Live Fringe


Liz Atkin (United Kingdom)

Public Talks (1h)

6 January 2017, 7pm

Lecture Theatre, Block F Level 2 #F201
LASALLE College of the Arts
1 McNally Street Singapore 187940

7 January 2017, 5pm


Public Talks & Skin Textures Walking Workshops (3h)

7 January 2017, 12pm

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital


Admission is free

Registration required via the
respective links above



Artist Talks

For over 20 years, Liz Atkin's life was dominated by Compulsive Skin Picking (CSP). CSP is a complex physical and mental disorder that provides comfort, pleasure or emotional release from endlessly picking at often healthy skin, leading to bleeding, infection, scarring and mental distress, and affects as many as one out of 20 people.

Despite tragedy and childhood circumstances, Liz confronted her condition head-on with creativity, creating intimate artworks, photographs and performances, and turned despair into healing. She is now an advocate for the disorder and an internationally acclaimed artist.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear her remarkable story at the Fringe!

Liz has spoken about her lived experience of CSP, artwork and recovery in both the UK and US, and most recently, she delivered the keynote address to open the TLC Global Conference for Skin Picking and Hair Pulling disorders in Dallas, Texas.


Skin Textures Walking Workshops

Liz Atkin is a visual artist whose fascination with skin, surfaces and layers is caused by an illness she has called Compulsive Skin Picking. She takes skin, in all its many guises, as the core subject matter for her work.

When Liz isn't in her studio transforming her own body in paint, letting it dry, peeling it off and documenting it in extreme close up, she can be found pounding the streets in search of interesting material to photograph; distressed surfaces, decayed things, bits of paint peeling from old doors or as she says “those grubby places that no-one’s really looking at.”

Liz invites you to join her for one of her regular street walks in search of hidden texture treasures – bring a phone camera/ digital camera to document your own favourite finds.

This experience will teach you to observe the skins of the world around us in a totally new way!


Supported by British Council Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts, THRIVE Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, library@esplanade and Silver Ribbon Singapore.





Liz Atkin has a disorder called Compulsive Skin Picking (CSP). Drawing serves a very real purpose of keeping her hands and fingers busy wherever she is. She used to take a sketch book on her long commutes across London but ran out of blank pages one day. Liz started drawing on a free newspaper and she now no longer bothers with a sketchbook!

A form of live art and advocacy for CSP, her one-minute charcoal drawings transform everyday advertisements and photographs in free newspapers. Passengers are often intrigued to see her drawing with such speed in the middle of a packed train, and delighted when she hands them a free finished drawing, together with a postcard which explains her health condition.

#CompulsiveCharcoal has gathered momentum in London, with hundreds of commuters joining in on Twitter and Instagram. Liz has been interviewed about the series for BBC Radio London, London Live and BuzzFeed, among others.

During the Festival period from 4 – 15 January 2017, Liz will be travelling around Singapore to continue her #CompulsiveCharcoal series. If you’ve been gifted a drawing by Liz, do post it on social media with the hashtag #CompulsiveCharcoal!


LIZ ATKIN is a visual artist and creative practitioner based in London. Compulsive Skin Picking dominated her life for more than 20 years, but through a background in dance and theatre, she confronted the condition to harness creative repair and recovery.



Compulsive Skin Picking is a complex physical and mental disorder that often develops in childhood. It provides comfort, pleasure or emotional release from endlessly picking at often healthy skin but this can often lead to bleeding, infection, scarring, physical deformities, and emotional and mental distress. Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviours such as Compulsive Skin Picking (Dermatillomania) and Hair-pulling (Trichotillomania) may affect as many as one out of 20 people.

Liz aims to change perceptions towards Compulsive Skin Picking. She transforms her experience of the disorder in her own artistic work and development, allowing her to normalise, manage and improve the condition, and carry a message of hope to others.