10 sound-word portraits of people raised in kinship care

NAN KIDS was initially commissioned by SPILL Festival 2021. The full project was only 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.


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

Recent + Upcoming

The Last Five Days of Sandra – work-in-progress commissioned by QUEEF Experimental (Birmingham, UK) (Nov 2021); development residency with Britten-Pears Arts (Suffolk) (Feb 2022)

Nan Kids – piloted at Deptford X Festival (July 2021); commissioned by SPILL Festival (Ipswich) (Oct 2021); Sound and Music Creative Seed Award winner; funded through an Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant

The Avant Garden Drop-In Centre @ Round Chapel, Hackney – audio collage of 20 artists (UK, Mar 2021)

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 (2021)



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].