There's never a good reason a child has to be brought up by their grandparents.

NAN KIDS was commissioned by SPILL Festival 2021. The project was made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, via a project grant. The first performances of NAN KIDS were financially supported through a Deptford X Festival bursary. The project won a Sound and Music Creative Seed Award.


Leon Clowes is a transdisciplinary artist interrogating distance of memory and the space of sounds and words.

Using autoethnography, self-compassion and Brechtian techniques, 

Leon's creative practice is informed by lived trauma.

Portraiture by Ilmė Vyšniauskaitė (

Nan Kids - Alicia, Leon, Adèle - lags an

Upcoming + Recent

Recovery – joint audio-visual exhibition at SET Lewisham with Emma Bettine Hewitt (March 2022)

SECRETS: The Last Five Days of Sandra – performative installation co-produced with Britten-Pears Arts/Snape and QUEEF Experimental (UK) (Aug 2021-Feb 2022)

A Day In The Life Of… – artist-in-residence at Grove Park Library, The Mayor’s Borough of Culture (Jan 2022)

Gratitude – selected artist for James Wilson’s new collaborative work (Nov 2021)

Pulp-Non Fiction / A Technology Triptych – audio-visual collaborations with disabled musician Clare Smith and disabled artist Fiona Helen Ledger (June 2021-Dec 2022), commissioned by Disability Arts Online and Arts Council England

NAN KIDS – performative sound-word portraits of adults raised in kinship care at Deptford X Festival, Reel Rebels Radio (Hackney) and SPILL Festival (Ipswich) (Jul-Nov 2021); funded by Arts Council England and Sound and Music New Voices 2020

The Avant Garden Drop-In Centre @ Round Chapel, Hackney – audio collage of 20 artists (UK, Mar 2021), four-day residency resulting in 90-minute radio piece of music, sound and space.

The Avant Garden on Ice – audio collage of 14 artists, Reel Rebels Radio (UK, Jan 2021); Kaamos/Datscha Radio (Finland/Germany, Feb 2021)

Nine Sound Works Made Over Nine Days In November – Reel Rebels Radio (Nov 2020); Orbit Instagram Artist-in-Residence (Jan 2021)

Days of Future Past – Reel Rebels Radio (Apr 2020); Transmission Gallery and Queer Contemporaries exhibitions (Sep 2020); CCA Glasgow’s Radiophrenia Festival (Nov 2020); #WIP exhibition by Queer Art Projects (Oct 2020 – Jan 2021); Squish.Rotterdam (2022)



Audio trailer for upcoming trauma trilogy.



Clowes, L. (2019) Got any gay music? London’s “anti-gay” queer clubs 1995-2000. Stahl, G. and Bottà, G. (eds.) Nocturnes: popular music and the night. Lincoln: Palgrave Macmillan.
Clowes, L. (2018) Soft Cell: redefining the synth-pop prologue. In: Beaven, Z., O’Dair, M. and Osbourne, R. (eds.) Mute records: artists, business, history. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Clowes, L. (2017) How can you sing a song if you have no voice? Disabled musicians, activism, technology and the authenticity of creativity. [Online].