Artist development

Leo Kay and Anna Smith have been mentoring artists in various ways over the past 8 years and recognize this as a rich element of their ongoing practices.

Throughout April, May and June 2020 Leo is offering creative mentoring sessions for artists free of charge. He can offer up to 4 x 1 hour-long sessions per artist and has the capacity to work with up to 4 artists. This is an attempt to support artists and creatives, adversely affected by the impact of Covid-19, to continue to reflect on and develop their work during this period of uncertainty.

Leo has 25 years of experience as a performer, facilitator, director and creator of various forms of performance, including spoken word, physical theatre, dance theatre, live art, socially engaged practice, and performance research. This experience enables him to support and think with other artists - of various disciplines - about their preoccupations, processes, and practices within these changing times.

Both Anna and Leo's mentoring processes are bespoke and created out of an ongoing exchange with the artist and a continual consideration of their individual needs and objectives. The exchange can include dialogue in the form of questioning and listening practices and if asked for, advice. It can include boundary setting and discourse surrounding the difficulties associated with current collaborations. Anna's experience as a producer allows her insight into strategic planning and Leo’s process experience allows him, where invited to include creative task setting, writing, and sharing of creative output.

If you would like to be considered for one of the 4 mentee spaces in this period please contact Leo on In your email please include a bit of information about what you are interested in looking at, what your work is about and how you believe a mentor might be able to help your development. The proposals will be considered on rolling bases and the offer will no longer be available once Leo reaches capacity

If you don’t know Leo's work, it may be useful to familiarise yourself with his practice (on this website) to understand if you feel there is a correlation between his experience and your current practice.

Leo will aim to support all applicants, but if there are more applicants than places Leo and Anna will offer places based on whether the individual's creative needs match Leo’s experience and approach, alongside an ambition to prioritise support for artists who are marginalised within society.

 image by Ludger Storcks


current and recent mentees include:

Louisa Robbin
A multidisciplinary artist and writer, Louisa is intent on making art that explores the beauty in ritual and the self (self-care, self-harm, self-esteem). Their most recent work Tessellate is about forgiveness, going in circles and breaking bad habits. Louisa aims to invest in the development of artists and makers across multiple platforms with a focus on wellbeing, identity, and heritage.
Recent involvements with arts organisations include Shoreditch Town Hall (Tawala firsts 2019), The MAIA group co, Venice Biennale, The Marlborough Pub & Theatre, Wellcome Collection.

Image by Tom Chimiak


Sebastian H-W
Sebastian H-W (MX:UK) is a live artist based between London and the West Midlands whose work explores identity, memory, technology, interactivity and the body. He is currently engaged in an Arts Council England funded activity Chokolatul an interactive theatre performance about his bittersweet relationship to hot chocolate, and growing up mixed race in the UK. //


WhyNotShowLove is a multidisciplinary arts collective composed of Ony - Dj/Producer; Ayano - Singer Songwriter and Tastemaker; Cspin - Video Director/Cinematographer and Y? - Artist/Writer. Through our combined practices we aim to liberate ourselves and others from all forms of oppression.

"Shooter" is a multidisciplinary arts exhibition in its early stages of development, exploring the question "The Shooter or the Shot, who is the victim?”.  We aim to set research with young people who have experience of gun crime and members of New York's NYPD to explore the impact guns have on the physical and psychological space that we inhabit.
on instagram and twitter @whynotshowlove

Back to top