Inspired by the book Amazon Beaming by Petru Popescu, Complicite’s The Encounter brings the limits of human consciousness into startling focus in an ambitious national and international co-production. Review by Colin Hambrook.
Review: Brighton Festival: Complicite The Encounter
Review: Brighton Festival presents Art Of Disappearing’s The Last Resort
The Last Resort commissioned by Brighton Festival is a site-specific sound journey in which artists Rachel Champion and Tristan Shorr welcome an audience, in pairs, on a journey through a barren, industrial area of Portslade beach, reimagining the location in a science fiction context. Review by Liz Porter.
Review: iF Platform bursary winners Silent Faces come out of the filing cabinet with Follow Suit
Review: Brighton Festival presents The Ricochet Project's 'Smoke and Mirrors'
Interview: Shining a light on Bobby Baker and Daily Life Ltd
Letting in the Light, a light-box exhibition organised by Bobby Baker’s charity Daily Life Ltd, lit up the streets of Stratford during the dark winter months of this year and showcased the work of artists who have experienced mental distress. Elinor Rowlands spoke to her about the impact of the exhibition and the charity’s new project, Roving Diagnostic Unit.
Review: National Theatre presents The Suicide
Interview: Esther Fox: where art, genetic survival and science intersect
News: Intoart announces public fundraising exhibition with over 100 artworks by learning-disabled and autistic artists
Interview: Silent Faces on Follow Suit
Silent Faces are an emerging integrated company and their physical theatre show Follow Suit has been awarded the iF Bursary at this year’s Brighton Fringe. Stopgap’s Lou Rogers caught up with them as they prepare for the debut performance on 9 May at the Sallis Benney Theatre, following the iF Not Now When? Part 2 event.
News: Young DaDaFest Expands into Trio of Events to Celebrate the Talent of Young Disabled People
Following on from the success of last year’s sold-out event which saw 105 young people perform to an audience of 400 at the Liverpool Everyman, Young DaDaFest has now expanded to feature a music-focused event in the Music Room at the Liverpool Philharmonic, a performance event at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre and a fringe event “SandFest” at Liverpool John Moore’s University.
Review: Thompson Hall: 'Home Away from Home'
Interview: Bekki Perriman on The Doorways Project
Artist, Bekki Perriman first received Unlimited R&D funding for The Doorways Project in 2014, which took the form of a photography exhibition. She has since gone on to receive a further Unlimited Commission to expand the work into a site-specific sound installation that will tour to several sites. Joe Turnbull spoke to her about the work and the experiences which shaped it.
Review: Birds of Paradise: Wendy Hoose
Interview: Agnes Fletcher and Georgia Macqueen Black in discussion: being disabled and managing barriers
Agnes Fletcher, an expert in the field of disability equality, law and practice, was a trustee of Shape Arts for 6 years in the 2000s. As part of Shape Arts’ 40th Anniversary celebrations, Agnes spoke to Georgia Macqueen Black about her 25 years of experience on disability issues and her personal connection to the Disability Arts Movement of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
News: Programme of international inclusive performances revealed for Hijinx Unity Festival 2016
Interview: Access at Brighton Festival
Year on year Brighton Festival are making progress with small but important steps in improving the festival’s access offer and are gradually diversifying their audiences. Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival’s Theatre Producer Orla Flanagan talks to DAO about some of the festival’s outcomes, spurred, in part by engagement with Unlimited.
News: World premiere of Assisted Suicide: The Musical headlines third Unlimited Festival
News: Exceptional & Extraordinary: Unruly Bodies and Minds in the Medical Museum
News: Colston Hall announce Fast Forward Music Festival with new British Paraorchestra commission
After drawing attention to the quality and diversity of disability music making in 2015, Colston Hall’s Fast Forward is back on Friday 3rd June, this time with a contemporary twist featuring cutting edge music and circus performances from The British Paraorchestra and Extraordinary Bodies.
News: HOUSE and Outside In present Thompson Hall exhibition at Regency Town House
Interview: Tim Gebbels on starring in Extant’s The Chairs
Review: In Conversation: Discussion event on Arts, Disability and Collaborative Practice at FACT Liverpool
Building on a fifteen-year history in creative collaborations, In Conversation: Discussion event on Arts, Disability and Collaborative Practice on 1 April 2016, kick-started FACT Liverpool’s new spring programme which aims to explore disability, art and communities through a series of pop-up exhibitions. Review by Jade French.
Interview: Why Cameron Morgan Loves Classic TV
Review: Ramps on the Moon and Birmingham Rep present The Government Inspector
Ramps on the Moon is a project run by a consortium of seven theatres aimed at addressing the under-representation of disabled people in the sector over the next six years. The latest production in association with Birmingham Rep is Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector which is touring 19 March – 25 June 2016. Liz Porter caught a performance in Birmingham.
Review: DaDaFest and Turf Love present Unsung
Unsung, the DaDaFest and Turf Love production, had its first run at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre 9-12 March 2016. The play, written by John Graham Davies and James Quinn, features the life story of Edward Rushton, an important but largely forgotten figure in Liverpool’s history, who campaigned for the abolition of slavery and established the Royal School for the Blind. Review by Trish Wheatley.
Opinion: Disability is not a spectator sport: the importance of art that reflects the experience of disability
Review: Myrtle Theatre Company and Salisbury Playhouse 'Up Down Man'
News: Stopgap's 'Artificial Things' to be included on GCSE Dance syllabus
The exam board AQA’s new specification for GCSE Dance, which was accredited last week, includes a focus on promoting excellence in dance to disabled and non-disabled young people. AQA signalled its intension by selecting Artificial Things by Stopgap Dance Company as one of six compulsory works to be studied by GCSE students.
Review: ‘Growing Audiences’ – Audio Description Association’s National Conference
Review: Mind the Gap: 'Contained'
Combining live performance, film, photography, music and dance, Contained explores those small moments in life that suddenly become charged and life changing. As the cast from 'Mind the Gap' present themselves to their audience the show displays clear political intent, says Colin Hambrook
Interview: Noëmi Lakmaier – Cherophobia
Artist Noëmi Lakmaier’s latest piece, Cherophobia takes the form of a 48-hour long live durational performance which will see Lakmaier suspended in mid-air using 20,000 helium balloons as part of the Unlimited Festival in September. Elinor Rowlands speaks to her about the roles of discomfort and control in her work.
Opinion: Sick! Lab In Conversation: Launch of DAO’s Viewfinder
Unapologetic Self-Portraits will be the first playlist to be introduced via Dao’s new Viewfinder platform later this Spring. It was previewed for two days at SICK! Lab on a continuous loop in the Contact Theatre foyer, as well as being shown in a one-off screening at SICK! Lounge. Disabled film-maker Sandra Alland reflects on the project.
Opinion: Sick! Lab On the Couch: ‘Who is your Neighbour’ and ‘US and Them’
Opinion: Sick! Lab On the Couch: ‘Fluid or Fractured Identities’
Opinion: SICK! Lab 2016: A collaborative exploration of identity and trauma
Dedicated to using the performing arts to explore, broadly, the difficult stuff of life, SICK! Lab took place at the Contact Theatre, Manchester from 9th-12th March 2016, showcasing performance, discussion and presentations on the tricky themes of identity and trauma. Colin Hambrook gives an overview, taking the temperature of the collaboration
News: Arts Council green lights a project looking at a new way of conducting
Young disabled conductor/composer, James Rose who conducts using a head-baton developed in partnership with Drake Music, has been awarded Arts Council Funding to do a Conducting Development Week at The Royal Academy of Music this Spring The project will be documented and edited into a short film scheduled for release on YouTube in August this year.
Opinion: I am me, I am here and I am fine – Paul Wilshaw on CONTAINED
Review: Hijinx presents Meet Fred
Review: SICK! Lab: Bryony Kimmings: Fake It ’Til You Make It
Review: DaDaFest Art D’Visions
Review: Open Theatre Company's 'Is That All There Is?' conference highlights work by young people with learning disabilities
Where are the artists with learning disabilities in the debate about diversity? What does work by young people with learning disabilities have to teach the artistic mainstream? With a showcase of solo work including Vault Festival award-winner The Misfit Analysis, the Is That All There Is? conference was all about inspiring new practice right across the arts sector: from the boardroom and rehearsal space right to the centre of the stage. Review by Bella Todd
Review: Birds of Paradise Theatre present Purposeless Movements
Written and Directed by Robert Softley Gale with performers Laurence Clark, Jim Fish, Pete Edwards and Colin Young and with musicians Scott Twynholm and Kim Moore, this movement-based piece that tells the stories of five guys with cerebral palsy. Sophie Partridge saw the show at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
News: See Hear receives Special Award after 35 years on air
Review: Kris Halpin The Gloves Are On
To celebrate Independent Venues Week in January, Attitude is Everything hosted The Gloves Are On, headlined by musician and technologist Kris Halpin aka Winter of '82. The show hit four venues across Guildford, Coventry, Bristol and London. Rowan James caught the performance at the Half Moon in Putney.
Interview: Getting Cosy with Kaite O'Reilly
Review: Graeae's The Solid Life of Sugar Water at the National Theatre
News: Heart n Soul's 'SoundLab' wins Best SEND Resource award at the Music Teacher Awards For Excellence 2016
Review: Curing Perfect Lab at Brighton Science Festival
Learning disability-led organisation Carousel is currently developing Curing Perfect, an online graphic novel which challenges users to think about the nature of perfection in the context of genetic screening. They hosted a drop-in event at Brighton Science Festival on 19 February. Review by Sarah Pickthall.
News: The CanCanCan Festival showcases solo performers and artists with learning disabilities
Interview: Housni Hassan – the language of dance
Interview: Amit Sharma – The Solid Life of Sugar Water
Since premiering at 2015’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Solid Life of Sugar Water has picked up rave reviews from national and festival press. Elinor Rowlands caught up with Amit Sharma, the show’s director, ahead of a three week run at the National Theatre in London from 26 February to 19 March 2016.
Interview: Purposeless Movements – Robert Softley Gale
Interview: Black Kripple Delivers Poetry & Lyrics
Opinion: Disability: a creative advantage?
Chaired by critic Lyn Gardner, Dao’s editor Colin Hambrook attended a debate at the Arena Theatre, which was part of a series of conversations hosted by the Guardian. A Nation’s Theatre is a joint initiative, from the newspaper and the Battersea Arts Centre highlighting a showcase of innovative theatre made in the regions to be brought to London this summer.
News: Disability Arts Online commissions new work exploring SPILL Festival of Performance’s video archive
Review: Shape Open 2016
This year Shape present their fourth Open Exhibition with what promises to be the largest attendance yet, undoubtedly helped by the fact it is held in Yinka Shonibare’s Guest Projects studio, just off the thriving gallery scene of Vyner Street in Hackney. Review by Colin Hambrook.
Review: Reframing the Myth: Graeae and Central Illustration Agency
Celebrating 35 years of Graeae Theatre, prominent figures from its history were paired with artists and illustrators from the Central Illustration Agency to create 40 new artworks. Kate Lovell visited the exhibition at the Guardian’s offices in London, wishing that it had shouted louder and been bolder.
News: Kate Murdoch announced as Shape Open 2016 winner
Review: Attenborough Arts Centre official launch: Lucy + Jorge Orta
Interview: A clear sense of direction – Elinor Rowlands
News: Award-winning writer Kaite O’Reilly tackles the last great taboo in new play, Cosy
Review: Ridiculusmus: Give Me Your Love
Ridiculusmus take the ridiculous to extremes in their latest piece Give Me Your Love. Following the story of a soldier with post-traumatic stress disorder back from the Iraq War, the play asks how does society support those who’ve been pushed to the darkest corners of existence. Review by Colin Hambrook.
News: Disability Arts Cymru celebrates poetry competition winners with launch of an e-book
Last year Disability Arts Cymru (DAC) launched its first Annual Poetry Competition. Each of the poems was written in response to a piece of artwork from DAC's Annual Touring Exhibition 2015. The winning poems are accompanied by the artworks that inspired them in an e-book, which is now being made freely available to the public.
Interview: Siege Mentality – Kate Lovell talks about Bread & Goose’s latest production
Review: #SummitPortrayed: Tanya Raabe-Webber
News: Unlimited goes International with ACE Ambitions of Excellence Award
Unlimited, the commissioning programme that supports disabled artists develop ambitious and high quality work, today announced an Ambitions of Excellence Award of £759,949 from Arts Council England to build a three-year international programme. The award is also match-funded by the British Council.
News: Mind the Gap announce new tour dates for CONTAINED
Reviews: Dao Writers on Literature
Dao is building a collection of essays about representation of disability within literature. To date Dr Emmeline Burdett has reviewed Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman, The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen by Lindsay Ashford, The Norwich Wheelchair Murders by Bill Albert and You Have Not A leg To Stand On by DD Mayers.
Review: You Have Not a Leg to Stand On by D.D. Mayers
D.D. Mayers autobiography is described as the story of one man’s journey from happiness to despair and back again. Dr Emmeline Burdett gives an analysis of the book drawing on disability studies theory to understand how disabled people can often imbibe a negative self-image from disability stereotypes.
News: SICK! Festival announces SICK! Lab: What Doesn't Kill Us...
News: Southbank Centre launches Changing Minds, a new weekend festival about mental health and the arts
In February Southbank Centre launches a new weekend festival for 2016, Changing Minds, looking closely at the topic of mental health through a packed programme of performance, music, comedy, design, talks and panel discussions. As the debate surrounding equal treatment for mental health grows in profile, the festival probes taboo subjects and explores the role of the arts in understanding and healing.
Interview: Words, Pictures, Food and Laundry – a portrait of an artist who refuses categorisation
News: Castlefield Gallery announce new multi-artist exhibition addressing the issue of Outsider Art
Castlefield Gallery has announced Inside Out, curated in collaboration with David Maclagan artist, academic and writer; including new and existing work by artists from the UK, South Africa, France, Iran and the USA. Some of these artists for a variety of reasons are thought to be Outsider artists, whilst others may be seen to share methods of approaching their subject matter with this now established part of artistic study.
Review: The Art of Bedlam: Richard Dadd
Between 7 November and 6 February, Bethlem Museum of the Mind – the ‘original Bedlam’ – plays host to an exhibition of the Victorian artist, Richard Dadd, who produced a number of works whilst detained at the hospital. Deborah Caulfield surveys the scene, finding a few gaping holes in this retrospective.
News: Festive Fundraising Fun with Hands & Voices
York-based inclusive arts charity Accessible Arts & Media are celebrating Christmas this year with a festive fundraising video featuring the fabulous Hands & Voices singing and signing choir performing one of their favourite Christmas songs: I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.
Review: Amandla! by Freewheelers Theatre Company
News: Yinka Shonibare to host Shape Open Exhibition
News: New conference to encourage fresh thinking on work with young people with learning disabilities
News: ‘Woeful’ arts diversity progress prompts call for ‘more power and influence’
Mainstream arts organisations have “a mountain to climb” to ensure they have an acceptable proportion of disabled directors, artists and staff, according to leading disability arts figures. Disability News Service's John Pring reports from Arts Council England's conference in Birmingham on 7 December.
News: Surrey-based theatre company has transatlantic film success
News: Wayne McGregor | Random Dance wins national charity award
News: Exhibition to celebrate 35 years of placing Deaf and disabled artists centre stage
Review: Signdance Collective International present Carthage
News: Collaborative art project re-imagines mobility, disability and access
The Opulent Mobility project is a groundbreaking collaborative effort to re-imagine mobility, disability and access. Wheelchairs, walkers, prosthetics, crutches and other assistive technology devices are part of our lives, but they’ve been left in the dust when it comes to custom design innovation and personalization. There are hundreds of thousands of designs for glasses, chairs and technology of other kinds. Why not assistive technology?
News: Arts Council England announces £8.5m for diversity in the arts
Review: Cabinet of Cynics and Stepping Out Theatre present The Divided Laing, or The Two Ronnies
News: Bristol’s Colston Hall shortlisted for South West Tourism Awards for Access and Inclusivity
Opinion: A Message from Unlimited's Jo Verrent on UN's International Day of Disabled People
News: Dance organisation for learning-disabled people wins business award
Review: Lizzie Emeh See Me Part 1 - The Clan
Review: UK Disability History Month 2015 Conference at the BFI
UK Disability History Month takes place between 22 November – 22 December every year. With this year’s theme being Portrayal of Disability in Moving Image Media, what better place could there be than the BFI to host an opening conference addressing the subject. Joe Turnbull was in attendance.
Review: Heart N Soul - Soundlab - Play Space
Soundlab - Play Space is an innovative digital technology project created and delivered by creative arts charity Heart N Soul in conjunction with Goldsmiths University of London and the Public Domain Corporation. It took place in London on 25 November and Robin Surgeoner aka Angryfish, was amongst the crowd.
Review: Oska Bright 2015 Day 3 Afternoon Session
Review: Attenborough Arts Centre Launch – Art, Life, Activism
University of Leicester’s Attenborough Arts Centre first opened 18 years ago, conceived by acclaimed actor Richard Attenborough as a space explicitly for disabled artists and audience members. 17 November saw the soft launch of its new £1.5 million three-gallery space. To celebrate, the space is hosting a major multi-artist exhibition Art, Life, Activism as its inaugural show. Joe Turnbull was in attendance for the launch event.
News: Disability Arts Online commissions new video works in partnership with SICK! Festival
Review: ‘The Norwich Wheelchair Murders’ by Bill Albert
Review: Goldsmiths Disability Research Centre Launch Event
The Disability Research Centre at Goldsmiths is a new interdisciplinary research grouping which will both conduct and promote research relating to disability and highlight the endemic nature of disablism. 12 November 2015 saw its launch with a series of talks delivered around the pertinent topic of disability and austerity. Joe Turnbull reports.
News: Oska Bright winners announced with help of Oscar winner
Review: Shape Gallery: Ilham Exhibition
Ilham (inspiration) was originally exhibited at the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar, as part of the Definitely Able conference that explored issues of disability and equal access to arts and culture in the Middle East. A sample of work by the four UK based artists from that show is on exhibition at Shape Gallery in Stratford until 30th November. Review by Colin Hambrook
Review: Oska Bright Film Festival 2015 Day 2 Evening Session
Review: Aaron Williamson's Demonstrating the World - oddly familiar and brilliantly odd
Review: Oska Bright Film Festival 2015 day 2 morning
Review: Oska Bright Film Festival 2015
Interview: Jess Thom on taking Biscuit Land to the small screen
Review: Assessing access at the Royal Academy of Arts: InPractice
Several times a year the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) hosts InPractice, as part of its wider access programme. The sessions aim to provide a platform for disabled artists, and others whose work faces barriers, to share best practice through talks and debates. Artist and regular DAO contributor Deborah Caulfield went to the latest event to see if it delivers on its promises.
News: Winner of Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary 2015/16 announced
News: Oska Bright Film Festival: putting learning-disability film on the map
The Oska Bright Film Festival will host a wide range of screenings and talks including music videos, comedy shorts, animations, drama and documentary films. Running from 9-11 November at the Brighton Corn Exchange the festival is run by a team of learning-disabled film-makers keen to promote the work of learning disabled people, behind and in front of the camera.
Review: Karen Finley relives the AIDS crisis in ‘Written in Sand’
Acclaimed American performance artist Karen Finley weaves together a collection of texts, letters and poetry from 1983-1994 which reflect her deeply personal testimony of the AIDS crisis. Written in Sand combines poetry, spoken word and music, with the help of talented multi-instrumentalist Paul Nebenzahl. Joe Turnbull was transported back in time.
News: Stagetext celebrates 15 years with launch of first Captioning Awareness Week
News: Jessica Thom aka Touretteshero to feature in BBC's Live from Television Centre
In partnership with Battersea Arts Centre and Arts Council England, the BBC is bringing live theatre back to Television Centre for Live from Television Centre. Jessica Thom aka Touretteshero will be performing a special rendition, Broadcast from Biscuit Land alongside four other 'genre-busting' theatre pieces live on BBC Four.
Review: Picture Taking: Exploring Myself Through Photography
News: Sophie Partridge plans to get acclaimed production on the road in 2016
News: Exhibition showcasing disability and political activism in art to launch Attenborough Art Centre's new gallery
A major exhibition Art, Life, Activism which brings together acclaimed artists who make artwork informed by the politics of disability featuring sculpture, performance, film, drawing, and photography will be the inaugural show of University of Leicester's new gallery at the Attenborough Arts Centre, running from 18 November to 17 January 2016.
Review: Deafinitely Theatre's Grounded at Park Theatre
Deafinitely Theatre's latest production is a bilingual version of George Brant's acclaimed play Grounded which charts the intimately personal journey of a female fighter pilot who loses her wings. Joe Turnbull went along to London's Park Theatre to see if it reaches the heights.
Review: Creative Minds one day conference 2015: discussions on the theme of 'quality'
Creative Minds is an invitation to the learning disability arts sector to have a conversation about how we define ‘quality’. Colin Hambrook reviews some of the presentations at the conference: how do we know something is quality? And when we do decide what 'quality' is, how do we then talk about it?
Review: Creative Minds one day conference 2015
Why is the work of learning disabled artists under-represented in the wider arts world – and why does this matter? This was the question driving the Creative Minds conference on October 28th 2015, a gathering of artists, programmers, funders, academics, participatory organisations and professional companies organised and presented by people with learning disabilities. Bella Todd reports.
Interview: Chloe Phillips explores Audio-Description as a creative tool
Chloe Phillips is an Associate Artist with Taking Flight Theatre, based in Cardiff. Earlier this year she received an Unlimited R&D award to work with the company to produce 'The Importance of Being Described…Earnestly?' - a pilot for a production experimenting with new ideas about audio description. She talks to Colin Hambrook about her motivation and the way the project is shaping...
Review: Together! Not So Private View: Colin Hambrook and Bruchinaarts
Review: Shadows Waltz Haltingly by Alan Morrison
Alan Morrison's collection of poems Shadows Waltz Haltingly charts the struggles of his late mother with Huntington’s Chorea, depicting in 'meticulous detail' the full effects of the illness. The title alludes to the original name for the illness, 'St Vitus's Dance'. Review by Dave Russell.
Review: Unlimited: Jack Dean's Grandad and the Machine
The Sound of Disability
As part of an Arts Council funded programme of work, Dao is engaging with freelance writers to commission opinion pieces and interviews, instigating wider debate about music and disabled musicians that creates a greater understanding of where music sits with disability arts. As part of this programme of work Dao has commissioned a young disabled composer Lloyd Coleman to produce a piece of music for the British...
News: The 'wavelength project' investigates the brain's responses to sound and light
The wavelength project is an ongoing exploration into the effects of artificial and natural sound and light on the brain with wide implications across arts and science. Produced and led by artist Mark Ware in partnership with the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science and Kent Wildlife Trust the ongoing project aims to deliver a number of Arts Council England supported artistic outcomes.
Review: Signdance Collective International, Bad Elvis with Iris Theatre
Bad Elvis, written by Katie Hims was originally conceived as a drama for BBC Radio 4. The rambunctious Signdance Collective International have since adapted it for stage with their own unique style. They recently performed it for Iris Theatre in London, Sophie Partridge was in attendance.
Interview: A behind the scenes look at Liz Carr’s 'Assisted Suicide the Musical'
Artist and activist Liz Carr has campaigned tirelessly on the issue of assisted suicide. Her first foray into the world of musical theatre, Assisted Suicide the Musical is four years in the making and already in its third incarnation. Joe Turnbull spoke to her about the journey so far.
Review: London Film Festival Diversity Town Hall Discussion
A year ago the BFI announced its ‘Three Ticks’ scheme, making all its Lottery-based funding conditional on meeting set diversity criteria. Joe Turnbull was in attendance for a special event which discussed the progress of the scheme, the state of diversity in the film industry and how the industry can make steps going forward.
Review: The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen by Lindsay Ashford
Published in October 2011, 'The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen' is a historical mystery, researched and written while the author Lindsay Ashford was living in the former home of Jane Austen's brother. Dr Emmeline Burdett critiques the suppositions proposed in the novel from the perspective of the lives of women in Georgian England.
Review: World Mental Health Poetry: Outside-In/ Dao at Pallant House Gallery
News: Attitude is Everything partner with Venues Day 2015
Interview: Artist Aaron Williamson tells Dao about his new work Demonstrating the World
Over a period of five weeks, Performance artist Aaron Williamson invited visitors to witness the building of an odd set of ‘absurdist’ furniture at the Shape Gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre. The pieces will become key to the performance as it becomes ready to tour later this autumn. Colin Hambrook asked Williamson and Producer Edd Hobbs about what it means to ‘demonstrate the world’.
News: International artist Simon McKeown lights up Culture Night with stellar spectacle
Interview: Film/TV Director Bim Ajadi on his career so far
Award-winning filmmaker Bim Ajadi’s credits include co-directing a film for Channel 4 shown at the London Paralympic Ceremony in 2012. With a media career spanning almost 15 years, Colin Hambrook asked Ajadi about his professional journey so far and his ongoing commitment to nurturing fellow deaf talent, as he prepares to deliver workshops at the BBC’s See Hear Weekend in Bristol.
News: BBC See Hear Weekend 2015
From 2- 4 October 2015, the BBC See Hear Weekend 2015 will celebrate all things in film and television related to sign language and the deaf community, led by BBC Bristol’s flagship programme See Hear. Join 'Doctor Who', 'Aardmann Animations' and Award-winning filmmaker, Bim Ajadi for a weekend of screenings and workshops at Watershed on Bristol’s Harbourside.
Review: Vital Xposure: The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence
Vital Xposure sets out to produce cutting edge theatre that celebrates hidden voices with extraordinary stories to tell. In doing so ‘The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence’ follows on from the companies’ 2011-2013 production ‘The Knitting Circle’, which evolved out of research into the testimonies of women locked away in long-stay institutions. Review by Sophie Partridge
Review: Theatres of Learning Disability: Good, bad or plain ugly
Published by Palgrave Macmillan, Matt Hargrave’s is the first book to focus exclusively on theatre and learning disability from an artistic perspective. Over five years Hargraves researched the work of several companies and artists giving detailed analysis of work by Back To Back, Mind the Gap, Dark Horse, the Shysters and Full Body and the Voice. Review by Gus Garside
Review: Vital Xposure: The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence
Vital Xposure sets out to produce cutting edge theatre that celebrates hidden voices with extraordinary stories to tell. In doing so ‘The Disappearance of Dorothy Lawrence’ follows on from the companies’ 2011-2013 production ‘The Knitting Circle’, which evolved out of research into the testimonies of women locked away in long-stay institutions. Review by Colin Hambrook
Review: Unlimited: Liz Carr: Assisted Suicide The Musical
Review: FACT, Liverpool: Lesions in the Landscape
'Lesions in the Landscape' asks ‘How does our individual and collective memories influence our understanding of society?’ Susan Bennett reports on an exciting art/ science collaboration on show at FACT, Liverpool, which parallels the effects of amnesia on one woman and the evacuation of the inhabitants of St Kilda in the North Atlantic in 1930.
Review: Bounce Festival 2015: ‘Reassembled… Slightly Askew’ by Shannon Yee
Samantha Blackburn's highlight of the Bounce Festival produced by Arts & Disability Forum in Belfast was the sonic arts piece ‘Reassembled… Slightly Askew’ by Shannon Yee. Designed for a limited audience of four people per show and described by The Stage as ‘a daring, disorientating artistic collaboration’ the piece was shown at the Lyric Theatre from 3-6 September.
Experimental Art Is Catalyst for Urban Revitalization
DisArt was a multi-venue Disability Arts Festival, which took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan from April 10th to July 31st, 2015. Through several world-renowned exhibits of Disability Arts from all over the world, DisArt Festival 2015 challenged its audiences to reconsider the importance of community, identity, and difference. Report by Alexandra Kadlec
Review: Short Circuit: Digital Arts Project at the Lighthouse
Review: Edinburgh Festival: Audio-description at the Unlimited Exhibition... Summerhall
Review: Edinburgh Festival: Stopgap Dance Company's 'Artificial Things'
News: Baluji Music Foundation Re:Imagine India
In January, the Baluji Music Foundation (BMF) will be undertaking a research and development project in India. Baluji Shrivastav who is Musical Director of the Foundation, will be searching for and making music with blind musicians from Bangalore, Chennai, Andaman Islands, Assam and other regions of India, representing different, and rarely heard, folk music traditions.
News: Ignite prepares to light up the Cork City centre with a spectacular event
Since November 2013 Simon Mckeown has been working with lead partners National Sculpture Factory and Create Ireland to develop ‘Cork Ignite’, which is premiering in Cork City centre on 18 September. As part of the process he has been working with partner disability organisations in Cork, such as Suisha Inclusive Arts at COPE Foundation and SoundOUT as well as individual members of the disabled community.
News: Mind the Gap actor, Liam Bairstow lands role on ITVs Coronation Street
Bradford based actor Liam Bairstow, 28, has landed a role in the world’s longest running soap opera Coronation Street. Liam, who works with England’s largest learning-disabled theatre company Mind the Gap will be appearing in the ITV soap in the role of Cathy Matthew’s nephew, Alex Warner from September.
Review: CripFest 2015
26th July 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a key point in history for disability legislation in the USA. To mark this occasion OneOfUs, co-directed by Julie Atlas Muz and Mat Fraser, produced CripFest, their first one-day disability arts festival with support from the British Council. Trish Wheatley was at the Bam Fisher, Brooklyn, soaking up a performance, visual arts and discussion programme sure to excite any diehard disability arts fan.
Review: Edinburgh Festival: Marc Brew, 'For Now, I am..'
Review: Edinburgh Festival: Unlimited Exhibition... Summerhall
News: Artist Shortlist Announced for the eighth Shape Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary
Opinion: Edinburgh Festival: 'iF Not Now When?'
Review: Edinburgh Festival: Jo Bannon presents Alba
Supported as part of the iF (Integrated Fringe) Platform at the Edinburgh Festival, Jo Bannon’s Alba is showing from 24-28 August at the Drill Hall, home of the Forest Fringe. Described as being influenced by the artists' albinism the performance tells a story about paleness, blending in and standing out. Review by Colin Hambrook
Review: DoesLiverpool: DesktopProsthetics workshop and exhibition at FACT
DoESLiverpool are developing an iteration of the Enabling the Future project within the 'Build Your Own: Tools For Sharing' Exhibition at FACT in Liverpool until 31 August 2015 with the Crafts Council and in association with Norfolk Museums Service and Norwich Hackspace. Review by Susan Bennett
News: Disabled artists take centre stage at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Interview: British Council Showcase at Edinburgh Festival
The British Council Theatre and Dance team are currently busy working on their tenth showcase since 1997 at the Edinburgh Festival. Colin Hambrook spoke to Neil Webb, Director of Theatre and Dance about the outcomes British Council are hoping for as a result of the showcase and the broader spectrum of their disability arts work across the globe
Review: Extant:ComBUStion at Liberty 2015
Review: SprungDigi Festival
SprungDigi - an interactive digital arts festival in Horsham, West Sussex from 10-12 July featured giant portraits of learning disabled people projected onto buildings, a game played with an accessible mapping app and an inclusive, high-tech design workshop to re-imagine a town centre. Gary Thomas was there soaking up the digital vibes.
Trish Wheatley on 'Shaping a Diverse Future'
As part of an Arts Council Catalyst funded programme arts professionals working in UK were invited to The Point, Eastleigh on July 10th 2015, to discuss through provocation, debate and performance 'Shaping a Diverse Future'. Here is director of Disability Arts Online Trish Wheatley's provocation on the future of the Arts.
Review: All is calm, all is chaos, in Mark Wood's world
Mark Wood, who died tragically in 2013 at the age of 44, was a prolific creative who worked in photography, painting, cartoon, poetry, short story and music composition. Deborah Caulfield reviews ‘Spirit of Nature’ an exhibition of his work on show at Oxford Town Hall until 22 July.
Review: Vici Wreford-Sinnott: The Art Of Not Getting Lost
Vici Wreford-Sinnott’s production The Art Of Not Getting Lost explores our attitude to mental health issues through two main protagonists: Everyone and No-one who have made their home in the hidden tunnels of London’s Bakerloo Station. Aidan Moesby saw a performance at the Northern Stage in Newcastle
Review: Fast Forward Festival: Inclusive Excellence Conference
Hosted by Bristol Music Trust in the newly re-ramped Colston Hall, the purpose of the conference on 3 July was to take an honest and much-needed look at the inequity of the music industry and address the many barriers that exist for disabled people who want to participate in and listen to the best music available. Review by Alice Holland
News: Diversity and digital media at heart of new £107k programme from Disability Arts Online
Disability Arts Online are today announcing the launch of Viewfinder, an 18-month commissioning, digital media and sector development programme funded by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, to be run in partnership with Wikimedia UK, Sick! Festival, SPILL Festival, Carousel, the New Wolsey Theatre, Culture 24 and Goldsmiths Disability Research Centre.
News: The Shape Arts Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary (ARMB) 2015
The Shape Arts Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary (ARMB), set up in memory of sculptor Adam Reynolds to support mid-career disabled artists, is open for submissions until 27 July. This year’s successful recipient will be awarded £5,000 and a three-month residency at The New Art Gallery Walsall in January 2016.
Discussion: Accessible Edinburgh Fringe?
Interview: Richard Butchins talks about his Unlimited R&D piece: '213 Things About Me'
Why we are disabled people, not people with disabilities
Okay, so what’s the beef with language? Why is it important to us to be named as ‘disabled people’, rather than ‘people with disabilities’. Dr Colin Cameron gives an overview of the Social Model of Disability, which has underpinned the Disability Arts and the Disability Rights Movement over the last 30 years. He explains why 'disability' has come to denote the barrriers disabled people face, rather than the impairments we live...
Review: Beneath the Streets: Lost & Found, Punchdrunk Enrichment and Hijinx Theatre
With companies like Shunt, Carnesky's Ghost Train, You Me Bum Bum Train and Punchdrunk leading the scene there have been some pretty awesome feats of immersive/ interactive theatre pulled off over the last 15 years, but it’s a tricky thing to get right, and often it fails to engage, let alone transport. Alice Holland reviews the collaboration between Punchdrunk and Hijinx shown as part of the Unity Festival in Cardiff
Discussion: ‘Dance and Normality’ Integrart Symposium 2015
The Dance and Normality symposium held at the Musee d’ethonographie, Geneva on 2nd June saw an international line-up of speakers and performers hosted by IntegrART. Trish Wheatley responds to the international picture for the theory and practice of dance and normality, presented on the day.
Poetry: Kuli Kohli: Rag Doll
Review: Birds of Paradise Theatre Company present Crazy Jane
Birds of Paradise Theatre's latest production 'Crazy Jane' tells the story of Jane Avril, star of the Moulin Rouge who was immortalised in the iconic posters of Toulouse-Lautrec. Directed by Written by Nicola McCartney and directed by Garry Robson the show has recently toured Scotland. Review by Paul F. Cockburn
Interview: Penny Pepper talks about her experience of working with The Literary Consultancy
The Literary Consultancy, (TLC) founded in 1996 by its Director Rebecca Swift and Hannah Griffiths, offers a service in assessing writers’ manuscripts to give advice on how to approach publishers and agents. Colin Hambrook interviews Penny Pepper about her experience with TLC in time for their ‘Quality Writing for All’ campaign launching on 16th June at The Free Word Centre in London.
Review: Pulse Festival: Ramps on the Moon
On 5 June New Wolsey Theatre’s Pulse Festival brought together 60 representatives from the world of theatre for 'Ramps on the Moon': a day of reflection and performance centred around the involvement of Deaf and disabled people in the sector. Liz Porter gives an overview of a day of provocation and discussion.
Review: Pulse Festival: Laura Dannequin: Hardy Animal
An important aspect of ‘Ramp’s on the Moon’ day hosted by New Wolsey Theatre at Pulse Festival, as part of the theatre's Agent for Change programme, was showcasing high quality work that offered an opportunity for the audience to consider impairment-related theatre, language and communication and aesthetic access. Review by Liz Porter.
Review: The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble present People of the Eye
The Deaf & Hearing Ensemble formed in 2013 as a group of D/deaf and hearing theatre makers who come together to tell each other stories, to explore the performative nature and beauty of sign language and to pull together D/deaf and hearing audiences in a shared experience – breaking down barriers on stage and off. Review by Colin Hambrook
Review: Zendeh presents Cinema
Produced by Zendeh and written by Steven Gaythorpe, Cinema recalls the story of an act of terror that sparked a revolution in Iran on 19th August 1978 from the point of view of Shahrzad, feral cat and teller of tales. Sophie Partridge reviews a performance at the Arcola, London on 30 May.
News: Colston Hall takes the lead for BBC Music Day in Bristol
Colston Hall will play a leading role on the first ever BBC Music Day on Friday 5th June 2015 in championing disability and diversity in music and the arts. BBC Music Day will see the Hall welcoming a unique disability youth concert. The day will be a nationwide celebration of music with the aim of connecting communities and...
Poetry: Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews’ poetry recounts a lived experience of autism – a perspective, which is too often ignored in favour of second-person narratives of what an autistic person seems to be thinking or feeling. He feels short, evocative snippets of this experience are the most powerful – and that the poetic form is the perfect medium to convey these.
Technology Is Key
Mik Scarlet started out on the road to being a musician when he was given a toy electric keyboard and thanks to music technology, became one a handful of disabled musicians performing during a period when it was almost unheard of. Here he charts the progress of assistive music technology and talks to Gary Day and Ivan Riches from Drake Music London to find out what modern music tech has to offer disabled...
News: Towards Harmony: Innovative Composition for the 21st Century from Young Graduate Lloyd Coleman
Gallery: Sanchita Islam: Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too
Interview: Claire Cunningham on Give Me A Reason To Live
Choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham talks to Colin Hambrook about her new solo performance ‘Give Me A Reason To Live’. Exploring religious art, and the questions it raises about impaired bodies and quality of life, the work takes the form of a series of tests of body and of faith. Stripped down the work is a study in the notion of empathy.
News: Arts Council England announces pioneering partnership for disability and diversity
Led by New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, ‘Ramps on the Moon’ will bring together a collaborative network of seven National portfolio organisation theatres including New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and strategic partner Graeae Theatre - Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Nottingham Playhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and Sheffield Theatres.
Review: Touretteshero goes Backstage to Biscuitland
On election night in the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre we learn that “Nigel Farage is at home washing his tortoise.” And Jess Thom aka Touretteshero is on fire, an irrepressible force of nature, welcoming her audience to Biscuitland with a charm and an affectionate grin that cannot fail to woo. Review by Colin Hambrook
News: Creative Future: Nurturing Writing Talent At The Margins
Review: Daily Life Ltd: Expert View Symposium... let them eat cake
Led by Dr. Bobby Baker and the team at Daily Life Ltd, The Expert View Symposium promised to be an entertaining, inspiring and fun day of discussion, debate and performance, relevant to anyone with an interest in understanding the relationship between the Arts and Mental Health. Colin Hambrook was there, amongst other things, for the butterscotch cake.
Review: Claire Cunningham: Give Me A Reason To Live
News: Internationally acclaimed artist Sue Austin launches “Immersed in 360”
Review: Tanvi Bush ‘Witch Girl’
Opinion: Crips mean cash: disability as a commodity
The media has caught on to the idea that ‘worthiness’ sells. As a result disabled people have been more prominent on tv and within the arts, yet as a group we have been getting a rawer deal since the 2012 Paralympics says, tv producer/ director Richard Butchins.
Promo: Amanda Lukoff: The R-Word
Film-maker Amanda Lukoff is a triplet, one of three girls. Their older sister Gabrielle was born with Down’s Syndrome. It was the experience of people’s reaction to her sister that made her want to advocate for Gabrielle. Here she shows a trailer for a documentary she is currently fundraising for: a film about the power of words and the love between siblings.
Review: Q S Lam: Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too
Published by Muswell Hill Press, 'Schizophrenics Can Be Good Mothers Too' takes the reader on the artist Q S Lam's journey through the labyrinthine passages of psychosis describing her strategies and struggles to recover from the impact of the illness on everyday life, drawing on her personal experience, using art, not medication, to keep well. Review by Colin Hambrook
News: The Stay Up Late campaign re-launches
Stay Up Late is a charity promoting full and active social lives for people with learning disabilities. They are delighted to announce that they’ve been successful in receiving funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to develop the work they started with the launch of the Stay Up Late campaign back in 2006.
Esther Fox: Distinctive Not Alien
My practice is concerned with the fabric of life, the DNA of our personal and cultural experiences. I am a processed based artist who uses a range of media to explore issues relating to genetic screening and future representations of self. 'Distinctive Not Alien' is a research and development project funded by Arts Council intending to explore how socially engaged arts practice can create opportunities for public debate about genetic...
Interview: Liz Crow on Figures
News: Unlimited 2015 - Round Two Commission Launch
Review: Shape: Shortlist 7 Exhibition
Shape’s Shortlist 7 exhibition shows work by the 2014 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary winner Carmen Papalia, currently in residency at the Victoria & Albert Museum, plus the other shortlisted artists: Laila Cassim, Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings and Peter Matthews. Review by Colin Hambrook
Review: SICK! Festival: Sue MacLaine: Can I Start Again Please?
Review: Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age at FACT, Liverpool
Originating from FACT’s extensive work within mental health and wellbeing, Group Therapy explores the complex relationship between technology, society, and mental health. Jade French responds to the brilliant lens the exhibition holds up to some of the darker aspects of living with mental health issues.
Opinion: Assisted Suicide in the Theatre: Kill Me Now!
Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, London have recently had a five week run of Kill Me Now - a black comedy by Canadian playwright Brad Fraser with director Braham Murray; and starring Greg Wise as Jake, a long-suffering father and Oliver Gomm as Joey, a young man living with cerebral palsy. In response Colin Hambrook asks whether the debate about assisted suicide is part of a much darker expression of the desire for power over other’s lives and...
Review: Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman
Published in June 2013 ‘Courting Greta’ is Ramsey Hootman’s debut novel: ‘a most unlikely romance, involving a 34-year-old crippled computer geek and a middle-aged gym teacher/ basketball coach with a penchant for addressing him as Mr. Cooke.’ Dr Emmeline Burdett critiques the novel from the perspective of a social model of disability.
News: Unlimited Launches New Commissioning Round with Nine Highly Ambitious and Diverse New Works
Opinion: Trish Wheatley on Critiquing Learning Disability Performance
Review: SICK! Festival: Brian Lobel: Sex, Cancer & Cocktails
SICK! Festival is currently revealing and debating some of our most urgent physical, mental and social challenges in venues across Brighton and Manchester. Launched in 2013, the festival’s third outing explores some key aspects of life and death and how we survive them (or don’t). Colin Hambrook went to a show about sex and cancer with Brian Lobel
Interview: Nabil Shaban on Brecht, acting and cripping-up...
Review: SICK! Festival: Eric Steel: The Bridge
This year SICK! Festival has pushed boundaries by opening up debates and airing work on the theme of suicide. One of pieces shown was a documentary film by Eric Steel, which enters dark spiritual territory focusing on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, symbol of the West and of freedom and site for the highest number of suicides of any single place in the world. Review by Colin Hambrook
Review: Extant Theatre: Flatland
Flatland takes place in an immersive, pitch-black world of sensation and sound built within a disused church in Southwark Park. Collaborators from the fields of robotics, sound design and the arts have worked with Extant’s visually impaired team and researchers from Open University’s Pervasive Media Lab to create a unique audience experience. Review by Stephen Portlock
News: Deafinitely Theatre to tour new children’s production: Something Else
Interview: Who Is Johnny Crescendo?
This month is the 25th Anniversary of Richard Reiser and Micheline Mason’s report 'Disability Equality in the Classroom: A Human Rights Issue'. To celebrate this milestone, the authors are holding a two-day conference from 20-21 March, a highlight of which will be a performance headlined by singer, songwriter Johnny Crescendo, the Disability Arts pioneer and founder of the Direct Action Network. Robin Surgeoner talks to the musician about his life and...
News: Tanya Raabe-Webber takes up residence at Project Ability
Acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe-Webber has been awarded a Grants for The Arts, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, to be an artist in residence with visual arts organisation Project Ability, Glasgow as part of their International Summit for learning disability artists and their supported studios, 23 Feb - 25 March 2015.
News: Spirit of Achievement Arts and Culture Challenge Fund is now open
Spirit of 2012 (Spirit) has launched the Challenge Fund to empower and enable disabled people’s participation in arts and culture. The Open Grant round is looking for project applications across the UK, which create participatory opportunities for disabled people of all backgrounds, individually and with their families and friends.
Unlimited Celebrates A Year Of Supporting Outstanding Disabled Artists
"A programme that's bucked stereotypes and packed a powerful creative punch" Bella Todd, Time Out
UNLIMITED, the £3million programme delivered by Shape and Artsadmin, has concluded its first year supporting outstanding work by disabled artists, making an unprecedented impact on the cultural sector. Here's the round up...
News: Accessing London Theatre
In a joint-funded initiative, as part of the Visit Britain access project, The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) has launched a promotional video to highlight the wealth of access initiatives available across London theatre. Watch it here...
News: iF Platform Artists Announced
News: Shape Open 2014 Winner Announced
Political Pop to Pierce The Prophylaxis of The Non-Disabled
Composers, Trauma and The First World War: the sprouted poppy-rooted veins of British pastoral music
Review: Theatre Re: 'Blind Man’s Song' recalls a lost magic
Using theatre, mime, sound and original live music in exploring the power of imagination to seek wisdom beyond our senses, Theatre Re’s 'Blind Man’s Song' opened the London International Mime Festival at Jacksons Lane. Colin Hambrook reviews a VocalEyes audio-described performance on 22nd January.
Interview: Gary Thomas: on being an artist
Gary Thomas is a writer, director and artist with 11 short films and 4 screenplays to his name. He’s been blogging on Dao on and off since 2010. His film installation ‘The Dog & The Palace’ won an Inspire Mark from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He shares his successes and aspirations with Dao
Review: James Leadbitter: 'Madlove'
Poetry: Debjani Chatterjee: A Miscellany
Award-winning poet-translator, Debjani Chatterjee MBE, shares a few poems from her collections, including her latest book 'Do You Hear the Storm Sing?' (Core Publications, winter 2014). She has been called 'a rainbow spirit' (Paul Beasley) and 'a voice of rare originality' (David Morley).
Review: Ivan Riches and Simon Puriņš: 'Children of the Great War'
Originally shown at the APT Gallery, London between 8-11 January 2015, Ivan Riches and Simon Puriņš: 'Children of the Great War' is due to go to Alexandra Palace on Saturday 7th February and every first Saturday of the month. Produced as part of a London-wide Age Exchange project the dual-screen film and digital media installation records memories and experiences of the First World War passed down through families and across communities. Review by Emmeline...
Review: The Ugly Girl: A Musical Tragedy in Burlesque by Terry Galloway
This no-holds barred musical examines what it means to be the typical Ugly Girl adrift in a comically hostile universe through slapstick, music and dark humour. Starring Julie McNamara and Liz Carr, The Ugly Girl is reviewed by Roger Cliffe-Thompson as 'a classic of it's genre'.
Beethoven: challenging prejudice about the composers' deafness as personal tragedy
Beethoven’s deafness is a topic which needs and deserves much more thorough investigation, says Emmeline Burdett responding to a recent column by Philip Collins in the Times newspaper. The article is just one illustration of how discriminatory language persists unchecked in the media
Profile: Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976)
Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899 – 1976) was a Bengali polymath, poet, writer, musician and revolutionary. Popularly known as Nazrul, his poetry and music espoused Indo-Islamic renaissance and intense spiritual rebellion against fascism and oppression. Debjani Chatterjee gives an account of the influence of his poetry on her life and career as a poet whose work creates a bridge between two continents.
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Rachel Gadsden Al Noor: Fragile Vision
Opinion: DaDaFest International 2014: The Big Debate
News: flip announce launch of support for nine Disabled Artists in Scotland
A new initiative to support the next generation of disabled artists in Scotland is being launched by flip - disability equality in the arts - and other National Arts organisations offering 9 opportunities for disabled artists across Scotland to develop their artistic practice or career through an individualised programme of mentoring and support.
News: FACT in Liverpool support exciting upcoming project Madlove by artist James Leadbitter
FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) has been successful in an application for £29,870 of funding from the Wellcome Trust. The money will allow FACT to realise an exciting participatory installation called Madlove by artist James Leadbitter as part of next spring’s Group Therapy exhibition.
Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Why? Festival
Review: InTouch at the RA: an audio described tour of the 'Giovanni Battista Moroni' exhibition
Stephen Portlock relays his experience of an audio described tour of the 'Giovanni Battista Moroni' exhibition, at the Royal Academy, London - one in a programme of ongoing accessible events at the gallery, designed to draw an audience of disabled visitors and disabled artists.
Review: DaDaFest International Congress: Disability Culture and Human Rights
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Sheila Hill's 'Him'
Writer/theatre-maker and installation-artist Sheila Hill received an Unlimited research and development award to work with actor Tim Barlow to create ‘Him’. The resulting film was shown at DaDaFest 2014 as part of a session titled 'Unlimited: the Artists Voice'. Review by Liz Porter
Interview: Tony Heaton on the next tranche of Unlimited applications
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Kazzum Theatre: Where’s My Nana?
Combining Kazzum’s ability to create high quality inclusive playful theatre and Slung Low’s technological ‘know-how’ to make adventures for audiences outside of conventional theatre spaces, the Unlimited research and development commission Where’s My Nana? showcased at DaDaFest. Review by Liz Porter.
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Art of Living the Experiment
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged plus support from Liverpool Poets
Introduced by DaDaFest’s resident poet Roger Cliffe-Thompson, the poetry of Young DaDaFest poets rang out alongside Allan Sutherland reading a selection from ‘Proud’ and the award-winning Owen Lowery with his multi-media presentation of ‘Otherwise Unchanged’. Review by Deborah Caulfield
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Staff Benda Bilili
Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili’s exuberant live shows and extraordinary story have caused a stir across the globe. To round off DaDaFest 2014, the band set the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall alight with their powerful rumba-rooted beats, overlaid with elements of old-school rhythm 'n' blues and reggae. Review by Susan Bennett
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Ship of Fools
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Syndrome 3.1: Music/ Brain Experiments
Mixing science, music and the visual arts to explore the nature of performance and deafness, using realtime brainwave scanning to generate a live improvised score. Susan Bennett witness a performance culminating from a 4-day residency with the Frozen Music Collective, Ruth Montgomery and Danny Lane from Music and the Deaf, and a team of neuroscientists and coders.
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: You Are My Sunshine: Terry Galloway
News: Heart n Soul’s Allsorts: The Listening Season
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Unsung Hero: Liverpool's Most Radical Son
Edward Rushton, poet, activist and scouser has been forgotten and left in the margins of our history... until now. As part of this years’ festival, DaDaFest have partnered with The International Slavery Museum, The Museum of Liverpool and the Victoria Gallery and Museum to celebrate the life of this fascinating figure through a series of displays featuring at each site. Review by Jade French
Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl
Review: Maggie Sawkins: Zones of Avoidance
Preview: DaDaFest International 2014: Young DaDa Presents…
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Sophie Partridge's 'Song of Semmersuaq'
Song of Semmersuaq is adapted from an Inuit mythical tale. Written and performed by Sophie Partridge, it is the story of a 7ft tall chief’s daughter from a tribe who live in a world of snow. - Cate Jacobs reviewed a performance at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool on 21st November
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Lisa Simpson's 'Brought to Life'
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: The Life and Impact of Edward Rushton
Unsung - Liverpool's Most Radical Son is an exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool celebrating the bicentennial of the life of Edward Rushton (1756 – 1814). DaDaFest marked the beginning of Disability History Month with a day of talks in the museum about the life and impact of the City's most implacable anti-slavery abolitionist, human rights activist and pioneer for disability rights. Review by Cate...
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: 'Unsung' by John Graham Davies and James Quinn
Edward Rushton (1756–1814) was Liverpool’s most implacable anti-slavery abolitionist, human rights activist and pioneer for disability rights. If like Susan Bennett, you had not heard of him, then Saturday 22 November at DaDaFest gave an opportunity to catch up with three events highlighting the bicentenary, social activism and legacy of the man, including a rehearsed reading of a new play inspired by his life
Music for the Masses
Review: UK Disability History Month 2014: War And Impairment
Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: Krip-Hop Nation
Krip-Hop Nation continues to grow internationally as a platform for disabled artists and a voice for disability-led justice and politics. Featuring MCs, rappers and DJs from the US, Germany, Uganda and the UK, supported by the Disability Arts Touring Network (DATN). Review by Cate Jacobs of their show at the Citadel, St Helens on 13 November
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: The City Speaks
The City Speaks is a guided tour to Liverpool's political and cultural history of the city and its people. Created by sound artist Chas de Swiet, the audio work provides an aural tapestry made up of snippets and snapshots of Liverpool past and present, stories told in song, poetry, interviews and observations, all set against natural background sounds. Review by Deborah Caulfield
IroniCrip Disco presents the best of the worst
Richard Downes is an avid music-lover with a very large music collection, so when it came to commissioning a feature that highlights some of the less savoury ways in which disability gets represented, musically he was an obvious writer to ask. Drawing on a knowledge of some of the more obscure elements of popular music, IroniCrip Disco exemplifies how often we might hear a song and only subliminally recognise any meaning within it.
Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Art of the Lived Experiment
Attitude is Everything: the rise of access for disabled music lovers and musicians
In 2000 Suzanne Bull MBE set up Attitude is Everything (AiE) to challenge the music industry to improve their access to Deaf and disabled customers. Fourteen years on the organisation has had a lot of success in persuading the UK music industry that there are advantages to be found in raising their game when it comes to access provision for disabled people. Colin Hambrook recently talked to Suzanne about AiE’s beginnings and where the organisation is...
Review: Gobscure present Collector of Tears
Opinion: Now+Then: 3 Decades of HIV in Merseyside: a participant’s perspective
Now+Then is a documentary film that uncovers Merseyside’s journey with HIV from the 1980s to the present day through people’s own stories. Created specifically for the Sahir House exhibition, showing at the Museum of Liverpool Life until 8 February 2015 the film is the culmination of two years work archiving the history of HIV on Merseyside. One of the participants, Cate Jacobs writes about her experience of working with Danny Kilbride, creative director of Thinking...
Review: Rite of Passage: a gravedigger's memoir by Peter Street
DaDaFest International 2014: Art of the Lived Experiment, curated by Aaron Williamson
Conceived by DaDaFest and delivered in partnership with the Bluecoat, Liverpool, 'Art of the Lived Experiment' runs from 8 November 2014 to 11 January 2015 as part of DaDaFest International 2014. Colin Hambrook interviewed curator Aaron Williamson about the exhibition which contains the work of 28 artists from the UK and abroad, and includes sculpture, film, installation, painting, prints and performance...
Review: Shape Open 2014: Too Wonderful to be [in]Visible
This year's Shape Open exhibition questions how we perceive disability, using painting, audio, textile, and even a mask made of meat to look beyond that which is visible. Currently in its third year, Shape Open is an annual call-out for both disabled and non-disabled artists to submit work of any medium in response to a disability-focused theme - this year, '[in]visible'. Mik Scarlet wheeled his way through the vast Westfield shopping complex to the...
News: Artists Commissions Announced to commemorate historic anniversaries in 2015
Disability Desert Island Discs
Dao asked Richard Downes to compile a list of favourite tracks by disabled musicians / composers. He got stuck into FaceBook and asked people to nominate their top three tracks from the Disability Rights Movement and to say something about why those tracks empower you as a disabled person.
Review: Creative Minds South West one day conference
In spite of grisly weather, the turn-out for The Creative Minds Conference on 14th October at Bristol’s Harbourside was excellent with nearly 200 delegates arriving for registration. Tanvir Bush was there from the start, soaking up the palpable excitement, energy and general feeling of great warmth and camaraderie amongst the performers and organisers.
Review: The Greatness of ‘Great Britain’ at the Theatre Royal Haymarket
Richard Bean’s fast and furious play is an anarchic piece about the press, the police and the political establishment. Star Lucy Punch who plays Paige Britain was recently reported in the Independent to describe the satire as ‘a fond look on tabloid journalism’. For Mik Scarlet it is a laughter-filled satire based on a truth almost too real to be funny.
News: Welfare Reform threatens Graeae Theatre Company
News: Jon Adams wins award for Democracy Street
News: Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival
Following a busy summer Together! are delighted to announce the programme for the Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival. Highlights include the festival launch and private view of the Open Exhibition; Krip Hop Nation's workshop and performance; The Hands Project on International Day of Disabled People; the Together! Disability Film Festival and the launch of a poetry anthology and end-of-festival party.
Opinion: To Wheel Or Not To Wheel? Disabled Characters in Theatre & Television
There is still a preponderance for non-disabled actors in theatre and television to 'crip up' for disabled roles. Mik Scarlet looks at the slow emergence of disabled actors within mainstream representation and discusses the question of a disabled actor playing a character who has a different impairment to their own?
News: Stopgap Dance Company and The Point launch the iF Platform
The iF Platform (Integrated Fringe) is a unique opportunity for companies and artists producing work with disabled and non disabled artists. It will showcase the best integrated work from the UK at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 23rd – 30th August 2015 to coincide with the British Council Showcase year.
News: Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary 2014 at the V&A - Winner Announced
Review: Forest Forge Theatre Company: Woman of Flowers by Kaite O'Reilly
Storylines: Mapping the past - a Carousel project
Storylines is a project which brings the memories and stories of older people with learning difficulties to the public through live events which combine video projection, performance and poetry. The pilot project has been led by young learning disabled artists Becky Bruzas, Jason Eade, Tina Dickinson and Sarah Watson from the Oska Bright steering committee. Review by Alan Morrison
Poetry: Claire McLaughlin: Remembering Blue
News: Johnny Crescendo's Piss on Pity Complete available on digital media
Essay: The anti-war poem ‘Disabled’ by Wilfred Owen
Emmeline Burdett gives an analysis of one of the most famous anti-war poems of all time from the hand of the First World War Poet, Wilfred Owen. In a bid to evoke what Owen called ‘the pity of War’ the poem ‘Disabled’ gives impairment an emblematic status which, argues Burdett, impacts on attitudes today.
News: Inclusive theatre company Taking Flight tackles Disability Hate Crime with tour of secondary schools in Wales
This Autumn, Taking Flight Theatre Company will tour a specially commissioned play, Real Human Being, to secondary schools across Wales, to educate young people about the impact of Disability Hate Crime (DHC) on the lives of disabled people. The project is funded by the Welsh Government under the Equality and Inclusion grant.
Opinion: Dao Writers on Poetry
Dao is building a collection of essays about poetry and profiles of poets, offering a disability perspective. So far we've published an article by Owen Lowery on a selection of war poets; a profile of George MacKay-Brown by Richard Longstaff, personal explorations of the first three collections of Seamus Heaney by Anthony Hurford, an analysis of Wilfred Owen's anti-war poem 'Disabled' by Emmeline Burdett and a profile of Nazrul, 'The Rebel...
Interview: Caroline Bowditch on how she came to fall in love with Frida Khalo
Review: Actors Touring Company [ATC]: Blind Hamlet
Produced by Actors Touring Company [ATC] Blind Hamlet is currently doing the rounds on a nationwide tour. Written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, best known for his work White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, Colin Hambrook looks at how the author plays with theatrical convention using an exemplary charm and wit to explore metaphors on ‘sight’ and 'truth'
News: Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary 2014 Shortlist Announced
Review: Unlimited 2014: Caroline Bowditch: Falling in Love with Frida
Combining monologue and dance, Caroline Bowditch’s Falling in Love with Frida is a passionate reclamation of Frida Kahlo as a disabled artist and a reflection on how we are remembered by others. Victoria Wright reviews a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the Unlimited Festival.
Unlimited 2014: Touretteshero: Backstage in Biscuit Land
News: Disability Arts Touring Network: One Of Us Will Die: A hilarious new take on love
What happens when a British comedian and an Australian Actress meet, fall in love, get married and combine their skills and sharp wit? Find out at this funny and bold stand-up show that smashes conventions in every way. Presented as part of a tour to develop disability arts.
News: DaDaFest International 2014: Art of the Lived Experiment exhibition announced
News: Disability Arts Touring Network: Krip-Hop Nation bring a unique international platform for disability Hip-Hop artists to the UK
News: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl Tour
A wildly comic twist on the stereotype of a queer, disabled, intellectual trouble-maker, featuring an international cast of disabled actresses including Liz Carr (Silent Witness) and Julie McNamara (Let Me Stay). This no-holds barred musical about what it means to be the quintessential Ugly Girl adrift in a comically hostile universe is full of slapstick, music and dark humour. Presented as part of a tour to develop disability arts.
Review: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces
Review: Unlimited 2014: The Vacuum Cleaner’s Madlove Asylum Workshop
Review: Unlimited 2014: Birds of Paradise and Random Accomplice: Wendy Hoose
Review: Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon: Exposure
Review: Unlimited 2014: Juan delGado: The Flickering Darkness (Revisited)
Juan delGado's The Flickering Darkness is a video installation filmed at the Corabastos market in Bogotá (Columbia), the largest of its kind in Latin America. Produced during a three-month residency in the city in 2009 and re-edited for Unlimited, the project explores the journey produce sold at the market takes, from its arrival before dawn to its consumption. Review by Gary Thomas
Review: Unlimited 2014: Bekki Perriman: The Doorways Project
Review: Unlimited 2014: Stopgap Dance Company: The Awakening
Review: Unlimited 2014: Unleashed
Review: Unlimited 2014: Touretteshero and Captain Hotknives
In the hallowed foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, arty eclectics and normal people buzzed and filled the rather large space to standing room only for the arrival of not just any old superheroes... Wendy Young was at the 'Unlimited Friday Tonic' for biscuits and songs about animal sex, from Touretteshero and Captain Hotknives
Review: Unlimited 2014: the vacuum cleaner: Madlove
James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner has been asking people how they would design a safe place to go mad, in a series of 3 hour workshops in the Royal Festival Hall. What would the ideal mental hospital be like? John O'Donoghue went to find out about the blueprint for a Madlove Designer Asylum.
Review: Unlimited 2014: Drake Music: Seasons 4.0
Review: Unlimited 2014 Katherine Araniello, The Dinner Party Revisited
Review: Unlimited 2014: Perceptions of Difference: DAO & Survivors' Poetry
On Level 5 on the Royal Festival Hall lies the Saison Poetry Library: an eclectic crowd gathered to hear poetry from four stalwarts of the Survivors' Movement. Wendy Young was there for the inspiring words of Hilary Porter, John O’Donoghue, Debjani Chatterjee MBE, Frank Bangay the Bard of Hackney! MC’d by Colin Hambrook.
Review: Unlimited 2014: Julie McNamara: Let Me Stay
News: From sea to sky: Artist Sue Austin takes wheelchair to dizzy new heights
Review: Unlimited 2014: Robert Softley Gale: If These Spasms Could Speak
Review: Unlimited 2014 Opening event: Does It Matter? World War I Shorts
Like the excellent opening of Glastonbury 2014 Festival’s Sunday programme with the English National Ballet performing Akram Khan’s World War I themed ‘Dust’, Unlimited Festival got into full swing with five disabled artists’ responses to the centenary of The Great War. Review by Trish Wheatley
Review: Liberty 2014
Interview: Unlimited’s Senior Producer Jo Verrent introduces the commissions programme
Unlimited 2014: Chisato Minamimura: Ring the Changes+
Whilst eagerly awaiting the delights of Unlimited Festival next week, Sarah Pickthall attended a recent sharing of work in progress of Chisato Minamimura’s commissioned work Ring the Changes+ at TripSpace Studios in Haggerston - a collaboration produced by digital artist Nick Rothwell and Body>Data >Space.
Interview: Unlimited 2014: Ian Johnston: Dancer
Created with the late Adrian Howells, 'Dancer' is a gentle provocation on what it is to be a 'dancer'. Producer Lucy Gaizely answered a few of Dao’s questions about what promises to be a fun and thought-provoking show in the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre on Saturday 6 September.
Interview: Unlimited 2014: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged
Owen Lowery is the author of a volume of poetry, Otherwise Unchanged (Carcanet 2012), and is the recipient of an Unlimited award. John O’Donoghue interviewed the poet by email about the inspiration, form and development of his work providing an insight into his creative identity. What follows is an edited version of this correspondence.
Interview: Unlimited 2014: Aidan Moesby and Pum Dunbar: Fragmenting The Code(x)
Opinion: Unlimited 2014: Katherine Araniello hosts The Dinner Party Revisited
Katherine Araniello first presented The Dinner Party in 2011. A development of that work, The Dinner Party Revisited, has been commissioned for 2014’s Unlimited Festival - a commission that confirms Katherine as one of the most significant Live Artists in the UK. So what does it mean to be a 'Live Artist'? Lois Keidan, Director of the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) explains.
Interview: Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon talks about Exposure
News: Channel 4: Does It Matter? World War 1 Shorts
With two million British servicemen disabled by World War One, society's attitude to disability had to change. Co-produced by Artsadmin and Xenoki and co-commissioned by Channel 4 and 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, five disabled artists present unorthodox takes on the legacies of war and disability through a series of short films.
Interview: Unlimited 2014: James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner on Madlove
James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner, received an Unlimited research and development award for Madlove - a project which asks those with and without mental illness to collaborate in designing a ‘safe place to go mad’. John O’Donoghue talks to the artist about his idea to get people to participate in redesigning the asylum.
Interview: Unlimited 2014: Sue Austin talks about 'Creating the Spectacle'
Interview: Unlimited 2014: Garry Robson on Edmund the Learned Pig
Interview: Unlimited 2014: Katherine Araniello hosts The Dinner Party Revisited
Review: Francesca Martinez: ‘What the **** is Normal?!’
Francesca Martinez' memoir is about growing up with Cerebral Palsy. Rosaleen McDonagh reviews the comedians reflections on her life - an arduous journey through crippledom, illustrating how the public persona of wanting to be the ‘funny girl’ contradicted her internalized oppression.
Review: Shape Artist's Network talk by Aaron McPeake on receiving the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary
Adam Reynolds Bursary winner Aaron McPeake gave a talk at the Shape Gallery in Westfield on his Spike Island residency on 3 July, as part of the launch of Shape’s Artist Network; a new, quarterly event for emerging and mid-career artists to get together, develop new collaborations and share ideas for professional development. Colin Hambrook reflects on the artists' practice.
Sue Austin’s Underwater Wheelchair Team Needs Your Vote!
Review: Jez Colborne: GIFT at the Southbank Centre
News: Mayor announces plans for Liberty Festival
News: Announcing Southbank Centre’s second Unlimited Festival 2014
Lloyd Coleman: The Sound of Disability v-blog
Lloyd Coleman is a composer, conductor and clarinettist, who recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. He's been a member of the British Paraorchestra since it was formed in 2012, and is now writing a major new piece for them. You can follow his progress here on this blog.
News: Unlimited launches T-shirt design competition and exhibition opportunity for young disabled people
Unlimited today opened submissions for its ‘Your Slogan Here’ competition, offering young disabled people under 26 living in England and Scotland the opportunity to design a slogan and/or image for a T-shirt that will be exhibited at the Southbank Centre during Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival in September 2014.
News: Staff Benda Bilili to perform at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall for DaDaFest International 2014
Review: Vital Xposure presents Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay as part of the Anxiety Festival
Since opening in Auckland, New Zealand at the end of 2013, Vital Xposure’s latest production Let Me Stay has been touring the UK. Having won an Unlimited Award, Julie McNamara is set to stage the show she has written for and with her mum at the Southbank Centre in September. Bella Todd saw the one-woman show at The Albany, Deptford.
Review: DaDaFest: Working Lives: Here & There
Working Lives: Here & There is the latest exhibition by DadaFest, a disability and deaf arts organisation based in Liverpool, aiming to explore disability and employment, not just locally in Liverpool, but worldwide, through photographs and supporting narratives of disabled people in their workplaces. Review by Jade French
Interview: Wendy Martin talks about her plans for programming Unlimited 2014 at the Southbank Centre
Unlimited, led by Shape and ArtsAdmin, returns this September for another festival showcase at London’s Southbank Centre. Bella Todd talks to Wendy Martin, Head of Performance and Dance about her expectations for presenting the work of Deaf and disabled artists at the largest arts venue in Europe
Review: Shape Gallery: Shortlist 6
Shape have just launched Shortlist 6: an exhibition of work marking the 6 years of the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary awards. Colin Hambrook visited Shape’s pop-up gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford to see the work of the most recent bursary-winner, Aaron McPeake alongside that of three of the shortlisted artists.
Review: Stratford Circus, Face Front Theatre & Ramira Arts Collective: No Barriers with Barriers
Peter Faventi of Stratford Circus’s Blue Sky Actors and associate artist at Face Front Inclusive Theatre Company, with Ramira Arts Collective present: No Barriers with Barriers a striking site-specific play performing at Rowans Bowling Alley, in the heart of Finsbury Park London. Sophie Partridge went along to find that access barriers are still grossly misunderstood…
SenseAbility presentation: Ten Years of Dao: a potted history
Dao Editor Colin Hambrook was invited to speak about Disability Arts Online at SenseAbility – an event held at the Pound Arts Centre, Corsham from 10-14 June. The festival, exploring inclusion in the arts and community, was organized by Tanvir Bush in partnership with Bath Spa University. This feature contains a transcript of his presentation
Interview: Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods
Review: From There to Here: The hidden history of People with Learning Difficulties at Liverpool Museum
Visiting a provocative exhibition on at the Museum of Liverpool until 13 July, Jade French explores the unseen history of people with learning difficulties and asks: why aren’t we doing more in our galleries to make ideas accessible? Article reproduced with kind permission of The Double Negative.
Recommended list of books and journals
This section of Dao's research pages features a series of academic journals, books, novels and literature, which discusses disability. If you know of a book or journal you think Dao's readers would be interested in knowing about please send details to Dao's editor Colin Hambrook via firstname.lastname@example.org
Review: Deafinitely Theatre's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream
Review: Katherine Araniello & Jenna Finch: Screw the Taboo
News: International artist brings Gift to Bradford Festival
Essay: the war poetry of Keith Douglas, Alan Ross, and Wilfred Owen
Owen Lowery, author of Otherwise Unchanged, published by Carcanet, and recipient of a recent Unlimited award offers a critique of the war poetry of Keith Douglas, Alan Ross, Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas. In contrasting the styles of these poets recording their experience of war, Lowery examines his own approach to recording the impact of impairment ‘in extremis’
Poetry: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces
News: Latitude Festival awarded the Silver level of the Charter of Best Practice
Attitude is Everything is very pleased to announce that Latitude Festival(17th- 20th July) has been awarded the Silver level of the Charter of Best Practice. The Silver award is in recognition of the ongoing efforts of Festival Republic, the festival organisers, to build upon event access and inclusion at the site on a yearly basis, which has resulted in a loyal Deaf and disabled customer base.
Poetry: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged
Writing and studying poetry was initially part of Owen Lowery's recovery following a spinal injury incurred while competing in a charity judo tournament as a young professional sportsman. Having recently won an Unlimited Award, Lowery's first major poetry collection, 'Otherwise Unchanged', was published by Carcanet in 2012. The work speaks in a range of voices, drawing from poetic traditions far and wide.
Gallery: David Beaumont
Review: The Dandifest Fete, Norwich
News: Attitude is Everything announces new Patron, Lord Tim Clement-Jones CBE
Review: ‘Good Kings Bad Kings’ a novel by Susan Nussbaum
Winner of the Pen/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, 'Good Kings Bad Kings’ (Oneworld Publications, 2014) by the American playwright and disability campaigner Susan Nussbaum, is a novel about life inside the walls of the Illinois Learning and Life Skills Center (ILLC), - an institution for juveniles with disabilities. Review by Emmeline Burdett
Poetry: Carol Robson: Just Saying How It Is
Carol Robson loves the performance genre. She self-published her first collection Words of Darkness and Light in 2012, which will shortly be published as a second edition by Thynks Publications. She writes poetry on various themes but is passionate on issues of gender, sexuality, ageing and disability.
Opinion: Beggar's Show Campaigns To Save The Independent Living Fund
Poetry: Wendy Young
Wendy Young began a poetry blog as well contributing reviews for Dao in 2013, following involvement with Survivors’ Poetry. She says: "Writing about life experiences through truth and humour is a survival mechanism. Poetry is therapy and any chance to express hidden darkness is a reason to live."
Poetry: John William Brown
John William Brown is a poet, painter and performer based in Norwich. He has published in various anthologies and has produced a chapbook of his drawings and poems, Private View (1997). He was joint editor of the now defunct magazine for marginalised persons, State of Mind (2004-6). John submitted a selection of illustrated poems from his published works.
News: Unlimited Programme Launched in Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts
News: Fittings Multimedia Arts are awarded funding for Missing!
Review: If These Spasms Could Speak by Robert Softley
'Informed', 'irreverent' and 'humane' are three words used on the SICK! Festival brochure welcome page to introduce the aims of the festival in shining a light on issues that often remain hidden, taboo or misunderstood in daily life. Colin Hambrook explains why If These Spasms Could Speak fits the bill admirably.
Review: Hayward Gallery host Martin Creed's 'What's the point of it?'
Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, Creed uses a wide range of artistic media and including music, his art changes everyday materials and actions into surprising reflections on life. Jessie Woodward sent in the following review of access within the exhibition, which is on show until 5 May.
Profile: Driving Inspiration: teams up disabled artists and Paralympians with disabled and non-disabled young people
Review: Graeae Theatre present The Threepenny Opera
Review: Chris Fonseca: So Beautiful Choreography
Review: You're Not Alone by Kim Noble
As if by divine orchestration an unusual and eerie fog descends on Brighton a few hours prior to the start of You’re Not Alone – Kim Noble’s only performance as part of the eclectic and brilliantly programmed SICK! Festival in Brighton. Sarah Pickthall returned through the mists to send in this review.
Review: Wendy Hoose, from Birds of Paradise/ Random Accomplice Theatre Companies
Review: The Hold, from Lung Ha’s Theatre Company, in collaboration with National Museums Scotland
Scotland’s leading theatre company for actors with learning difficulties performed a promenade piece 'The Hold' in one of the country’s top museums in Edinburgh from 12-16 March. Paul F Cockburn isn’t usually a fan of this style of theatre, but this new collaboration proved to be an exception.
Poetry: Anthony Hurford: The Staff of Asclepius
Review: Vital Xposure presents Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay
Described as A tender and unique exploration of the impact of Alzheimer's on family relations, Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay evokes her mother's songs and stories to create a personal piece of theatrical storytelling. Cath Nichols saw the performance at the Bluecoats, Liverpool on12th March.
Review: Creative Minds South East one-day conference
It’s a bold question to pose, especially at a time when funding cuts conspire to put all creative organisations on the defensive: how do we perceive, discuss and measure quality in work by artists with learning disabilities? Bella Todd reports on the performing arts aspect of the Creative Minds conference, held on 10th March at Brighton Dome - and asks some pertinent questions to stimulate further debate.
Creative Minds: ‘What as a practitioner are you going to do now?’
The Creative Minds event held in Brighton on Monday 10th March was full to capacity with a good mix of delegates from different roles and organisations. The work was impressive presenting visual art, performance and films that were full of life. Creative Minds was well organised with plenty of activity and scope for discussion and sharing of practice and thought. The speakers were engaging, their presentations witty, and their messages strong. To add to the debate Kristina Veasey asks...
Review: Frozen by fingermsiths
Discussion: Robert Softley Gale on Wendy Hoose
News: Signdance Collective International visualise radio in their musical BAD ELVIS
Discussion: Janice Parker Projects presents Glory
Glory sees the return of Janice Parker and Richard Layzell encouraging men, women and children of all ages and abilities and from all walks of life, to collaborate to create a large-scale immersive dance event that celebrates the city’s rich Commonwealth community and Glasgow 2014. Glory runs at the Tramway from 5-10 March 2014. Kim Simpson gives an account of taking part.
News: Shape’s Great Art Auction Goes Live At Bonhams!
Review: Kiruna Stamell and Gareth Berliner: One of Us Will Die
Preview: Graeae Theatre stage a new production of The Threepenny Opera
The Threepenny Opera is a precursor to many modern musicals and now The New Wolsey Theatre’s Peter Rowe and Graeae’s Jenny Sealey have joined forces to bring what promises to be an anarchic version of the story to theatres in Nottingham, Ipswich, Birmingham and Leeds. In conversation with Garry Robson who plays JJ Peachum, Colin Hambrook found out more about the new production.
Review: Stopgap Dance Company tours Artificial Things
News: UK's Cultural Legacy 'Unlimited' sets a precedent with Disability-led Selection Panel
‘Unlimited’, the three year UK commissioning programme supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England which supports disabled artists in developing and showcasing ambitious and high quality work across the UK and internationally, has announced the recruitment of a selection panel with over 75% of quality candidates elected being disabled people.
News:Four Deaf Yorkshiremen cast rehearse new comedy!
Obituary: In Memory of Sandy Easton
Review: Disability: A New History on BBC i-player
Review: Growing Up Downs: Blue Apple Theatre documentary on BBC 3
Opinion: The Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box
When the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) at the University of Leicester asked actor and performance artist Mat Fraser to create a show exploring the medical profession's approach to disability by responding to the collections of the Hunterian Museum, the Science Museum, and the Royal College of Physicians he came up with The Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box. By Colin Hambrook.
Review: Beauty and the Beast by One of Us in co-production with Improbable
Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz poke fun at the absurdity of normality in their new production of the age old tale of Beauty and Beast. Directed by Phelim McDermott, Artistic Director of Improbable, the company conspire to make an adult fairytale like no other. Tam Gilbert reviews a performance at the Young Vic, London
Gallery: Extant present ZombieyeZ in Zagreb
Extant Theatre's blind Zombie movie was filmed in Zagreb. Below you can follow the video diary of the heroine Helen as she joins blind and partially sighted people from across the world to take part in a Zagreb clinic’s medical trial claiming to restore sight in 24 hours. How far did they go to get their sight back? Experience the shocking outcome of Extant’s interactive online film narrative!
Review: Together 2013
Poetry: Richard Longstaff: 'A Curlew Calls'
News: Yinka Shonibare helps Disabled Artists get into Shape this Christmas
News: Zinc Arts' Kindness Flashmob bring smiles to Southend
Review: BBC Imagine: Turning the Art World Inside Out
The latest in Alan Yentob’s ‘Imagine’ series on BBC One attempted to examine how we define ‘Outsider Art’ asking “Why in 2013 is Outsider Art finally being feted by the art establishment, and what took it so long?” Michelle Kopczyk gives a critical analysis of how the programme failed to provide answers.
Review: Hastings Storytelling Festival: The Velvet Curtain
Produced by 18 Hours for the Hastings Storytelling Festival The Velvet Curtain featured an evening of adult entertainment with burlesque performers Penny Pepper, Liz Bentley, Caroline Smith AKA Mertle Merman and Crimson Skye. Esther Fox was there as the curtain parted to reveal four mistresses of the titillating tale.
Review: Knitting Time by Colin Hambrook
Extraordinary Change: Engage International Conference 2013
Engage are an advocacy and support organisation for gallery education. Liz Porter attended their international conference in Birmingham on 7-8 November, which explored the challenges that education in galleries and the visual arts face in a period of uncertainty.
Review: Oska Bright Film Festival 2013
John O'Donoghue went along to the launch of Oska Bright at Brighton's Corn Exchange. The bi-annual film festival features the work of learning disabled artists both from the UK and from international entrants. Each film has to be a short and include learning disabled artists in the film-making process. Now in its tenth year Oska Bright continues to showcase work that is innovative, striking, quirky.
Opinion: John O’Donoghue on mentoring poet, Clare Best
We hear a lot these days about ‘mentoring’. But what does a mentor actually do? How do you become one? How do people find the right mentor for them? And – the $64,000 question – are mentors worth it? Here John O’Donoghue recalls mentoring Clare Best in producing her poetry collection 'Excisions'.
Review: DYSPLA Festival 2013
Research: Art, Disability and Community Integration - a report by Matthew Edmonds
News: Jodi Mattes Trust announce the winners of the JODI Awards 2013
Review: ‘An Earthworm called Girlfriend and Other Stories’ by the Grace Eyre creative writing group
News: Attitude is Everything announces new Patron Paul Maynard MP
News: Winston Churchill Fellowship is awarded to Artistic Director of Spare Tyre
News: Shape announce winner of Adam Reynolds Bursary 2013
Sean Burn: Is that a bruise or a tattoo?
News: Arts Council England announces national delivery partnership for Unlimited II
News: CoolTan Arts wins Innovation Award
Review: The Spark: Creative Future Literary Award Winners
News: Touch Art Fair pioneers a new approach to presenting visual arts
The Touch Art Fair is the first ever tactile art fair in the UK. On exhibition at 35 Marylebone High Street, London W1 from 17 - 20 October the fair is organised by pioneering french artist Scratch Adelia. Jake and Dinos Chapman have created a gigantic new piece of work especially for the event amongst fifteen other international artists working in the haptic arts.
News: Groundbreaking Performance Making Diploma at Central School of Speech and Drama
Review: The Shape Open 2013: Disability Re-assessed
Review: Day Six: When Motherhood and Madness Collide
Overview: Common Pulse: Intersecting Abilities
Ju Gosling reports on Common Pulse a bi-annual festival and symposium curated by Durham Art Gallery in rural Ontario, focusing on ‘important current developments that are taking place in the Canadian art and culture scene’. The theme for 2013's festival was Intersecting Abilities.
Opinion: Rosaleen McDonagh pouts politics as she asks where disability representation in the media is heading?
In an overview of the current state of media representation of disabled women, with emphasis on 'Push Girls' - the latest reality tv disability makeover show on the Sundance Channel, Rosaleen McDonagh asks who has control on how we are seen?
Review: The Art of Bounce: Disability Arts Festival in Belfast
Review: Short Circuit: When Disability And Digital Collide
News: 900 Years of Light: Multimedia performance at Exeter Cathedral
Exeter Cathedral will be the setting for a multimedia response to the building’s 900 year history and the contributions that craftspeople have made during that time. 900 Years of Light is the culmination of Cathedra 900, an Arts Council England funded project by visual and multimedia artist Mark Ware. For the last 18 months, Mark has been exploring the Cathedral and interpreting its art and architecture through photography, abstract photomontages, 3D artwork and sound.
Review: DaDaFest On Tour: Young DaDaFest 2013
News: Jos Boys to publish 'Doing Disability Differently' - a new book on Disability and Architecture
Jos Boys invites DAO readers to suggest buildings they like for a book aimed at architects, exploring how they can be more engaged and creative around disability in their design work; so that accessibility and inclusive design become integral to their design thinking and doing, rather than as just an afterthought at the end of the architectural process.
Interview: Colin Hambrook talks to Anne Teahan about 'Knitting Time'
Interview: Colin Cameron talks about the Affirmative Model of Disability
Gini: Con.Text: the major and minor scroll
Gini was awarded a Diverse Perspectives commission to make creative responses to conversations with artists and audiences at Salisbury Arts Centre. The scrolls she produced give a creative insight into peoples' reactions to work exhibited and their reasons for coming to the Arts Centre.
News: Yinka Shonibare announced as patron and selection panel judge for the Shape Open 2013
Review: All Eyes On Us by Eelyn Lee Productions at the East End Film Festival
Review: Don’t Call Me Crazy - documentary season on BBC Three
Review: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Hijinx Theatre and Frantic Assembly
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger is an exciting new piece, which was performed as part of the Unity Festival at the Wales Millennium Centre. The piece was the outcome of a fortnight's residency with an inclusive group of performers. Tom Wentworth was there to review the collaboration.
Review: The Adventures of Sancho Panza by Hijinx Theatre as part of the Unity Festival
Review: Extrêmitiés by Cirque Inextremiste as part of the Unity Festival
Billed as circus performance the Cirque Inextremiste were appearing for the first time in Wales, presenting their newest piece Extrêmités, as part of this year’s Unity Festival at the Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff. Tom Wentworth witnessed the loud bangs, bright lights and spectacular surprises!
Review: Greaeae: The Limbless Knight - a tale of rights reignited at the Greenwich and Docklands Festival
Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Taking Flight Theatre Company as part of the Unity Festival
News: Pallant House Gallery’s innovative project, Outside In, wins prestigious Charity Award
Review: Alternative Guide to the Universe at the Hayward Gallery, London
Gallery: Dolly Sen: Portugal Prints working with the Royal Academy of Arts
As part of DAO’s Diverse Perspectives programme, funded by Arts Council England, film-maker Dolly Sen was commissioned to produce a short documentary exploring the relationship Portugal Prints has with the Royal Academy of Arts access programme. 'Greenhouse of Hearts' highlights the inspired, dynamic work that this small project is delivering.
Interview: Tricia Howey talks to Kati Francis, Artistic Director of BeautifulMess
BeautifulMess have been running performing arts workshops in Brixton for adults with learning difficulties for a while. Tricia Howey of Narus Productions have been supporting the company in getting Foxfood off the ground. Foxfood is a multi-sensory performance which first took place at Brixton’s Lambeth Accord at the end of May and is part of the ongoing Fox Project, which will include summer workshops inspired by the production.
Creative writing: A selection of short stories by Lynne E Blackwood
Lynne Blackwood started writing in April 2012 after illness terminated her professional activity. She is of Anglo-Indian descent and her emotional heritage plays a strong part in her writing sensitivities, reflecting a mosaic of experiences and cultures. DAO is proud to present a series of her short stories.
Song: Alas Atos from Making Waves Community Choir
Making Waves is a left/ green community choir, based in Cullercoats, which has a policy of freely sharing their produce. Oliver Swingler from the choir sent the following song to DAO. He says that if anyone else wants to record it and publish (with acknowledgement of Oliver and the choir), they are most welcome.
Interview: Jo Verrent gives food for thought on the diverse range of projects she is involved with
Heads Up Film Series Launches
Heads Up, a series of films which have been produced as part of the Creative Case has been published today by Arts Council England through the Creative Case website which is managed by DAO. The 8 films feature a number of arts professionals and arts organisations who discuss their involvement with the Creative Case and what it means to them and are being released in two batches with the first four live now.
Interview: Hassan Mahamdallie on Skinheads, Class Warriors and Dickens
News: Graeae shines a light on rights at the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF)
News: Lisa Simpson uses the Simpson Board to set up a pilot course to support disabled choreographers in collaboration with Merseyside Dance Initiative
Lisa Simpson is seeking funding to support disabled choreographers using new technology developed by Adam Benjamin. Lisa and her colleague, Ray Rooney, have set up a social enterprise company to help disabled dancers and their teachers unlock similar potential. Sheila McWattie reports on the initiative
News: Driving Inspiration win Hollywood animation award with ‘Light Up the World’ – a global collaboration for Paralympics London 2012
Catalyst Arts success for DAO and StopGap
Review: The Angina Monologue by Doug Devaney
Review: COnscription by Caglar Kimyoncu
COnscription explores the call-up to military service for people who don't 'fit the mould'. The four-channel film is on show at the Old Truman Brewery, London until 18 May. Joe McConnell reviews a multimedia installation which follows the stories of four individuals who meet at a military hospital - three subjects under assessment and their doctor.
Interview: Julie McNamara, Artistic Director of Vital Xposure talks about their touring production The Knitting Circle
Juan delGado: Fluctuation in Time
Review: Vital Xposure presents The Knitting Circle
Blue Apple Theatre take their production Living Without Fear to the Houses of Parliament
All The Lonely People: an anthology by Plum Tree Books
Review: The Everyman & Playhouse Theatres in Liverpool present A Day in the Death of Joe Egg
Interview: Rachel Erickson talks about the launch of Narus Productions
Review: A Reflection on The Other Side of the Coin by Signdance Collective International
Review: PhotoVoice’s launch ‘Able Voices: Participatory photography as a tool for for inclusion’
Review: CoolTan Arts presents 'Making it Happen' at the BFI
CoolTan Arts film project let participants explore the process any individual needs to go through to access a personal budget, by expressing their experiences of the personalisation process through their own words, filmmaking and animation. Richard Downes attended a screening at NFT2, British Film Institute on 25 March
Review: SICK! Festival presents Sick Notes an online archive
Sick Notes is part of SICK!, an ambitious, cross art-form festival that seeks out new ways of talking about and dealing with the experience of sickness. Sick Notes is an online video archive of sick jokes and funny stories about illness. John O’Donoghue likes a good laugh. But will Sick Notes deliver?
Review: Taking Flight Theatre Company present Real Human Being
Review: Side by Side Exhibition at the Southbank Centre
The Rocket Artists, in partnership with the University of Brighton, present Side by Side - an international exhibition showcasing learning disability, art and collaboration. **Nicole Fordham Hodges** reviews the exhibition, on show in the Spirit Level, Southbank Centre, London until 5 April
Review: SICK! Festival presents the vacuum cleaner's acclaimed show Mental
SICK! Festival of Contemporary Performance Art produced by contemporary performance organisation the Basement, played in Brighton from 1- 16 March. John O'Donoghue went to see the vacuum cleaner's show Mental, which documents 10 years of being an outlaw, inpatient and artist activist.
Review: SICK! Festival presents Bobby Baker's Mad Gyms and Kitchens
Review: WOW festival presents Claire Cunningham's Ménage à Trois
Claire Cunningham makes work based on honing skills specifically created by her physical impairment and looking at perceived limitations as advantages. Nina Mühlemann was there to see this production created with choreographer/video artist Gail Sneddon at the Queen Elizabeth Hall for Southbank's Women of the World festival.
Review: Criptease at Southbank Centre's WOW festival
New York Legendary Nightlife Artstar Julie Atlas Muz guest-hosts Criptease, an outlandish, outrageous evening of neo-burlesque celebrating disabled women's bodies for Women Of The World 2013. Nina Muehlemann reviews this burlesque performance by deaf and disabled artists, at the Southbank Centre on 9 March
Review: Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists' Studios ‘Pathways to Practice’ symposium
Review: Shape In The City’s Pop-Up Gallery
News: Welsh short film screens at the Middle East’s first ever Arts & Disability Festival
Review: SICK! Festival presents Jochem Stavenuiter's Eleonora
Review: All Eyes On Us by Eelyn Lee Productions and young people from the Olympic host boroughs
'All Eyes On Us' is a short film and photographic exhibition that follows the journey of four disabled people in the run up, performance and aftermath of the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Nina Mühlemann went to a showing at the Free Word Centre, Farringdon, London on 28 February
Opinion: Alison Wilde provides in-depth comment on two recent film releases: Song for Marion and Quartet
Review: SICK! Festival presents Under Observation
Review: Spare Tyre Theatre present 'Scratches'
Spare Tyre’s Associates join forces with their Company of Artists to showcase stories, imaginations and physicalities through spoken word, song, dance, movement and film. Nicole Fordham Hodges saw 'Scratches' at the Albany Theatre, London on 27 February. It was joyous, playful and rude.
News: filmpro presents 'COnscription'
News: The Basement presents Sick! a Festival of Contemporary Performance
Gallery: Liz Crow: Bedding In, Bedding Out - a live durational performance
Liz Crow presents her new work 'Bedding In, Bedding Out' which is one of the eight Diverse Perspectives commissions funded by Arts Council's Grants for the Arts. Drawing on audio recordings and time lapse photography of the performance, Reflections from the Bed introduces the work, its backdrop and its politics.
News: Six Deaf Explorers embark on journeys to support arts development and cultural exchange
Review: Birds of Paradise present 'In An Alien Landscape'
Review: TransAction Theatre present dIRTy
Review: Light Show at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre
Light Show brings together sculptures and installations from 22 artists who use light to sculpt and shape space. Richard Downes is disturbed and illuminated by this exhibition of immersive environments, free-standing light sculptures and projections on show at the Hayward Gallery, London until 28 April 2013.
Interview: Sue Austin talks about the impact 'Unlimited' has had on her life since her showcase of Creating the Spectacle
Following our series of interviews on the legacy of the showcase of Unlimited commissions by disabled artists at the Southbank Centre as part of London 2012, Nina Muehlemann talks to Sue Austin about her expectations of being a part of Unlimited. What has she achieved with Creating the Spectacle? What are the artists' future plans?
Review: Arc Dance Company perform A Sense of Beauty at The Place's annual Resolution event
Review: Shape present 'Perceptions Of Balance'
Nine artists, brought together as part of Shape’s Creative Steps programme, use varied media to illustrate and express their encounters with how they may or may not experience equilibrium. The exhibition is on show at Lauderdale House until 3rd February 2013. Review by Richard Downes
Interview: Luke Pell talks in-depth about his involvement with the 2012 ‘Unlimited’ commissions shown as part of the Cultural Olympiad
Following our series of interviews on the legacy of the Unlimited programme of work by disabled artists, which travelled the length and breadth of the UK in 2012, Nina Muehlemann talks to Luke Pell about his expectations for the commissions and the festival. She asks him about the next steps in his career after working with Candoco?
Interview: Jo Verrent talks in-depth about her involvement with the 2012 ‘Unlimited’ commissions shown as part of the Cultural Olympiad
Following our series of interviews on the legacy of the Unlimited programme of work by disabled artists, which travelled the length and breadth of the UK in 2012, Nina Muehlemann talks to Jo Verrent about her involvement as well as her hopes, fears and expectations for Unlimited
'Listening to the Dark' a selection of poetry by Peter Street
News: B.Right.On Festival celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transexual History Month with poetry, art and culture
News: DaDaFest joins Go ON Gold
Review: Together 2012: End Of Festival Party
Review: ActOne ArtsBase present A Sense of Beauty
ActOne ArtsBase are currently producing a dance and performance workshop called 'A Sense of Beauty' for schools, hospices, hospitals, theatres and outdoor venues across the East of England and surrounding areas. Katie Fraser discusses her experience of being part of the organisations training programme.
News: British-Bangladeshi artist Sanchita Islam presents The Rebel Within at Rich Mix, London
Review: CoolTan Arts: 'The Winter Edition'
Crippen presents the Criptarts
Crippen's latest cartoon strip takes DAO readers on an unpredictable journey with a host of disabled characters, featuring some surprising guest appearances from well known members of the disability arts community. Watch the characters develop as they grapple with many of the issues that confront us all as disabled artists, and support each other as members of the DAO extended family.
Review: Corali Dance present 'One of a Kind' and other new works
Review: The Lowry present Arabian Nights
Review: Together 2012: Open Poetry Workshop with CoolTan Arts
Interview: John O'Donoghue talks to Tony Heaton, Shape CEO
Review: Shape present The Adam Reynolds Bursary Shortlist Five and the First Four
Review: Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
Review: Liz Crow presents 'Bedding In' as part of The Spill Festival
Interview: Ruth Gould on DaDaFest's 'Outrageous Ambitions'
Review: Together 2012 Festival Launched
'Superhumans and marriage beyond: a space idiocy 2012` by the Grace Eyre creative writing group
On this page DAO presents a surreal epic story written collectively by Jonny Schachter, Keir Dean, Susan Street, Betty Vincent, James Grantham, Juliet Senker and Elaine Parkes. As the story begins Natasha, Elizabeth Williams is on the verge of getting married to Doctor John Vincent!
Aaron Williamson: Tales of Life Models in the Walker Art Gallery's 'High Victorian Art' Room 8
Commissioned by DaDaFest 2012 as part of 'Niet Normaal: Difference on Display' in association with Liverpool Biennial, Aaron Williamson has created a tour into researching the personal histories of the life models who posed for some of the Victorian painters whose work is on display in the Walker Gallery, Liverpool.
Review: The World Press Photo Awards 2012 at the Royal Festival Hall
The World Press Photo Exhibition returns to Southbank Centre, bringing together award-winning photographs from around the world which capture the most powerful, moving and sometimes disturbing images of the year. Richard Downes trips through the horrors to find glimmers of hope
Review: The Lowry present The Makropulos Case: An opera in three acts
Review: Hijinx Theatre present The Adventures of Sancho Panza
Review: Abigail McLellan (1969 – 2009): A Retrospective at Rebecca Hossack Gallery
Abigail McLellan was an acclaimed artist when she was diagnosed with MS in 1999. She continued to produce and refine her intense, vibrant art for the last ten years of her life, often using ingenious techniques to outwit the effects of her illness. She died aged 40. Nicole Fordham Hodges went to the Rebecca Hossack Gallery to see the retrospective of her work on show until 1 December.
Review: Marc Brew Company present a Triple Bill featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie
Marc Brew is renowned for creating tender, precise dance that captures the beauty of shared moments. Sophie Partridge reviews a triple bill of the companies work, comprising 'Fusional Fragments', 'Nocturne' and 'Remember When' featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie, at the Tramway, Glasgow.
Preview: Lets Make History Together 2012
Saradha Soobrayen at the Southbank Poetry Parnassus
Review: Playwriting Mentoring Project for new and emerging playwrights with Kaite O’Reilly
Review: Changing Lives, Changing Times
Sophie Partridge saw a recent performance of 'Changing Lives, Changing Times' by students from the Cathedral Academy of Performing Arts and Cockburn School, staged by the The Centre for Disability Studies and School of Performance & Cultural Industries at Leeds University. She sent the following review to DAO
Review: Outside In: National 2012
Review: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers
Gallery: Ivan Riches: Outside In video portraits
News: ITV launches world’s first children’s storybook app with sign languages
News: Birds of Paradise Theatre Company announces its new creative team
Opinion: Celf o Gwmpas from mid-Wales meet Kettuki from Finland
News: Liz Crow's latest work to be featured at SPILL Festival
News: Online launch of DaDaFest commission 'Rhapsody for Clarinet and Wheelchair Basketball Team'
Created by Jonathan Hering and Jack Whiteley 'Rhapsody for Clarinet and Wheelchair Basketball Team' is a groundbreaking audio-visual work, that combines music, sound design, film and sport. Commissioned by the Bluecoat, and premiered as part of DaDaFest 2012 the film has now been launched online.
Review: Free: Art by Offenders, Secure Patients and Detainees
Review: Celebrating The Legacy of Woody Guthrie
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of music legend Woody Guthrie’s birth, Billy Bragg curated a performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 16 September with singer-songwriters Joe Henry and Grace Petrie. Richard Downes responds to the songs and the legacy handed down by Guthrie - arguably one of the most influential musicians of the 20th Century.
Profile: Katherine Araniello introduces 'Meet The Superhuman: Part 2'
News: DaDaFest organisers reflect on festival’s 2012 success
Review: SOMEDAY ALL THE ADULTS WILL DIE: Punk Graphics 1971- 1984 at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre
Review: Unlimited Global Alchemy: Rachel Gadsden and the Bambanini
News: Together 2012 Festival to continue during Disability History Month
Review: Unlimited: The Garden
Review: Unlimited: Maurice Orr's 'The Screaming Silence of the Wind'
Maurice Orr's paintings are designed to be touched. His innovative use of dried fish skins as media, and the unusual access he gives to his paintings, makes this exhibition - on show in the Festival Village at the Southbank Centre until 9 September - a memorable experience. Nicole Fordham Hodges saw and touched these respectfully wild landscapes
Review: Unlimited: Sinéad O'Donnell's 'CAUTION'
Sinéad O'Donnell's Unlimited commission CAUTION explores notions of identity, similarity and difference through journeys, actions and performance in real-time and online resulting in an exhibition of installation and performance. Colin Hambrook took part in the performance in the Royal Festival Hall on 1 September
Review: Unlimited: Mark Brew Company’s 'Fusional Fragments'
Review: Aylesbury Paralympic Flame Celebration
Review: Unlimited: Claire Cunningham presents Ménage à Trois
Review: Unlimited: The Lawnmowers present 'Boomba Down the Tyne'
Review: Fairport’s Cropredy Festival 2012
Review: A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
News: Jon Adams exhibits 'Look About' at Pallant House Gallery
Review: Superhuman at the Wellcome Trust
Review: New Music 20x12 at the Southbank Centre
Interview: Laurence Clark talks about his Unlimited commission 'Inspired'
Review: The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess by Cape Town Opera
News: Southbank Centre launches Unlimited festival of groundbreaking new works by Deaf and Disabled Artists
London's Southbank Centre will present an unprecedented programme of commissions by Deaf and disabled artists in an 11-day celebration between 30 August – 9 September. All 29 Cultural Olympiad Unlimited commissions will feature at Southbank Centre as part of the London 2012 Festival
Review: Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye at Tate Modern
Review: Simon McKeown's 'Motion Disabled: Unlimited'
Motion Disabled Unlimited - the award winning exhibition and installation by Simon Mckeown - got a public outing at the torch relay celebrations, in South Park, Oxford on 9 July. Deborah Caulfield ponders the meaning of Disability Art writ large and loud at such a mainstream event.
Review: Niet Normaal: Difference on Display
Adapted from a landmark Dutch exhibition, Niet Normaal (a popular phrase literally translated as ‘not normal’, but also meaning ‘cool’) features work in a variety of media. DAO is gathering a range of responses to the major DaDaFest exhibition on display at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool from now until the 2 September.
Review: Priceless London Wonderground present Cantina
Cantina is the headline act of Priceless London Wonderground, London's largest festival of Cabaret and Circus. Nicole Fordham Hodges obeyed the instruction to 'leave your real life at the door' as she entered the gorgeous 1920s Spiegeltent. Oh, except that she took her mother along.
Review: Damon Albarn presents Dr Dee
Crippen and John O'Donoghue present The O’Crypes
Review: the British Paraorchestra
DAO Director Trish Wheatley saw the debut performance of the British Paraorchestra in the impressive grounds of Glastonbury Abbey on Sunday 1 July. World-renowned conductor and Somerset resident Charles Hazlewood introduced the ensemble to the crowd on the final day of his Orchestra in a Field festival.
News: DaDaFest 2012 Announce Full Festival Line Up
News: DaDaFest 2012 commissions North-West based artists for Niet Normaal: Difference on Display
Interview: Saradha Soobrayen at the Southbank Poetry Parnassus
Review: Yoko Ono 'To The Light'
Review: Imagine... Theatre of War BBC 1 26 June 10.35 pm
Review: Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 2012
Review: Unlimited: Janice Parker presents Private Dancer
Review: Graeae present Prometheus Awakes
Headlining Normality: The Consultation by John O'Donoghue
At Shape's Headlining Disability debate on media representation of disability, Will Self, in conversation with Mike Shamash, posed the question of what it would be like to live in a world where disability didn't attract prejudice or stigma? In response writer John O'Donoghue imagines such a parallel universe...
Interview: Chas de Swiet on his career, disability arts and the Creative Case
Chas de Swiet has worked in arts management since 2000 and has worked for a number of arts organisations with a specialism in diversity and disability arts. He is also an artist, mainly working with sound and music. In this second instalment of Charlie Swinbourne's interview with him, he talks about his career, his identity as a disabled person, and the creative case.
Interview: Chas de Swiet on the Cultural Olympiad
News: Unity Festival International Disability Arts Festival in Cardiff
The Unity Festival, created by Hijinx Theatre, is taking place between 21 – 30 June and will showcase and celebrate the best in inclusive, disability and learning-disability arts from Wales, the UK and around the world, promoting positive images of disability and social inclusion to audiences
News: Turning Points by Chris Tally Evans
News: DaDaFest gets a makeover!
Innovative Liverpool-based disability and deaf arts organisation Disability and Deaf Arts will now be known as DaDaFest – taking on the name of its best known event, the critically acclaimed international festival. In line with this name change, the entire DaDaFest brand has received an overhaul including a vibrant new image and website design.
News: Technophonia: New Music for a Unique Ensemble
Interview: Neleswa Mclean-Thorne, from Central School of Speech and Drama, talks about diversity at the Accidental Festival
Review: Deaffest 2012
News: Tin Bath Theatre presents Bee Detective
News: Channel 4 unveils new ‘Big 4’ installation
Review: Southbank Centre's 'Festival of the World'
Review: Amadou and Mariam
Review: Abnormally Funny People
Review: The International Symposium and Hippocrates Awards for Poetry and Medicine
Review: Abnormally Funny People
Review: Unlimited - DaSH's M21 Live Art Festival
DaSH's (Disability Arts Shropshire) M21 Live Art Festival was commissioned by the Unlimited programme, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Lynn Cox gives a Visually Impaired Person’s perspective on the event which took over the mediavel town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire from 5-6 May.
Review: Unlimited - David Toole's 'The Impending Storm'
Review: The Hunterian Museum present Anatomize
Review: Shape Open
News: Unlimited: Ready, steady, go!
Interview: The Big Lounge Collective produce 'Assisted Suicide: the musical'
The Big Lounge Collective (BLC) was launched at the Young Vic earlier in the year by seven established disabled artists in response to the lack of opportunities and infrastructure for freelance practitioners. DAO editor, Colin Hambrook, had an email exchange with Liz Carr about the BLC’s inaugural piece of work ‘Assisted Suicide: the musical’.
Discussion: Rich Downes talks about the hoo ha around The Undateables
Whilst completely unmoved by C4's The Undateables, Richard Downes, is nonetheless interested in the furore that surrounds it.
News: DaDaFest 2012 presents Niet Normaal - Difference on Display
From Fri 13 July – Sun 2 September, the Bluecoat will be given over to this landmark exhibition, which will feature the work of over 30 internationally renowned artists including new commissions, each addressing a definitive question of our time: ‘what is normal and who decides?’ specifically focussing on language as freedom and language as imprisonment.
News: Arts Council England announces successful capital application in the East Midlands
Review: Anatomy of an Athlete Elite sport, surgery and medical art
'Anatomy of an Athlete' is showing at The Royal College of Surgeons’, Hunterian Museum until 29 September. Obi Chiejina put the exhibition of four new artworks from five medical artists under the microscope to discover that the boundaries between sport sciences and the illustrative arts are not as distinct as she thought.
Review: Extant present Sheer
Review: Robert Softley presents If These Spasms Could Speak
Writer/actor Robert Softley asked a simple question while preparing his new show, as part of the 2012 Behaviour festival at The Arches in Glasgow. Given how much their bodies define how others see them, what do disabled people think of their bodies themselves? The answers, as Paul F Cockburn discovered, might surprise you.
Review: We Won’t Drop The Baby
Discussion: The Joke
Review: Rita Simons - My daughter, deafness and me (BBC1)
Review: SELECT EDIT: PUBLIC PRIVATE
Windows with a Difference presented a day of artists' talks at The New Art Gallery Walsall, on 29 February 2012. Tamar Whyte's personal and moving interpretation of this event on the theme of Art and Health, demonstrates the perspective of artists, and the enrichment of talking about our diversity.
Review: Jacob Bell and the Artists/Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Review: Picasso and Modern British Art
Review: Spare Tyre launch Picture Me as part of an International Women's Day celebration
Outside the New Diorama Theatre, a huge electronic woman is projected onto a high commercial building. She sways as if on a catwalk, endlessly walking on. Inside, Spare Tyre is celebrating International Women's Day, with a series of performances focussed on violence against women. Reviewed by Nicole Fordham Hodges
Review: Launching Rockets Never Gets Old
'Launching Rockets Never Gets Old' looks at the artistic accidents generated by Raphael Hefti by interfering in industrial glass processes. Obi Chiejina assesses the impact of these accidents upon the artist and gallery visitor. The exhibition runs until the 18th March 2012 at Camden Arts Centre, London.
Interview: Birds of Paradise present The Man Who Lived Twice
The Man Who Lived Twice is a new touring production from Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise theatre company. It's a 'dramatised account' of what took place between disabled playwright Edward Sheldon and actor John Gielgud during a meeting in New York in 1936. In the run-up to the show’s launch at The Arches in Glasgow, before a Scotland-wide tour, Paul F Cockburn spoke with director Alison Peebles.
Review: One man’s weekend as a moth at Devoted & Disgruntled 7
Review: The Madness of George III
News: Unique Wheelchair Dance project awarded London 2012 Inspire mark
Folk in Motion, a unique new folk dance project for wheelchair users, has been granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme. The London 2012 Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Review: Bernadette Cremin tells tales about her Altered Egos
Bernadette Cremin has brought her Altered Egos to the New Venture Theatre, Brighton. This follows its preview as a work-in-progress at Brighton Fringe 2010 where it was runner-up in the Latest Award for Best Literature Performance. Marian Cleary and Trish Wheatley review this new outing for six women with untidy lives.
Review: '1 Beach Road' by RedCape Theatre
1 Beach Road is a new touring production by Turtle Key Arts working with RedCape Theatre - an intriguing drama which explores the metaphorical connection between Alzheimer’s and coastal erosion. Deborah Caulfield reviews a performance at South Street Arts Centre, Reading on 28 February 2012
Ten years on and Electroboy comes to the screen
Interview: Rich Downes talks to Phil Sherman of Booster Theatre Company
A while back Rich Downes blogged about 'A Christmas Carol' by Phil Sherman of Booster Theatre Company. Phil is putting on a season at the Karamel Club where he will show all his work with pop up books, mime and sign. Rich attended with James Tarpey, a young friend, who is studying drama. He introduced them after the show to discuss their careers. The interview took on flavours of past, present and future.
Interview: Lung Ha’s Theatre Company present ‘Antigone’
This coming March 2012, Scotland’s leading group for performers with learning difficulties, Lung Ha’s Theatre Company, presents a new version of Sophocles‘ ‘Antigone’, the classic story of a young woman standing up against society for what she believes is right. Paul F Cockburn spoke with artistic director Maria Oller and the composer Kenneth Dempster to learn about the show’s origins.
Review: Graeae Theatre Company's 'Reasons To Be Cheerful'
A national tour of Reasons to be Cheerful goes to Ipswich, Hull, Watford, Dundee, London and Nottingham. Written by Paul Sirett and directed by Graeae's Jenny Sealey, this acclaimed coming of age tale features the greatest hits of Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Deborah Caulfield caught the show at the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, on 16th February 2012.
New Gold set to enjoy two-week theatre run
Review: Lucian Freud Portraits
News: National Lottery seek nominations for best arts project
Review: An Instinct for Kindness
An Instinct for Kindness, written and performed by Chris Larner, tells a personal story of how the author took his ex-wife Allyson, to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, to commit suicide. Nervously and with some trepidation, Deborah Caulfield went to see the play at Swindon Arts Centre on Thursday 9th February.
Preview: Graeae’s Reasons To Be Cheerful
Review: A Bigger Picture: David Hockney at the Royal Academy
A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy showcases David Hockney's landscape work. Included are oil paintings, photo-collages, charcoal drawings, watercolours, prints and film. With over 150 works displayed, spanning Hockney’s career of over fifty years, it is as much a celebration as an exhibition and, as such, it exudes generosity and abundance. Debbie Caulfield was profoundly affected.
Review: Death: Southbank Centre's Festival For the Living
Review: Kulunka Teatro's 'Andre & Dorine
News: DaDaFest Wins The Lever Prize 2012!
Review: Pathways to the Profession Symposium
Review: Rubix and Elephant - spoken word
Review: Mike Leigh's play 'Grief'
Unsilenced Voices: Romani Voices
News: First Quarter of Shape Diamonds Programme Announced
News: Launch of InSync
Diversity should be about opening up and expanding our thinking, with everyone benefiting from different perspectives and alternative points of view. That’s why this week Sync - a leadership development programme funded by Arts Council England – is expanding its membership to everyone interested in leadership and diversity through a strand called InSync.
Hare-raising news about Disability Arts organisation
Interview: Terry Tracy talks about her novel 'A Great Place for a Seizure'
News: Paralympic Torchbearer nominations
Gallery: Charles Devus
News: Attitude is Everything publish State of Access Report
News: Benjamin Zephaniah takes up chair of Creative Writing at Brunel University
News: 'Loud and Proud' Lizzie Emeh wins AMI award
News: AMIs 2011: Royal College of Physicians and Shape win prestigious award for ‘inspired’ exhibition
Neglected Voices - a cycle of poems by Allan Sutherland
Neglected Voices - a cycle of transcription poems by Allan Sutherland
Review: Dementia Diaries by Maria Jastrzebska
The Dementia Diaries has been touring the UK. The play, directed by Mark Hewitt tackles the impact of living with dementia. John O'Donoghue saw a performance which was hosted by Brighton and Sussex Medical School at the Sallis Benney, as part of their Ethics In Performance season.
Five Needles a short film by Deaf Director Julian Peedle-Calloo
Resource: NanoWrimo, National Novel Writing Month
Disabled Avant Garde: Stage Invasion
Research: Anne Teahan - Sharing Cultures: Disability and Visibility
Sharing Cultures is a project researching disability arts by artist Anne Teahan inspired by Revealing Culture an international festival of disability art and culture at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC in summer 2010. Here Anne shares her extensive research on a selection of artists whose work was chosen for exhibition.
Review: Channel 4's 'Seven Dwarves'
Review: Vital Xposure presents The Knitting Circle
Interviews: The 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase
A team of DAO writers went to the 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase in Manchester from the 12th - 16th September 2011. Here you can read interviews with many of the artists and delegates reflecting on decibel and the Creative Case for Diversity, which was launched at a conference at the beginning of the week.
Reviews: The 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase
Review: Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011
Gary Thomas Visited Edinburgh Fringe for the first time this year. He gets about a bit! Here’s a couple of reviews, including the highlights.
Liberty 2011: London's Disability Arts Festival
Vital Xposure present 'The Knitting Circle'
Liberty 2011: London's Disability Arts Festival
Review: Longcare Survivors: Biography of a Care Scandal
Review: Outside In Launch
Discussion: Simon Mckeown's films 'Motion Disabled' and 'All for Claire'
Review: The Times Cheltenham Science Festival
The Times Cheltenham Science Festival 2011, 7th – 12th June, held a huge mix of events on every subject under the sun, from stem cells to the psychology of war. Debbe Caulfield attended two linked events under the heading Alternative Ways of Thinking, curated by The Arts Catalyst and Shape focusing on Alternative Ways of Thinking.
Preview: The End by film-maker Ted Evans
Preview: Revealing Culture: HeadOn - Portraits of the Untold by Tanya Raabe
Book review: Disability and Social Change: Private lives and public policies
'My Song': diary of a scriptwriter
Review: Roger Waters performs The Wall Live at the 02 arena
Attitude is Everything goes to Glastonbury
Review: 'Labyrinth of Living Exhibits'
Book review: The Shaking Woman by Siri Hustvedt
Gallery: Re-framing disability: portraits from the Royal College of Physicians
Bridget Telfer, Project Curator, introduces a sample gallery of images of disabled people from the 17th - 19th centuries, held in the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) archive. The exhibition, with responses from disabled people today, is on show at Shape, London until 29 September 2011.
Forest Forge Theatre Company: Peeling
Research: Anne Teahan - 'Sharing Cultures'
Sharing Cultures is a project researching disability arts by artist Anne Teahan inspired by Revealing Culture an international festival of disability art and culture at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC in summer 2010. Here Anne reflects on the show and what disability has got to do with art.
Profile: The Way Out: The Disabled Avant-Garde
Review: Access All Areas
Profile: The Knitting Circle by Julie McNamara
Having a first outing at the Soho Theatre, London, from 21-23 February, The Knitting Circle is an exciting new work in progress, reuniting director Paulette Randall and writer / producer Julie McNamara. Based on the testimonies of people who survived the asylums closed in the 1980s and 90s.
Review: Mental: A History of the Madhouse
Resources: The MeCCSA Disability Studies Network
Alison Wilde introduces The Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association Disability Studies Network. MeCCSA aims to support and promote the development of the research and teaching of Disability Studies within Media Studies and to provide a space to support and promote the work of disabled academics, lecturers, researchers and media practitioners working in Higher Education.
Poems on life in the asylum by David Trippas
Review: DaDaFest International 2010
DaDaFest – the UK’s leading and biggest deaf and disability arts festival celebrates its tenth year in 2010. In celebration, disabled and non disabled artists from all over the world will perform and exhibit at DaDaFest International 2010, a two week extravaganza of artistic wonder which showcases and celebrates the best in disability and deaf arts.
Nothing to Fear - a short play by Bob Williams-Findlay
Review: The House of Vernacular
Profile: StopGAP Dance Company present a new double bill - Trespass
Over the coming months DAO intends to report on a range of events taking place under the Accentuate banner. Accentuate is funded by Legacy Trust UK which is creating a cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, SEEDA and the regional cultural agencies. Screen South is the home of Accentuate.
Discussion: William Phillips on barriers to access for visually impaired people
Review: Are you having a laugh? TV and Disability
Review: Re-Presenting Disability - Activism and Agency in the museum
Poetry by 'Deaf Bitch'
Review: Contemporary Art from Iraq at Cornerhouse, Manchester
Review: Fittings present Raspberry - based on the life and times of Ian Dury
Discussion: Liz Porter reflects on the movement
Liz Porter reflects on what the Disability Arts movement has given her over the years – and where she is now – in response to discussions at the Lead On conference as part of the government funded Cultural Leadership Programme held in Cheltenham Town Hall on 21 September 2009.