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7 October 2013

Recently published feature articles

    Unlimited 2014: Chisato Minamimura: Ring the Changes+

    29 August 2014

    Feature

    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 with digital artist Nick Rothwell, produced by Body>Data >Space.

    Interview: Unlimited 2014: Ian Johnston: Dancer

    18 August 2014

    Feature

    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

    12 August 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Opinion: Unlimited 2014: Katherine Araniello hosts The Dinner Party Revisited

    30 July 2014

    Feature

    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

    29 July 2014

    Feature

    Nina Muehlemann met artist Jo Bannon during a networking meeting with other artists and people involved with the second round of Unlimited. She talked to Jo about her Unlimited 2014 commission, ‘Exposure’ over a glass of wine.

    News: Channel 4: Does It Matter? World War 1 Shorts

    28 July 2014

    Feature

    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

    27 July 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Francesca Martinez: ‘What the **** is Normal?!’

    19 July 2014

    Feature

    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.

    The Sound of Disability

    19 July 2014

    Feature

    As part of an Arts Council funded programme of work, Dao is engaging with freelance disabled writers and guest non-disabled 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 Paraorchestra 

    Review: Shape Artist's Network talk by Aaron McPeake on receiving the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary

    16 July 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Jez Colborne: GIFT at the Southbank Centre

    8 July 2014

    Feature

    Jez Colborne’s live sound installation GIFT is one of 20 pieces commissioned by the New Music Biennial and destined for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Gus Garside saw Mind the Gap’s latest production at the Southbank Centre on 6 July.

    Lloyd Coleman: The Sound of Disability v-blog

    3 July 2014

    Feature

    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.
     

    Review: DaDaFest: Working Lives: Here & There

    24 June 2014

    Feature

    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

    Review: Shape Gallery: Shortlist 6

    20 June 2014

    Feature

    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

    19 June 2014

    Feature

    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

    17 June 2014

    Feature

    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

    15 June 2014

    Feature

    Choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham tells Paul F Cockburn how her new work melds movement and words to discuss religious attitudes to disability.

    Book list on Dao

    10 June 2014

    Feature

    This section of Dao's research pages features a series of academic books, novels and literature, which discusses disability from new perspectives.

    Review: Deafinitely Theatre's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream

    4 June 2014

    Feature

    Following the success of Deafinitely Theatre's production of Love's Labour's Lost as part of the 2012 Globe to Globe project, they return to Shakespeare's Globe with a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in British Sign Language, until 7 June. Review by Melissa Mostyn

    News: International artist brings Gift to Bradford Festival

    21 May 2014

    Feature

    International musician and composer Jez Colborne has been commissioned by PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music Biennial to create an original music piece – Gift, which is set to immerse audiences in a wave of new sounds.

    Review: the war poetry of Keith Douglas, Alan Ross, and Wilfred Owen

    20 May 2014

    Feature

    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

    19 May 2014

    Feature

    Penny Pepper is a writer, poet and performer with an extraordinary versatility to her work. Genre-defying and quirky, her work is infused with her passion as a veteran disability arts activist.

    News: Latitude Festival awarded the Silver level of the Charter of Best Practice

    14 May 2014

    Feature

    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

    12 May 2014

    Feature

    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

    12 May 2014

    Feature

    Currently based at artspace in Coventry, David Beaumont creates installation-based sculpture; video and photography. This gallery shows a selection of his work, featured at the MA show at Coventry University in 2013.

    Review: The Dandifest Fete, Norwich

    8 May 2014

    Feature

    Amongst the days entertainment at the glorious May Day Dandy Village Fete, in Norwich on 5th May, Ann Young encountered poet/ producer Vince Laws and the force of nature that is Bonk, (aka Dickie Lupton).

    Review: ‘Good Kings Bad Kings’ a novel by Susan Nussbaum

    22 April 2014

    Feature

    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

    22 April 2014

    Feature

    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: Dao Poets on Poetry

    21 April 2014

    Feature

    Dao is building a collection of articles about poetry and poets, and within that aim we're looking to feature a disability perspective in one way shape or form. 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 and personal explorations of the first three collections of Seamus Heaney by Anthony Hurford...

    Opinion: Beggar's Show Campaigns To Save The Independent Living Fund

    16 April 2014

    Feature

    Natasha Lewis plays the role of Lucy Brown in Graeae Theatre Company's touring production of 'The Threepenny Opera'. She comments on the devastating effect on disabled artists… and would be disabled artists, resulting from the closure of The Independent Living Fund

    Poetry: Warrior

    7 April 2014

    Feature

    Warrior's mission is to expose dark images of her life experiences and the battle of everyday lives of people through poetry. Breaking barriers of silence and the unspeakable to take back her power, expressing innermost thoughts, wishes, angels and demons. Warrior wants to reach people through the power of words.

    Poetry: John William Brown

    5 April 2014

    Feature

    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: Fittings Multimedia Arts are awarded funding for Missing!

    1 April 2014

    Feature

    Liverpool based Arts Company Fittings Multimedia Arts have received very welcome news this week as their application for funding to support a two-year project working with young people across the North and Midlands has been approved by Arts Council England.

    Review: If These Spasms Could Speak by Robert Softley

    23 March 2014

    Feature

    '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?'

    19 March 2014

    Feature

    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. 

    Review: Graeae Theatre present The Threepenny Opera

    18 March 2014

    Feature

    Graeae's production of Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera attempts to provoke thinking around approaches to creative access. Liz Porter caught the show in Ipswich and sent in the following review, written from a visually impaired perspective

    Review: Chris Fonseca: So Beautiful Choreography

    18 March 2014

    Feature

    Chris Fonseca's debut dance video was created with the lyrics to 'So Beautiful' by Musiq SoulChild in mind. Melissa Mostyn asks what makes this piece of romantic choreography unique?

    Review: You're Not Alone by Kim Noble

    17 March 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Poetry: Anthony Hurford: The Staff of Asclepius

    17 March 2014

    Feature

    Anthony Hurford came to DAO via the Survivor's Poetry blog. He submitted a selection from his forthcoming poetry pamphlet due to be published by Survivors' Press in summer 2014

    Review: Vital Xposure presents Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay

    13 March 2014

    Feature

    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

    12 March 2014

    Feature

    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?’

    11 March 2014

    Feature

    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

    9 March 2014

    Feature

    Originally developed at the National Theatre Studio, Frozen sees a cast of Deaf and hearing actors bring fingersmiths' visual and physical theatre style to the stage, in the first major production of the play in 10 years. Review by Melissa Mostyn.

    Discussion: Robert Softley Gale on Wendy Hoose

    7 March 2014

    Feature

    The latest production from Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is the first under its new artistic regime. Paul F Cockburn spoke with co-artistic director Robert Softley Gale about Wendy Hoose.

    Discussion: Janice Parker Projects presents Glory

    5 March 2014

    Feature

    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!

    28 February 2014

    Feature

    Shape are incredibly excited to announce that they will be taking part in Bonhams' first contemporary art auction of the year in order to raise money to continue developing opportunities for disabled artists.

    Preview: Graeae Theatre stage a new production of The Threepenny Opera

    19 February 2014

    Feature

    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

    17 February 2014

    Feature

    Artificial Things marks an important moment in the 19 year evolution of Stopgap Dance Company as the debut stage production for Lucy Bennett. Karl Newman caught the touring production at the Ivy Arts Centre in Guildford.

    News: UK's Cultural Legacy 'Unlimited' sets a precedent with Disability-led Selection Panel

    14 February 2014

    Feature

    ‘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!

    12 February 2014

    Feature

    Inspired by the Monty Python's 'Four Yorkshiremen' sketch Writer/ director Charlie Swinbourne's sign language version for a deaf cast, became a Youtube hit in 2007. The cast of 'grumpy deafies' are now preparing for a day out in Blackpool for their third get together.

    Obituary: In Memory of Sandy Easton

    12 February 2014

    Feature

    Rita Ferris-Taylor and Tam Reid remember Alexander Cooper Black (Sandy or Sulieman) Easton who sadly died on 25th January 2014. Dao remembers him as a valued member of the disability arts community and would like to offer condolences to his family and wife Kirin.

    Review: Disability: A New History on BBC i-player

    6 February 2014

    Feature

    In this ten-part radio series Peter White presents a history of disability in the 18th and 19th centuries. First broadcast on Radio 4 last year, podcasts and transcripts are available on the BBC’s website. Review by Dr Emmeline Burdett

    Review: Growing Up Downs: Blue Apple Theatre documentary on BBC 3

    6 February 2014

    Feature

    Last night BBC 3 aired a documentary telling the story of how Blue Apple Theatre took a touring production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to 12 mainstream theatres across the south of England playing to an audience of over 3,000 people from April - July 2012. Colin Hambrook reviews

    Opinion: The Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box

    29 January 2014

    Feature

    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

    7 January 2014

    Feature

    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

    16 December 2013

    Feature

    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

    16 December 2013

    Feature

    Dao posts reports by Richard Downes and Stephen Portlock on performing arts and visual arts at the month-long Together! Festival held in the London Borough of Newham from 22 November - 19 December

    Poetry: Richard Longstaff: 'A Curlew Calls'

    6 December 2013

    Feature

    Richard Longstaff submitted the following selection of his poetry. Taking inspiration from nature, 'A Curlew Calls' is part of a 40 poem collection on the author's relationship to the natural world. 

    Review: BBC Imagine: Turning the Art World Inside Out

    25 November 2013

    Feature

    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

    22 November 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Extraordinary Change: Engage International Conference 2013

    20 November 2013

    Feature

    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

    18 November 2013

    Feature

    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

    15 November 2013

    Feature

    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

    14 November 2013

    Feature

    Colin Hambrook attended the palpably intense, hugely inventive DYSPLA Festival at Camden Peoples' Theatre, London on 13 November.

    News: Touch Art Fair pioneers a new approach to presenting visual arts

    15 October 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Review: The Shape Open 2013: Disability Re-assessed

    15 October 2013

    Feature

    Shape’s annual visual arts competitive exhibition invites disabled and non-disabled artists to submit work on a disability theme. Tim Hayton reviews this years' exhibition on show at The Nunnery Gallery in London E3 until 20 October 2013.

    Review: Day Six: When Motherhood and Madness Collide

    14 October 2013

    Feature

    'Day Six: when Motherhood and Madness Collide' is Jen S Wight's personal story of Post Partum Psychosis. Has early motherhood ever been so harrowing? Nicole Fordham Hodges reviews this taboo-busting, searingly honest, assertively political and never self-indulgent book.

    Overview: Common Pulse: Intersecting Abilities

    8 October 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Short Circuit: When Disability And Digital Collide

    12 September 2013

    Feature

    Disabled people aren’t strangers to technology. From hearing aids to wheelchairs we’ve been drawing on human inventiveness to give us not just access but options. John O'Donoghue went along to look how digital technology is changing the face of disability art.

    News: 900 Years of Light: Multimedia performance at Exeter Cathedral

    6 September 2013

    Feature

    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

    14 August 2013

    Feature

    Young DaDaFest is a performance showcase for and by young Disabled and d/Deaf people aged 13-25. Young DaDa member Michelle Stubbs reports on this years' performance on 18 July at the Johnson Foundation Auditorium of Liverpool John Moores’ Art and Design Academy.

    Con.Text: the major and minor scroll by artist and writer Gini

    15 July 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Don’t Call Me Crazy - documentary season on BBC Three

    2 July 2013

    Feature

    Don’t Call Me Crazy launches It’s A Mad World - a season of films on BBC Three looking at a range of mental health issues affecting young people in Britain today. Sarah Tonin responds with a review asking who will speak out against this kind of exploitative representation?

    Review: Extrêmitiés by Cirque Inextremiste as part of the Unity Festival

    27 June 2013

    Feature

    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!

    Gallery: Dolly Sen: Portugal Prints working with the Royal Academy of Arts

    15 June 2013

    Feature

    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

    12 June 2013

    Feature

    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

    11 June 2013

    Feature

    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

    4 June 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Heads Up Film Series Launches

    3 June 2013

    Feature

    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.  


    Catalyst Arts success for DAO and StopGap

    15 May 2013

    Feature

    Arts Council England has announced the 62 successful applicants to the ‘Catalyst Arts: Building Fundraising Capacity’ scheme. Disability Arts Online and StopGap Dance Company are part of a consortium celebrating success.

    Review: The Angina Monologue by Doug Devaney

    11 May 2013

    Feature

    Is it possible to make compelling theatre out of a cardiac arrest? John O’Donoghue went to see Doug Devaney’ show, part of Brighton’s Five Pound Fringe.

    Review: COnscription by Caglar Kimyoncu

    9 May 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Review: The Knitting Circle by Vital Xposure

    6 May 2013

    Feature

    A gripping celebration of the forgotten lives of women who survived long term institutional incarceration.  Julie McNamara's 'The Knitting Circle'  (a Vital Xposure production currently on national tour) reviewed by Joe McConnell

    All The Lonely People: an anthology by Plum Tree Books

    30 April 2013

    Feature

    Niamh Clune, Founder of Plum Tree Books sent out a call across Facebook, announcing that she wanted to do an anthology on All The Lonely People... poems, art, prose focussing on the subject of loneliness. DAO presents a sampler from the online anthology.

    Review: CoolTan Arts presents 'Making it Happen' at the BFI

    28 March 2013

    Feature

    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

    26 March 2013

    Feature

    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

    25 March 2013

    Feature

    Taking Flight is an inclusive youth theatre project based in Cardiff. Written by Matthew Bulgo, 'Real Human Being’ uses forum theatre to deal with the issue of disability hate crime. Tom Wentworth saw a performance at Corpus Christi High School on 22 March.

    Review: Side by Side Exhibition at the Southbank Centre

    23 March 2013

    Feature

    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

    18 March 2013

    Feature

    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: WOW festival presents Claire Cunningham's Ménage à Trois

    15 March 2013

    Feature

    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

    15 March 2013

    Feature

    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: SICK! Festival presents Jochem Stavenuiter's Eleonora

    8 March 2013

    Feature

    SICK! Festival of Contemporary Performance Art produced by contemporary performance organisation the Basement plays in Brighton from 1- 16 March. John O'Donoghue saw Jochem Stavenuiter’s tale of what happened when his mother Eleonora had a stroke

    Review: SICK! Festival presents Under Observation

    4 March 2013

    Feature

    SICK! Festival of Contemporary Performance Art produced by contemporary performance organisation, the Basement plays in Brighton from 1- 16 March. Colin Hambrook went along to an afternoon of durational performance and film entitled Under Observation

    Review: Spare Tyre Theatre present 'Scratches'

    2 March 2013

    Feature

    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'

    2 March 2013

    Feature

    A multimedia installation by Caglar Kimyoncu exploring the politics of compulsory military service. Produced by disabled-led digital art agency filmpro, the work will show at the Old Truman Brewery, London from 2 May.

    Gallery: Liz Crow: Bedding In, Bedding Out - a live durational performance

    26 February 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Birds of Paradise present 'In An Alien Landscape'

    12 February 2013

    Feature

    Glasgow-based theatre company Birds of Paradise is currently touring a new production that promises ‘an ironic and humorous journey entering the world of brain injury, consciousness, memory and creativity’. Paul F Cockburn asks: did it work?

    Review: TransAction Theatre present dIRTy

    6 February 2013

    Feature

    Described as an explosive, visceral portrayal of disintegration, TransAction Theatre's 'dIRTy', written and performed by Joey Hateley and directed by Julie McNamara, was performed at the Contact Theatre, Manchester on 31 January. Mari Elliott reviews the experience

    Review: Light Show at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre

    5 February 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Shape present 'Perceptions Of Balance'

    28 January 2013

    Feature

    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

    'Listening to the Dark' a selection of poetry by Peter Street

    21 January 2013

    Feature

    Published by Penniless Press, 'Listening to the Dark' is Street's fifth volume, which includes a diverse range of topics from growing up in Bolton, living with disability, his experience as a war poet in Croatia and voicing the concerns of plants and trees.

    News: DaDaFest joins Go ON Gold

    8 January 2013

    Feature

    Liverpool based disability arts organization, DaDaFest, has become the latest group to join a national campaign to help disabled people overcome the challenges of using the internet.

    Review: Together 2012: End Of Festival Party

    20 December 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes reviews the end of festival event for 'Together 2012', Newham’s friendly Disability Arts Festival, held at The Hub, East London on 18 December

    Review: ActOne ArtsBase present A Sense of Beauty

    20 December 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Review: CoolTan Arts: 'The Winter Edition'

    13 December 2012

    Feature

    'The Winter Edition', the second in a series of exhibitions exploring the life, work and heritage of Charles Dickens, is showing at Southwark Cathedral until 14 January 2013. Nicole Fordham Hodges was at the private viewing, which illuminated a dark December night.

    Crippen presents the Criptarts

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    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

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    Corali brought together its most recent work in a rare opportunity to see the breadth of the Company’s current practice in the foyer of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank on 4 December. Sophie Partridge was there to review the programme

    Review: The Lowry present Arabian Nights

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    Set in the Turkish pink Quays Theatre, experiencing the Arabian Nights production by the Library Theatre Company at the Lowry in Salford was, says Susan Bennett like being in the kasbah itself. It brought together larger than life the stories of One Thousand and One Nights.

    Review: Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

    23 November 2012

    Feature

    Currently being screened at a cinema near you, 'Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet' directed by Jason Vile, carries Independent Living messages spotted by Richard Downes

    Review: The World Press Photo Awards 2012 at the Royal Festival Hall

    12 November 2012

    Feature

    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: Abigail McLellan (1969 – 2009): A Retrospective at Rebecca Hossack Gallery

    8 November 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Saradha Soobrayen at the Southbank Poetry Parnassus

    2 November 2012

    Feature

    The Poetry Parnassus ran at the Southbank Centre, London in June 2012. In the poetic whirl, Nicole Fordham Hodges joined Saradha Soobrayen, who represented Mauritius, for a conversation about poetry.

    Review: Changing Lives, Changing Times

    31 October 2012

    Feature

    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

    25 October 2012

    Feature

    The biggest visual arts treat of the year so far, has arrived in the form of Outside In: National which opened today at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex. Colin Hambrook extols the exhibitions virtues as a beacon for creativity.

    Review: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers

    25 October 2012

    Feature

    Newly acclimatising to a cochlear implant, Susan Bennett reviews a performance by The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 15 October.

    Gallery: Ivan Riches: Outside In video portraits

    22 October 2012

    Feature

    As part of DAO’s Diverse Perspectives programme, funded by Arts Council England, film-maker Ivan Riches was selected to produce a series of short, moving image, digital works with Outside In artist Paul Bellingham.

    Opinion: Celf o Gwmpas from mid-Wales meet Kettuki from Finland

    12 October 2012

    Feature

    Mid-Wales arts organisation Celf o Gwmpas recently took four disabled artists to meet with Kettuki in Hämeenlinna, Finland, as part of a mentoring programme. Chris Tally Evans discusses some broader issues about empowerment that came out of the trip.

    Review: Celebrating The Legacy of Woody Guthrie

    19 September 2012

    Feature

    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.

    News: DaDaFest organisers reflect on festival’s 2012 success

    17 September 2012

    Feature

    DaDaFest 2012 has drawn to a close and has been hailed a great success, with audiences from near and far coming together to enjoy this internationally renowned festival of disability and deaf arts, the largest festival of its kind in the world.

    Review: Unlimited: The Garden

    8 September 2012

    Feature

    Amardeep Sohi reviews Graeae and Strange Fruit's Unlimited offering at the Unlimited Festival on the Terrace at the Southbank Centre.

    Review: Unlimited: Maurice Orr's 'The Screaming Silence of the Wind'

    7 September 2012

    Feature

    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'

    6 September 2012

    Feature

    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'

    2 September 2012

    Feature

    Fusional Fragments is a fast-moving, athletic fusion of classical ballet and contemporary dance, featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie and the British Paraorchestra. Amardeep Sohi reviews the performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall, on 31 August, as part of the Unlimited Festival

    Review: Fairport’s Cropredy Festival 2012

    25 August 2012

    Feature

    Fairport Convention's Cropredy 2012 took place near Banbury in Oxfordshire from 9 - 11 August. Richard Downes tells a woeful tale about access provision at the festival.

    Review: A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

    15 August 2012

    Feature

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been adapted by Simon Stephens, from the novel by Mark Haddon, and is playing at the National Theatre, London until 27 October. Nicole Fordham Hodges went to the preview earlier this month.

    News: Jon Adams exhibits 'Look About' at Pallant House Gallery

    14 August 2012

    Feature

    Opening today at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex, is a studio exhibition showcasing the results of ‘Look About’, a two year mapping and collecting project by Portsmouth‐based artist Jon Adams in response to the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

    Review: Superhuman at the Wellcome Trust

    13 August 2012

    Feature

    Superhuman at the Wellcome Trust gallery in London, looks at the history of humanity’s desire to be more than human. But John O’Donoghue came away uneasy about the whole idea.

    Review: New Music 20x12 at the Southbank Centre

    31 July 2012

    Feature

    New Music 20x12 brought twenty composers together with arts organisations to create exciting new music, which will be performed across the length and breadth of the UK. Richard Downes attended a celebration at the Southbank Centre on 15 July.

    Review: The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess by Cape Town Opera

    22 July 2012

    Feature

    Staged at the London Coliseum, Cape Town Opera’s production of Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess' relocated the work’s enduring message by shifting the action to apartheid-era Soweto. Richard Downes went looking for something that is not missing.

    Review: Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye at Tate Modern

    16 July 2012

    Feature

    Tate Modern are showing a retrospective of the later works of reknowned Norwegian painter Edvard Munch until 14 October. Deborah Caulfield reviews the exhibition, which contains works from a period in the artists life when he became visually impaired.

    Review: Simon McKeown's 'Motion Disabled: Unlimited'

    14 July 2012

    Feature

    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

    12 July 2012

    Feature

    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

    11 July 2012

    Feature

    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

    10 July 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes reviews English National Opera’s London premiere of renaissance man Damon Albarn’s visionary new opera ‘Dr Dee’ at the Coliseum, with some thoughts on its relevance to current times.

    Crippen and John O'Donoghue present The O’Crypes

    9 July 2012

    Feature

    As one of DAO's Diverse Perspectives commissions, we've asked John O'Donoghue and Crippen to produce The O’Crypes - a cartoon blog about a family based in the fictional seaside town of Westsea - who are more than a little bemused by the Cultural Olympiad

    Review: the British Paraorchestra

    2 July 2012

    Feature

    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

    2 July 2012

    Feature

    DaDaFest 2012 is proud to announce the full programme of events for this year’s festival with an eclectic mix of music, art, comedy, theatre, poetry, performance, workshops and seminars.

    Review: Yoko Ono 'To The Light'

    28 June 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes catches up with Cut Piece, from a major exhibition of Yoko Ono's work at the Serpentine Gallery, London until 9 September.

    Review: Graeae present Prometheus Awakes

    22 June 2012

    Feature

    DAO editor Colin Hambrook reviews Graeae's spectacular Prometheus Awakes event which opened the Greenwich+Docklands Festival at 10pm on 22 June.

    Headlining Normality: The Consultation by John O'Donoghue

    21 June 2012

    Feature

    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

    21 June 2012

    Feature

    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

    15 June 2012

    Feature

    In the run-up to the plethora of disability arts events happening across the UK this summer, Charlie Swinbourne talks to producer, programmer and artist, Chas de Swiet about his work with Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Liberty Festival and DaDaFest

    News: Unity Festival International Disability Arts Festival in Cardiff

    14 June 2012

    Feature

    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

    13 June 2012

    Feature

    Turning Points is a ten minute film being screened as part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

    News: DaDaFest gets a makeover!

    13 June 2012

    Feature

    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

    12 June 2012

    Feature

    A unique piece of music has been commissioned by Drake Music Scotland to highlight the musical talents of young people with disabilities and feature centre stage at the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

    Review: Deaffest 2012

    9 June 2012

    Feature

    For the first time in five years, Charlie Swinbourne went to the UK's Deaf film and television festival Deaffest as a journalist rather than a filmmaker. He reviews the festival and this year's batch of films.

    News: Tin Bath Theatre presents Bee Detective


    8 June 2012

    Feature

    Part of the Unlimited Cultural Olympiad programme and the London 2012 Festival, Tin Bath Theatre's 'Bee Detective' is 
an outdoor theatre show for deaf and hearing children. Created by Sophie Woolley, it will be touring parks and squares across the UK this summer.

    Review: Southbank Centre's 'Festival of the World'

    1 June 2012

    Feature

    Colin Hambrook witnesses the launch of the Southbank Centre's 'Festival of the World' - happening from 1 June to 9 September. Overwhelmed by the range, breadth and scale of the programme, he focuses on a couple of highlights.

    Review: Amadou and Mariam

    31 May 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes takes imagined journeys from a front room, that is a boat on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, at the Southbank Centre, where Amadou and Mariam appeared in a live, screened performance on 23 May.

    Review: Abnormally Funny People

    29 May 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes strolls down to the Soho Theatre Downstairs on 21 May to spend yet more time with Abnormally Funny People

    Review: Abnormally Funny People

    17 May 2012

    Feature

    Abnormally Funny People have a run of gigs at the Soho Theatre Downstairs. Richard Downes went along on 24 April to find himself waking up to what comedy by disabled people is all about

    Review: Unlimited - DaSH's M21 Live Art Festival

    16 May 2012

    Feature

    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'

    13 May 2012

    Feature

    Acclaimed dancer David Toole has collaborated with Lucy Hind and Remix Dance Company from South Africa to create an Unlimited commission: 'The Impending Storm'. Jo Verrent caught this compelling visual feast at DanceXchange in Birmingham on 2 May.

    Review: The Hunterian Museum present Anatomize

    8 May 2012

    Feature

    ‘Anatomize’ a site-sensitive performance is the culmination of a creative partnership between The Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance and the Hunterian Museum and Archives. Obi Chiejina explores...

    Review: Shape Open

    4 May 2012

    Feature

    The award ceremony for the Shape Open exhibition at Portobello Gallery, last night, was a crowded affair. Colin Hambrook went along to soak up Shape’s outing into a mainstream gallery space in West London.

    Interview: The Big Lounge Collective produce 'Assisted Suicide: the musical'

    23 April 2012

    Feature

    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’.

    News: DaDaFest 2012 presents Niet Normaal - Difference on Display

    10 April 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Anatomy of an Athlete Elite sport, surgery and medical art

    29 March 2012

    Feature

    '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

    28 March 2012

    Feature

    Performing arts company Extant have blended a mix of burlesque, horror, comedy and magic to create an immersive experience. Deborah Caulfield witnessed 'Sheer' at Stratford Circus, London.

    Review: Robert Softley presents If These Spasms Could Speak

    26 March 2012

    Feature

    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

    25 March 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes reviews 'We Won’t Drop The Baby', featuring disabled comedian Laurence Clark and his family... and finds a four-fold joy. The documentary is part three of BBC1's Beyond Disability Series.

    Discussion: The Joke

    23 March 2012

    Feature

    Rich Downes has been musing on what makes things funny. He starts off with a bad joke and ends up with a series of interviews with disabled comedians about what makes humour so essential to our lives.

    Review: SELECT EDIT: PUBLIC PRIVATE

    19 March 2012

    Feature

    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: Picasso and Modern British Art

    12 March 2012

    Feature

    Deborah Caulfield recently spent two glorious hours at Tate Britain’s Picasso & British Modern Art exhibition. She urges you to go, even if your passion for Modern Art is barely lukewarm.

    Review: Launching Rockets Never Gets Old

    9 March 2012

    Feature

    '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

    9 March 2012

    Feature

    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: The Madness of George III

    5 March 2012

    Feature

    Deborah Caulfield saw 'The Madness of George III' written by Alan Bennett, which is being re-run at The Apollo, London, until 31 March. She was greatly amused!

    News: Unique Wheelchair Dance project awarded London 2012 Inspire mark

    5 March 2012

    Feature

    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

    2 March 2012

    Feature

    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 March 2012

    Feature

    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

    29 February 2012

    Feature

    Ten years ago this month, 'Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania' was published by Random House. Author Andy Behrman, talks about the journey, as the book moves towards being made into a film.

    Interview: Rich Downes talks to Phil Sherman of Booster Theatre Company

    28 February 2012

    Feature

    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’

    23 February 2012

    Feature

    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'

    22 February 2012

    Feature

    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

    21 February 2012

    Feature

    Critically-acclaimed dance theatre company Signdance Collective is to perform its show New Gold at Warehouse Theatre in London for two weeks in April, as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, a cultural celebration inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics.

    Shape Open

    21 February 2012

    Feature

    Trish Wheatley interviews Ben Fredericks, Shape’s Programme Officer about the up-and-coming Shape Open - a visual arts competition, that asks disabled and non-disabled artists to respond to 'disability'

    Review: Lucian Freud Portraits

    19 February 2012

    Feature

    The most ambitious exhibition of the work of Lucian Freud for ten years is now showing at the National Portrait Gallery until 27 May 2012. It is the first to focus on his portraits. Nicole Fordham Hodges went along, and took a friend.

    Review: An Instinct for Kindness

    12 February 2012

    Feature

    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

    9 February 2012

    Feature

    A year on from its critically acclaimed run in Ipswich and London, the original cast of Graeae’s hit musical ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ have reunited for a new tour. Charlie Swinbourne visited their rehearsals.

    Review: A Bigger Picture: David Hockney at the Royal Academy

    7 February 2012

    Feature

    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

    2 February 2012

    Feature

    In the foyer of the Southbank Centre, a small group of toddlers were gathered around a cardboard coffin, decorating it with glitter and flowers. This was 'Death: a festival for the living,' which took place between 27-30 January. Nicole Fordham Hodges speaks the unspeakable.

    Review: Kulunka Teatro's 'Andre & Dorine

    31 January 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes came away deeply moved by 'Andre & Dorine' by Basque company Kulunka Teatro - which played at the Purcell Room, Southbank from 26-29 January - as part of the London International Mime Festival.

    Review: Pathways to the Profession Symposium

    27 January 2012

    Feature

    Scottish Dance Theatre (SDT), produced the Pathways to the Profession Symposium which took place in Dundee, Scotland between 19-20 January. Jo Verrent airs her views on what was learnt.

    Review: Rubix and Elephant - spoken word

    26 January 2012

    Feature

    Rubix and Elephant two poetry collectives from Camden's Roundhouse came to Oval House Theatre on 14 January 2012. Nicole Fordham Hodges recalls some key moments at this spoken word event.

    Review: Mike Leigh's play 'Grief'

    25 January 2012

    Feature

    Charlie Swinbourne reviews Mike Leigh's play 'Grief' - in production at the The National's Cottesloe Theatre until 28 January.

    Unsilenced Voices: Romani Voices

    22 January 2012

    Feature

    Exiled Writers Ink support and give a platform to exiled writers from around the world. Nicole Fordham Hodges went along to one of their monthly readings on 5th December at the Poetry Cafe, London WC2. She heard some Romani voices, and they certainly hadn't been silenced.

    News: Launch of InSync

    16 January 2012

    Feature

    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

    15 January 2012

    Feature

    The nationally respected development agency for disabled and Deaf artists, Dada-South, starts the new year proud to announce their change of name. From 1st February the organisation will be known as Ardent Hare.

    News: Paralympic Torchbearer nominations

    14 December 2011

    Feature

    The next stage of the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay Torchbearer nomination process started this week. BT, one of the three Presenting Partners for the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay, launched their public nomination campaign on 13 December 2012.

    Gallery: Charles Devus

    7 December 2011

    Feature

    Charles Devus is an artist, writer, performer and musician. This gallery displays examples from his forthcoming graphic novel Justin Sane - the travails of an aesthetic detective and his alien son, Cedric.

    Neglected Voices - a cycle of poems by Allan Sutherland

    11 November 2011

    Feature

    ‘Neglected Voices’ is a work about disabled people’s experience, consisting of four cycles of transcription poems telling the life stories of Jennifer Taylor, Catriona Grant, Peter Moore and Wendy Bryant.

    Review: Dementia Diaries by Maria Jastrzebska

    27 October 2011

    Feature

    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.

    Resource: NanoWrimo, National Novel Writing Month

    19 October 2011

    Feature

    Have you ever wanted to write a novel? What about writing one in a month? November is the start of NanoWrimo, National Novel Writing Month. John O'Donoghue discusses the initiative and gives five top tips.

    Disabled Avant Garde: Stage Invasion

    13 October 2011

    Feature

    Disabled Avant Garde have published a four minute film on youtube of their protest at the Liberty Festival on London's South Bank on 19 August 2011.

    Research: Anne Teahan - Sharing Cultures: Disability and Visibility

    13 October 2011

    Feature

    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'

    10 October 2011

    Feature

    Deborah Caulfield hates reality TV and really hates pantomime. She watched Seven Dwarves, a seven-part documentary, recently screened on Channel 4.

    Interviews: The 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase

    20 September 2011

    Feature

    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

    13 September 2011

    Feature

    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 reviews of a large selection from the 50 performances which happened during the week.

    Review: Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011

    5 September 2011

    Feature

    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.

    Vital Xposure present 'The Knitting Circle'

    19 August 2011

    Feature

    The End of an Era: Cochrane Theatre’s parting performances on 21st and 22nd September will premiere Vital Xposure’s The Knitting Circle’, exposing the hidden stories of Britain’s madhouses.

    Liberty 2011: London's Disability Arts Festival

    19 August 2011

    Feature

    Liberty is a platform for amazing new work from deaf and disabled artists. Come and enjoy an afternoon of music and cabaret, outdoor arts and dance, and fun for children at the Southbank Centre and National Theatre.

    Review: Outside In Launch

    22 July 2011

    Feature

    Outside In is now open for submissions. Liz Porter went along to the launch event at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester to soak up the excitement.

    Review: The Times Cheltenham Science Festival

    22 June 2011

    Feature

    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

    16 June 2011

    Feature

    Melissa Mostyn-Thomas previews a chilling new film by Deaf film-maker Ted Evans. Premiered at Deaffest, The End can be viewed on Film4, the Community Channel; on the BSLBT website.

    'My Song': diary of a scriptwriter

    7 June 2011

    Feature

    Charlie Swinbourne gives an account of writing My Song - a seminal film directed by William Mager that premiered at Deaffest in May.

    Review: Up-Stream

    1 June 2011

    Feature

    Up-Stream set out to showcase engaging, contemporary live and visual art works by disabled and Deaf artists - presented as part of Brighton Festival between 24-26 May 2011.

    Attitude is Everything goes to Glastonbury

    26 May 2011

    Feature

    Attitude is Everything is delighted to announce their third Club Attitude showcase at Glastonbury 2011 featuring beauteous acoustic bards, street folk poetics and punk rock legends inter-spiced with beats, bleeps and signed rap!

    Review: 'Labyrinth of Living Exhibits'

    19 May 2011

    Feature

    Simon Raven gives his impressions of 'Labyrinth of Living Exhibits' - a performance event curated by Aaron Williamson at the Hunterian Museum, London, presented by Shape and Arts Catalyst.

    Review: RippleFest

    6 May 2011

    Feature

    Plymouth’s very first disability arts event was a weekend packed full of creativity and learning. Kate Cotton went along to sample the workshops and performances.

    Forest Forge Theatre Company: Peeling


    26 March 2011

    Feature

    Playwright Kaite O’Reilly discusses Forest Forge Theatre Company’s production of Peeling
, touring Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset from 26 March – 16 April 2011

    Research: Anne Teahan - 'Sharing Cultures'

    17 March 2011

    Feature

    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

    14 March 2011

    Feature

    Performance artist Aaron Williamson presents a feature on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 15 March at 11.30am, exploring whether performing arts practice can do what political agitation never has?

    Review: Access All Areas

    10 March 2011

    Feature

    Hosted by the Live Art Development Agency, Access All Areas was a two-day public programme, a showcase and inquiry into the work of disabled artists whose medium is Live Art, where the artist’s most important piece of kit is their own body. Debbe Caulfield investigates.

    Profile: The Knitting Circle by Julie McNamara

    17 February 2011

    Feature

    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

    14 January 2011

    Feature

    Colin Hambrook reviews a BBC documentary which tells the story of the closure of Britain's mental asylums through testimonies from patients, nurses and doctors.

    Resources: The MeCCSA Disability Studies Network

    13 January 2011

    Feature

    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.

    Review: DaDaFest International 2010

    23 November 2010

    Feature

    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.

    Review: The House of Vernacular

    13 October 2010

    Feature

    Wendy McGowan discovers some new meanings behind our interpretation of everyday photographs in 'The House of Vernacular' - on show at Fabrica Gallery, Brighton until 28 November 2010.

    Profile: StopGAP Dance Company present a new double bill - Trespass

    28 September 2010

    Feature

    Autumn 2010 see StopGAP Dance Company embarking on a tour of their latest double bill - 'Within' choreographed by Thomas Noone and 'Splinter' choreographed by Rob Tannion. Lucy Bennett provides a dancers' insight into this exciting development in StopGAPs work

    Profile: Accentuate

    22 August 2010

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Are you having a laugh? TV and Disability

    2 July 2010

    Feature

    BBC 2 recently aired a 55 minute documentary charting portrayal of disability on TV over the last 50 years. Narrated by David Walliams the programme looks at the journey from Ironside to Cast Offs, and from Monty Python to The Office and Little Britain. Colin Hambrook comments.

    Poetry by 'Deaf Bitch'

    19 May 2010

    Feature

    Dao presents a selection of poems that tackle barriers in society from a deaf women's experience

    Discussion: Liz Porter reflects on the movement

    19 October 2009

    Feature

    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.