Meet OTV Artist-in-Residence Charlotte Farhan

Open Thought Vortex is happy to announce Charlotte Farhan as our Artist-in-Residence for the summer of 2016. Charlotte is internationally recognized as an artistic ally. She runs the non-profit Art Saves Lives International Magazine which seeks out and promotes artists whose work raises awareness for such topics as mental health, domestic violence and survival.

Charlotte works tirelessly to expose the underbelly of the ableist hierarchy both through ASLI and through her own art which chronicles her survival of abuse and assault. Like our previous OTV Artist-in-Residence Aaminah Shakur, Charlotte’s art is expressed through multiple mediums. Her path to wellness is paved with paintings and her writing and art have opened doors for hundreds of others worldwide to speak up about their own survival.

We are very proud to have Charlotte as a member of the OTV team. We look forward to showcasing her talent and collaborating with her on projects that serve the overlapping missions of Open Thought Vortex and Art Saves Lives International. Find her full bio below.


Charlotte Farhan has dual nationality between France and Britain and is bilingual. Having grown up between Paris and within an hour of London Charlotte was taken to art galleries and exhibitions from an early age, by her French Grandmother and Mother. Art, philosophy, literature, politics, music and fashion were passions within the family and promoted with great importance. Now Charlotte lives on the South Coast in the vibrant city of Portsmouth with her husband and 3 cats, where she works from home in her office and studio.

Charlotte is an international visual artist, a published illustrator, feature writer, the Editor and chief of ASLI Magazine and Managing Director and co-founder of Art Saves Lives International.

Charlotte’s education in art started early at her Montessori nursery school. Pursuing art all the way to college but found the constraints of being “taught art” limiting and turned to more academic subjects such as philosophy and psychology whilst learning photography. Returning to education in 2006 Charlotte did a diploma in fine art (painting and drawing) and is now in her last year of her BA (Honours) Philosophy and Psychological Studies degree and has taken creative writing for extra credit. With this she hopes to create online courses for creative therapies as well as writing her own books.

For Charlotte receiving art therapy taught her more about art than any lesson or teacher. “Art is fluid and creates energy which can be felt, art is not only visual”. Elitism and ego are negativities Charlotte avoids in the art world.

Charlotte is an active campaigner and activist for many issues, such as mental health awareness, women’s rights, anti-capitalism, and anti-war and for breaking down rape stigma and fighting against rape culture. With her own mental illness Charlotte wants to prove that a person such as herself does not have to be deemed unemployable or incompetent as she works against the odds every day, speaking out about her struggles to break down stigma and show that mental illness is like any other physical illness.

Charlotte is also a rape survivor and is currently working on an exhibition about her rape and rape culture within society which she will be exhibiting around Europe and Asia in 2016/2017.


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Shawna is a writer and in Bloomington, IN with an MFA from Indiana University. Her work most frequently addresses issues associated with survivorship. Some of her published writing can be found in The Manifest-Station, HuffPo, Sacred & Subversive, Exit 7, [wherever], and Role Reboot. She writes most regularly on Steemit and her personal site, The Honeyed Quill. Shawna is the creator of #LinkYourLife, the compassion-based community for artists and survivors on Twitter and Facebook. She is Editor-in-Chief for The Relationship Blogger, a site dedicated to mental health, relationships and their intersections. She teaches writing locally as well as online through the Elizabeth Ayres Center for Creative Writing.

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