Sarah Pinder poetry reading

Here is writer Sarah Pinder giving a reading of her poem ‘The Future’ which features in Mad as a Bad Tornado.

Find Sarah on

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Mad as a Bad Tornado article in The Culture Vulture blog

Writer Nicola Chapman has written a piece about Mad as a Bad Tornado in the fabulous  Culture Vulture blog  – featuring a review and interview. Read it here

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Now available to buy online

Mad as a Bad Tornado is now available to buy online from here

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Sound piece by Adam Denton

Ode to John Ledger

(Click on the link above to listen)

“I heard somewhere that on returning home to his one room abode, as soon
as Henry Darger had closed the door, he could often be overheard barking
out strange phrases and abuse. These reports came from neighbours who
may have stood around in the corridor listening to this outpouring as a form of
entertainment. The neighbours speculated that Henry was letting go of stored up
anger and frustration, built up during the day where he had conducted himself
with reputable good manners; maybe now he could have his say. Or what if
he knew they were listening at the door? Was he putting on a show? A private
performance made public; Henry more comfortable in his state of four wall
immunisation, and able to push it all out for an assembled public?
Perhaps many are returning home to find themselves in a state of barely
restrained rage, unable to express or name its cause or origin. Perhaps we let it
subside and get on with the evening; or wait for the next all consuming feeling of
distress, get drunk, fight a loved one, misdirect.
Anyway, I got home, opened my mail and my mouth, and kept going until I was
lying on the floor half naked. I was immunised within my walls, but you can’t
shake the feeling that someone may be listening in. I hope they were.”


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Artist information

Allan Binns is an artist/curator who lives and works in Nottingham, UK.Since graduating from Loughborough University in 2009, he has gone to found the internationally touring art collective, the 1%-ers, as well as direct the NOTLOST independent Arts Festival.

 Ben Clarkson is a Winnipeg based artist and illustrators whose work has been exhibited internationally. His favorite color is mauve.

Maria Cobo is an artist and curator based in Madrid.
Her outputs have included photography, drawing, print and video installation. She has curated the exhibitions ‘Heroines or Victims? Women living with cancer’ and ‘Otros caminos por explorar’, both of them as part of the photo-festival Fotomanías 2011.

DahmerStu is a solitary and private artist. living within his one bedroom attick studio. The bulk of his work, he candidly admits, is produced during regular insomneatic periods and influenced from journels, sleep deprivtaion, night terrors and suppressed memories. Contact him on

Adam Denton  is a performer and composer based in Sheffield. Current projects include Trans/Human, Deas & Denton and Swan-Hunter. He is co-curator of PANDEMIC, a multi-site event which takes place in Sheffield in November 2011; incorporating visual art, performance, experimental music, lectures and actions in an environment of participation, where any person can be written into the programme at any point leading up to and during the event.

Martin Heron works across the UK and Ireland making site specific art for public spaces. Heron’s approach to making art work has led to a diverse and prolific body of work that is often experimental and playful. He is currently based in Nottinghamshire.

Debi Holbrook is a Leeds based visual artist working mainly, but not exclusively in sculpture, drawing, paint and collage. Her inspiration rarely comes from one source alone – an image spotted in a magazine combined with an over heard conversation could inspire a drawing, a found object and the influence of it’s site may well result result in a sculpture. Working on gut instinct and often with a diverse combination of images  and materials her influences frequently amalgamate into an uneasy conclusion. Absence, evidence, memory and the discarded are common themes which challenge the validity of memory.Debi is currently a workshop assistant at the Hepworth Wakefield Learning Department.

@robhopesworld  Keighley UK
Livin lovin losin artist and gatherer of ephemera.

 Emily Ilett
I am an artist and writer born in North Yorkshire and living in Glasgow after I recently graduated from The Glasgow School of Art.  I have exhibited nationally and internationally, making work which draws from a simple curiousity and the intrigue of edge.

Sohail Khan is based in Huddersfield and has been working in performance and related fields since 1984.  Themes that he explores are the process around notions of what, how and to whom culture(s) are as stories and products. He collaborates with a diverse range of artists and practitioners. He also relates his performance based practice through work in the forms of writing, film, music, installation and visual art. Sohail has performed at the National Review of Live Art and at Spill Festival National Platform.

Catherine McEwan:  Sometimes writer of poetry and short stories, novel on the back burner. Mother of four creative grownup children and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren.

Jean McEwan: Artist and curator based in Haworth West Yorkshire. Obsessed with zines and Henry Darger in equal measure.

Calum Paterson: Born in Harrogate in 69,I blustered through school and found myself working as a projectionist before moving onto construction. After the crash and subsequent redundancy, I’ve arrived in the final year of a Fine Art degree at Leeds college of Art, specialising in Abstract sculpture, Surrealism and automatic writing with the help of Nietzsche, Jung and alcohol.

Paul Peter: words swim within me, i can only get them to flow out through pictures

Sarah Pinder lives in Toronto. A zine-maker of over a decade,
her writing has been shortlisted for the Expozine Small Press Awards and NOW Magazine’s Best of Toronto. Find her work in the
anthology She’s Shameless, journals like Room and invisible city,
and Montreal’s Distroboto art vending machines.

Tendernine are a UK based cooperative who specialise in zine activities

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Contributing artists

Mad as a Bad Tornado will feature image, text and sound responses to the life and work of Henry Darger from the following UK and international artists:

Allan Binns
Ben Clarkson
Maria Cobo
Adam Denton
Martin Heron
Debi Holbrook
Robert Hope
Emily Ilett
Sohail Khan
Wayne Lucas
Catherine McEwan
Jean McEwan
Calum Paterson
Paul Peter
Sarah Pinder

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Call for submissions

Open call for submissions to zine dedicated to visionary artist Henry Darger.

 Henry Darger, Diary entry April 16 1968:

“Had trouble again with twine. Mad enough to wish I was a bad tornado. Swore at God.”

Henry Joseph Darger (1892 – 1973) was a reclusive American writer and artist. He has become famous for his posthumously discovered 15,145-page, single-spaced fantasy manuscript called ‘The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused …by the Child Slave Rebellion’, along with several hundred drawings and watercolor paintings illustrating the story. Darger’s work has become one of the most celebrated examples of outsider art.

Mad as a Bad Tornado is a curated zine dedicated to visionary artist Henry Darger. The zine will be a hand-made, A5 colour publication, printed in a limited edition of 50. Mad as a Bad Tornado will be launched at South Square Gallery, Bradford on 4th November  and will be sold online and at a range of arts events and outlets in Autumn/Winter 2011.

Image and text submissions are invited in response to any aspect of the life and work of Henry Darger. Drawing, photography, collage and writing are all welcomed. Mad as a Bad Tornado is curated by artist and independent curator Jean McEwan.

To apply, email your submission, along with an artist cv and statement to the  Image submissions should be in jpeg format. Written submissions should be provided in Word and be a maximum of 500 words.

Deadline: 19 October 2011

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