In the summer of 2020, we launched the fellowship MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON. After lockdown – months of isolation, individual struggle and the big unknown as to how to carry on with work and with life – we felt an urge to be more committed to supporting artists in thinking and creating timelessly. The clash between reality and beauty became more striking than ever, demanding attention: how these two realms are intertwined, how not to give in to reality, how to save space for the unknown, and how to stay awake and be aware of the surrounding political and social context while pursuing individual artistic search.

The response we received to the call for presence at MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON exceeded our expectations. We were thrilled to get more than 200 applications from around the world. It was not easy to take a decision and we wish we could have supported more artists.

A committee composed of Needcompany’s artistic team and Luk Lambrecht – our guest juror – is delighted to announce that the fellows of the first edition of MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON are: Shatha Al-Deghady and Helen Anna Flanagan.


Shatha Al-Deghady (b. 1987) lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. Her background in design informs her approach as a visual artist and her fascination with the process of creating symbols and codes, transforms her artworks to become symbols itself or a code for audiences to decode. Her multidisciplinary practice addresses the concept of language, the sociopolitical power struggle and memory in relation to the human body and voice. Shatha focuses on the notion of sound – the sound of language, the sound of what goes beyond its semantic. Lately she presents most of her artworks in the form of interventions and currently she studies and documents the contemporary underground electronic music of the different cities she works in.

In the context of MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON, Shatha will develop her long-term project Native cell, taking as her field the city of Brussels – a cosmopolitan city that, thanks to its migration history, is home to a growing number of foreign-language speakers (increasingly English) which has been a soft-power tool in the history of European colonialism. She uses different mediums, involves others in her creative process and audience plays an important role in her creation process. During her stay in Brussels, Shatha is going to meet other artists, curators and inhabitants of the city.

More info: 


Helen Anna Flanagan (b. 1988) lives and works in Rotterdam and Brussels. In her artistic practice she is interested in developing performance in a context that blends real events with fictional narratives in a setting that resembles public environments yet involves experimental scripts and questions the notion of ‘the stage’ as such. She asks: ‘What is the nature of society and why do people act the way they do?’ Helen Anna combines working with performers (actors and non-actors) in live scenarios with moving-image work.

In the context of MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON, Helen Anna is going to build a stage with a number of performers/participants and work together on an experimental, semi-fictional film. It will involve playing and experimenting with scripted lines and improvisation – to enhance the roles and relationships and to activate the workspace. The decisions regarding the construction of the work will be made collectively – to emphasize the choices involved in the act of production as well as the fundamental desire involved in creation itself.


We want to thank all the artists who applied for the fellowship for generously sharing their time, thoughts and motivation.

The next edition of MILL’S BEAUTY REALITY SALON will take place in Autumn 2021.

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