Core Team

Lead Artist. the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter)

the vacuum cleaner is the name of a UK based artist who makes candid, provocative and playful art about the world being messed up.

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.

Collaborator. Hannah Hull.

I am a situation-specific artist, creating social sculpture and political interventions. My work is often dialogue-based and temporal. My practice invites people to articulate the spaces in between; to disclose new sites, histories and languages. I am interested in empowering individuals to creatively and critically intervene with their world.

As part of my practice, I deliver and consult on creative practice for social change. My specialist interest is the use of a critical, contemporary art model for ‘socially-excluded’ groups such as recovering addicts, ex-offenders and the homeless. This is the subject of my practice-based PhD, for which I have a studentship at Goldsmiths, University of London with the Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship.

Commissions | Funders | Supporters

Venues and Commissions. We would like to thank the follow organisations for commissioning, hosting and programming the project.

FACT | Wellcome Collection | Southbank Centre | Fierce Festival | Nottingham Contemporary | NAGAS | Artsadmin | Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space | Homo Novus (Riga) | Bethlam Gallery | Design in Mental Health Conference and Awards | Gessnerallee (Zurich) | Guild Lodge Hospital | Mile End Hospital | Core Arts | Broadland Clinic | Dr Guislain Hospital (Ghent) | Somerset House and King’s College London | G39 | Who Cares?/Staatstheater (Mainz) | LSE Literary Festival | Royal Hospital Edinburgh.

We’ve been helped along the way by.

Anna Zagorska

Kirsi Väänänen

Sue Keen

Sian Baxter

Funding. We would like to thank the following funder’s for their generous support.


Wellcome Trust People’s Award

Arts Council of England

British Psychological Society.

Support. We are indebted to the following organisations for their ongoing support.

Projects Office

muf Architecture/Art

Special Thanks to Gill Lloyd.