Festival
2007    Borderlines Film Festival
2007    Movie Monday, Kent
2008    Cannes in a Van, Cannes
2012    Portobello Film Festival
2013    Cinema and Psychosis, Barbican
2014    Mind Rights Film Festival, Lisbon, Portugal
2014    Together Disability Film Festival, London
2014    Shuffle Film Festival, London
2014    Picture This, Canada
2015    Acting Out, Notthingham
2015    Medfest (various)


2010    AA2A Residency, University of Portsmouth, Art, Design and Media Department, 2011-12
2012    Sync – Subversive Powerpoint
2012    Pallant House Gallery/Step Up Audio Trail.
2013    Barbican – Wonder on Film
2013    DAO & Royal Academy
2013    Brighton Digital Festival/Short Circuit
2015    Bobby Baker – Expert View


A poem to a CCTV Camera, asking it to look at itself.

I made this film to juxtapose my childhood photos with the psychotic voices I hear to see if I can see myself as a child.