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> > > flip announce launch of support for nine Disabled Artists in Scotland

A new initiative to support the next generation of disabled artists in Scotland is being launched by flip - disability equality in the arts - and other National Arts organisations offering 9 opportunities for disabled artists across Scotland to develop their artistic practice or career through an individualised programme of mentoring and support.

black and white photo of two heads at different angles

Amble Skuse is a composer and musician who was part of the Creative Scotland International Creative Entrepreneurs Fellowship in 2013

Following on from the high profile success of Scottish artists at the 2012 Paralympics cultural programme and recent Unlimited Festival at the Southbank Centre London, flip are excited to offer a supported programme of development to disabled artists in Scotland at the start of their careers.

flip Artists is an initiative supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Dundee Contemporary Arts and the Federations of Scottish Theatre. Together they are providing nine learning and development opportunities for artists to develop their artistic practice or career through an individualised programme of mentoring, training and development.

Whether it’s cuts to the Disability Living Allowance or Lord Freud’s faux pas about how much disabled people should be paid, the issue of disability equality has been a common feature in recent mainstream media. In a recent blog post, the Guardian theatre critic Lynn Gardner wrote about the value that disabled artists bring to the sector and the need to do more to elevate their practice within the UK.

Through nurturing and developing nine disabled artists from a variety of artistic disciplines, Flip Artists aims to ensure that the Scottish arts industry continues to be as vibrant and diverse as it possibly can be.

The nine artists taking part in the programme are:

Amble Skuse, Fife: Composer / Musician
Amble will begin to develop a piece of performance art that uses light and sound to create a discordant ambience that is reflective of chronic pain.

Derek Darvell, Glasgow: Actor 
Derek will start developing a piece of theatre that is inspired by his own experiences of growing up with Autism.

Jane Wallman-Girdlestone, Inverness: Novelist 
Jane will create an interactive children’s novel that utilises the creation of ebooks, to include links to the internet that enhance the reading experience.

Lynn Pilkington, Glasgow: Spoken word performer 
Lynn will create a solo show that uses spoken word and dance  Her poetry details her personal experiences of mental health issues.

Maki Yamazaki, Glasgow: Games designer
Maki will begin developing a narrative driven computer game that deals with issues such as sexuality, gender, disability and race.

Matthew Ward, Paisley: Composer / Musician
Matthew would like to develop his DJing skills and to write some electronic ambient songs that he can then perform.

Neil Joseph Price, Cumbernauld: Dancer
Neil will improve on his choreography skills and use them to create a piece of dance.

Pum Dunbar, Glasgow: Visual artist
Pum will continue her work that uses collage to explore the unusual perspectives which her Autism affords her.

Sonia Allori, Grantown-on-Spey: Composer / Musician
Sonia will start developing a piece of opera that is fully inclusive for the musicians, actors and crew. 

“There are many great high profile disabled artists working in Scotland and across the UK but it is less clear where the next generation are coming from.”
Robert Gale – flip 

“We want to find the next generation of emerging disabled artists.  We are looking for people who are beginning to develop their own work or ideas and need support to take the next steps in their development.”
Mairi Taylor – flip

“Scotland has a good reputation for the work of disabled artists as well as its integrated dance, music and theatre practice.  However, that reputation is based on a handful of hard working and talented individuals and companies.  In order for their legacy to be fully realised and for disability arts to truly flourish we need to invest in and nurture emerging talent, and I believe this programme to be a vital part of this process.”
Jon Morgan - Director, Federation of Scottish Theatre

For more information about flip and the artists they are supporting please click on this link