The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at
The latest content and news from the Barbican. Book tickets at

The Art of Change – DIY: Jon Oldmeadow

Throughout 2018, we’re working with The Smalls to present twelve new short films directed by emerging filmmakers in response to the themes explored by The Art of Change.

This month, we’re moving to the margins in a documentary short by Jon Oldmeadow to explore ‘DIY Art’ as we meet performance collective, Figs in Wigs in their home. An ex-morgue.

We meet Jon to hear more about the making of the film and how film can break down barriers.

How does your film respond to this month’s theme – DIY Art?

Whilst searching for contributors for this film, I went to an event on new year’s eve and happened to see Figs in Wigs perform. Their costumes together with the performance really stood out and I was impressed by the amount of thought behind their work.

Figs in Wigs don’t neatly fit into just one category or discipline of art practice – they come from a theatre background but use elements of dance, performance art and sketch comedy. I was particularly interested in their DIY aesthetic once I learnt that they make everything themselves and I wanted to explore this further in the film.

Artists’ homes can say so much about them

Can you explain the process behind the making of your film?

For this project, I felt it was important to interview the artists in their home. When I first met two members of Figs in Wigs, they showed me around the ex-morgue and coroner’s office that they live in. The space had a lot of personality and made a great location to shoot the film. Artists’ homes can say so much about them, I wanted to explore this intimate space by filming the interview in their living room.

Do you think art really can be a vehicle for change?

I think that art is best when it effectively communicates new ideas, shifts the way an audiences think and breaks down traditional barriers. Art has led a number of social change movements in the past and I don’t see any reason as to why this wouldn’t continue in the future.

About Jon Oldmeadow

Jon is a filmmaker and director of photography originally from Melbourne, now based between Paris and London. Working across documentaries, advertising, arts and culture, he is a graduate of the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

Watch more of Jon’s work:

Next month, our theme is ‘Feminism‘.

Subscribe to the Barbican YouTube channel to see more short films throughout The Art of Change.

Part of The Art of Change, our 2018 annual theme which explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Find out more about Figs in Wigs at

One Comment


I’m so glad to see you featuring this talented group, their shows are always challenging and a pleasure to watch.

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