I’m Uma, an artist, writer, and award winning game designer interested in animals, horror, queer feminist literature, and games design. Everything I make is about some combination of love, grief, hallucination, and an excess of joy. With Sammy Paloma I make video games about the divine and occult providence of transfemme existence.

Recent projects include “The Speculative Dismemberment of Agent Leon Kennedy” for Market Gallery (Glasgow, 2022), “Take The Moonlight by The Tail” for Arebyte Gallery (London, 2021), “Practising Futures While Grieving in Eight Movements” at Klosterruine (Berlin, 2022) and my first solo exhibition “Earth A.D.” co-commissioned by and touring across Wysing Arts Centre (Cambridge, 2022), FACT (Liverpool, 2023), and Quad (Derby, 2024) .

In 2023 I’ve taught at Ruskin School of Art, Yale University, and am currently an associate lecturer at Newcastle University. To support other working class artists I provide a “Pay what you can” mentoring service.

CV

Exhibitions

2023
Joy of Destruction, Backlit, Nottingham. (Forthcoming group exhibition )
The Well of Sickness, Shimmering Bricks, Bristol. (Forthcoming digital artwork w/ Sammy Paloma)
Out of Scale, Transmedialle, Berlin. (Group exhibition)

2022
Allied Editions, Frieze, London. (Art fair)
Hinterlands, Baltic, Gateshead. (Group exhibition)
Earth A.D., Wysing, Cambridge, FACT, Liverpool, Quad, Derby. (Touring solo exhibition and digital artwork 2022-2024)
How to Practise Grieving in Eight Movements, Klosterruine, Berlin. (Forthcoming group exhibition)
Surface of Scum, MAYK, Bristol. (Digital artwork w/ Sammy Paloma)

2021
Animal Agency, 17th Athens Digital Art Festival, Athens. (Digital commission)
Take The Moonlight by The Tail, Arebyte, London. (Digital artwork)
Lich Way Party Train, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge. (Digital artwork)
Rhizodome, Gwenba.com. (Digital group exhibition)
Unfolding Shrines, Shape Arts, London. (Augmented Reality group exhibition)
Post-Doom, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. (Digital artwork)

2020
Animal Agency, FACT, Liverpool. (Digital artwork)
All Flesh is Grass, Kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga. (Group collaborative exhibition and role playing game)

2019
Polymorph Other, Queens Hall Arts Centre, Hexham. (Group exhibition)

2018
Broken Diorama, Dublin Digital Radio. (Radio play)
Paperworks, SERF, Leeds. (Performance)
Sex and Other States, South Kiosk, London. (Performance and group exhibition)
Polymorph Other, IMT Gallery, London. (Group exhibition)
Its Origins are Indeterminate, The Whitechapel Gallery, London. (Performance)
The Inhuman Ecstacy of Toxic Waste, Wormworm.org (digital commission)

2017
Creature of Havoc, SERF, Leeds. (Solo project)
Waste: A Symposium, Birkbeck College, London. (video installation)
Janusware: Cycle 2, Res. London. (Group exhibition)
Janusware: Cycle 1, Res. London. (Solo exhibition and performance)
Heretics #12, Rádio Quântica (Radio play)

2016
Green Fuzz, Xero, Kline & Coma, London. (Two person exhibition w/ Alfie Strong)
(It’s All) Tropical Presents Blind Date, The Royal Standard, Liverpool. (Performance w/ Alfie Strong)
The Dying Midwest of Thulsa Doom, Chisenhale Studios, London. (Performance)

Education

September 2016 – March 2020
PhD, Northumbria-Sunderland Consortium
AHRC funded PhD based in the art department of Northumbria University, title “Becoming Ahuman: making it desirable to abandon certainty, including certainty of the self and play in this chaotic situation”.

September 2006 – July 2008
MA, Royal College of Art
Sculpture school. Funded by RCA fees and maintenance bursary, and award from The Coates Foundation.

September 2006 – July 2008, London
BA (Hons) First Class, University of East London
Fine Art department.

Select memberships, residencies, fellowships

2023
Shortlisted for The Arts Foundation Award: Digital Art, The Arts Foundation, Manchester

2022
Unseen Futures Fellow, Abandon Normal Devices, Manchester)
Digital Residency with Alice Rekab, Arcade-Campfa, Cardiff.
Access Steering Group Member, Wysing Arts Centre

2021
Digital Solitude Assembly, Arc Bucharest.
Access Advisory Group Member, FACT, Liverpool
Net//Work, Wysing Art Centre, Cambridge.
Post-Doom, Akademie Solitude, Stuttgart.

2020
Fact Together, FACT, Liverpool.

2017
Crip Theory, Wysing Art Centre, Cambridge.

2016
Work/Leisure, Abingdon Studios, Blackpool.

Recent publications

2023
‘Two Plus Two Makes Four: The Auxiliary, Middlesbrough’, review in Corridor8.

2022
‘The Speculative Dismemberment of Agent Leon Kennedy’, in A Wet and Heavy Noise, Market Gallery, Glasgow.
‘Waste Work’, in TEXTUR Issue 4. Textur, Berlin.

2021
‘Appropriate Technology,’ in artist Holly White’s publication Leaving Biosphere 2, CCA, Glasgow.

2020
‘Oh_The _Guilt_Puss_3,’ in Chain/Mail Issue 1: North EastCorridor8
‘As Plain as its Meaningless Name,’ in On Care, Ma Bibliothèque, London.
‘Dungeons & Disaster’, in Online Resources, The NewBridge Project, Newcastle.

2019
‘Widening Circles,’ in The Graveside Orations of Carl Einstein, Ma Bibliothèque, London
Horse Bites Fence, Co-editor w/ Elena Colman and Rebecca Bligh of this Arts Council England funded publication concerning art, disability, and radical solidarity.

2018
‘Gauge Fanfic’, in The Bodies that Remain, Punctum Books, Santa Barbara.
‘Axpansion’, in PaperWork Issue 3: Iilwimi lipsing, Paperwork, London
‘Farmer 9’ in Alembic, Res., London.

Recent teaching, workshops, conference papers, artist talks

2023
‘Put Your Controller on the Floor’, Guest lecture delivered at Reality Check Festival, Enschede
‘Esprit de corps / Corpse Explosion’, Guest lecture delivered at Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford.
‘Art as a Road Trip’, Workshop delivered at Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford.

2022
‘Art as a Monster that Always Comes Back’, Guest lecture delivered at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.
‘An Anthology of Dead Ends’, Guest lecture delivered at University of Huddersfield.
Uma Breakdown in Conversation with Angela YT Chan and Dr. Tom Dillon, live online event for Wysing Arts Centre.
‘Worldbuilding and Wellbeing’, Panel member for Peer to Peer UK/HK, Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong, and QUAD, Derby.
‘Forest of Doom’, Workshop delivered at 2022 Youth Festival, Wysing Arts Centre.
‘Art as a Road Trip’, Workshop delivered at Jerwood Art FACT Fellowship, FACT.
‘Theft and System’, Workshop delivered at University of Huddersfield.
‘Practice Based Art PhD Methodologies;,’ Workshop delivered at Reading University.
‘Art as Waking up to a Nightmare’, Workshop delivered at Horror Programme, University of The Underground
‘Art as a Road Trip’,Workshop delivered at AMPlify, Wysing Arts Centre.
‘Open Screen Panel Discussion’, Panelist for Arebyte Open Screen, Arebyte Gallery London.
‘Art as a Road Trip’, Workshop delivered at FACT Together, FACT Liverpool.
‘They Played us Like a Damn Fiddle’, Workshop delivered at TROUBLE IN OUTER HEAVEN: PORTABLE OPS PLUS, Southwark Park Galleries.
‘Dungeon Mechanics,’ Workshop delivered at Feminist Painting School, Baltic, Gateshead.
‘Broken Vibes’, Artist talk delivered at Merged Futures 3, Northampton University.

2019
‘Biofilm Mansion Theory, or Making as Collaboration with Disorder’, Conference paper delivered at Interdisciplinary Conversations Around Making, Newcastle University.
‘Coming Soon, From Your Cemetery: Horror / Play / Instability / Desire’, Guest lecture delivered at Reading University.
‘There is no reason for you to live: “No World Dreamers, Sticky Zeitgeist episode 2: Aperitif” as trans* Écriture Féminine’
Conference paper delivered at Beyond the Console: Gender and Narrative Games, London South Bank University, London.
Research Assistant to Prof. Patricia McCormack, Three month AHRC funded placement.

2018
‘Smeared into The Environment: Queer Horror and The Ahuman’, Conference paper delivered at Horror, Cult, Exploitation II, Northumbria University.
Alembic II: Chrominance’, Panelist for publication launch, Res. Gallery, London.
‘Wild Pop: A Symposium’, Artist talk at Newcastle University.
‘Smeared into The Environment: Queer Horror and The Ahuman’, Conference paper delivered at Don’t Look: Representations of Horror in the 21st Century Symposium, University of Edinburgh.
‘Biofilm Assemblages and Ahuman Horror’, Conference paper delivered at Current Research in Speculative Fiction, University of Liverpool.
‘The Revolutionary Praxis of Urban Galls’, Conference paper delivered at Open Graves Open Minds & Supernatural Cities present: The Urban Weird, University of Hertfordshire.

2017
‘Appropriation’, Taught semester-long module on BA Fine Art programme, Northumbria University.
‘Dog-Tech 1’, Conference paper delivered at CDT Conference, Baltic Gateshead.

Select awards and funding

2022
North East Artists’ Fund, Art Network North East
Trailblazer Fund, Bristol + Bath Creative R+D

2021
Develop Your Creative Practice Bursary, Arts Council England
2nd prize for Animal Agency, Athens Digital Art Festival Audience Award

2020
ArtsAdmin Bursary

Select press and interviews

2021
‘Free Your Mind. Death Will Come’, Uma Breakdown in Conversation with Johanna Hedva, akademie-solitude.de
‘Unfolding Shrines is some of the most ambitious augmented reality art we have seen in the last year’, The Art Newspaper
‘The best virtual things to do at home in April’, TimeOut

2020
‘In Conversation: Uma Breakdown and Lesley Taker’, fact.co.uk

2019
‘Art, The Anthropocene, and the Grim Dark Future of Warhammer 40k’, Roman Road Journal

2016
‘(It’s All) Tropical present Blind Date’, Corridor8
‘Review: Blind Date: (it’s all) Tropical at The Royal Standard’, Art in Liverpool

Skills & Experience

  • Visiting lecturer (HE)
  • Workshsops (adult)
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