Inclusive Arts Practitioner
facilitator, collaborator, muralist, artist, curator, maker, designer, director
S.o.S is an award winning multimedia and street artist based in Brighton, UK. After graduating from her first degree in Fashion & Textile design in 1989 from Middlesex University London, she developed a career in Paris as a footwear designer, later evolving her path from consumer product design into marketing and advertising design. While she was a product designer for Brown Shoe Corp, S.o.S was instrumental in delivering ongoing consumer product design campaigns & themes for “Blue-chip” licensing programs in entertainment such as Disney and Warner Bros. She later helped introduce companies and brands such as Raleigh Bike Industries to licensing programs by providing a complete brand and licensing design solution to them.
S.o.S made the leap from the “for profit” world where her last role was as consultant Senior Account Director in the Middle East’s largest advertising agency Promoseven360 for the iconic brand, The Wave Muscat. She had marketed and designed her way around the world, but realised that change needs to start at “home.” Disillusioned with the idea of globalisation, she felt that going back to “community” was the way that positive social change could begin in her practice. So begins a new chapter, S.o.S’s role of artist and curator started in 2010 when she opened up her own home as an Artists’ Open house. This was the beginning of a journey into the arts which went through staging public art exhibitions, promoting other artists and then finally becoming a professional artist in her own right. Her current style of work in the street brings together the ideas of branding, marketing, icons and advertisement into her artworks which often portray women as the central element in the composition.
S.o.S was awarded a first class honours for a Master of Arts program in Inclusive Arts Practice (IAP) at The University of Brighton 2015. IAP is using art practice for positive social change, through a vast array of artistic mediums in settings from the street, institutions or the museum. This includes working side by side with marginalised members of society. S.o.S’s research project is based around gender issues and the chosen medium is street art intervention. S.o.S won two awards in 2015. One for a public art design & commission at The Brighthelm Centre, and The 2015 BrightSpark award for innovation and original ideas for inclusive spraypaint workshops.
I am interested in using my conceptual skills and my ability to tune into changes in social trends in order to help change perceptions and create positive social change. I would like to make art accessible to as many people as possible, including more hard to reach or vulnerable individuals. Through my Master of Arts in Inclusive Arts Practice at the University of Brighton I specialised in creating art interventions in the street for my final arts research project. After investing hundreds of hours into this genre, I am beginning to understand how the almost simple act of creating a mural, or using spray paint to engage with people who find it difficult to “join in”, is a powerful communication tool. I have been practising inclusive arts ever since.
How can street art create social change?
1 By continuing it’s message (even after it has been painted over) via social media and on-line sharing & blogs.
2 By reaching individuals who may not have otherwise engaged with the message.
3 By transforming spaces into the type of space that more people would like to see.
4 By engaging “out of the system” individuals into art-making via workshops which impart a sense of confidence, team work and enabling skill sharing.
5 By enabling women and girls to make their mark, be heard, and in-turn transform our environment and our perceptions (alongside male mark makers in the street.)