Leon Clowes studied as a musician, but wasn’t really. It took Leon until their late 40s before becoming a conceptual artist. That just wasn’t a thing one would even dream of coming from a rural working-class family.
Trained as a musician (pianist, singer, oboe briefly), Leon gained a BMus (Hons) at Goldsmiths in 1991. Before, during, and after that time Leon was in electronic bands, and until the mid 1990s was starting to build a successful career at a paid composer of music for theatre in Glasgow and London. In the late 90s Leon ran successful mixed media queer clubs in Madame JoJos and the ICA.
Re-engaging with creative practice again in the last few years, Leon has now made four long form radio pieces, audio works and performance installations working solo and with collaborators with music/sound at the centre. In the last two years Leon has been selected/commissioned by Britten Pears Arts, Sound and Music, Round Chapel, QUEEF Experimental, Arts Council, Queer Art Projects, Queer Contemporaries, CCA Glasgow’s Radiophrenia Festival, The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture, Wandsworth Arts Fringe, SPILL and Deptford X Festivals.
Leon was featured on BBC1 News for 2021’s sound-word portraits series ‘Nan Kids’.