On 18 November, Disability Rights campaigners, disabled people, carers and allies gathered to celebrate the fifth anniversary of UKDHM at this year’s Launch event in Unite House, Holborn, London. Review by Sarah Ismail
7 October 2013
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 Festival 2014: Art of the Lived Experiment
The Sound of Disability
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
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
Claire McLaughlin: Remembering Blue
News: Johnny Crescendo's Piss on Pity Complete available on digital media
Opinion: Dao Writers on Poetry
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, personal explorations of the first three collections of Seamus Heaney by Anthony Hurford and an essay analysing Wilfred Owen's anti-war poem...
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.
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 email@example.com
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
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
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
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 talks about the future of diversity
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: The Knitting Circle by Vital Xposure
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
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.