Hello again! The Disability Issue’s weekly upcoming events and opportunities post has appeared once more. Do disability arts, or arts in general currently interest you? As you might expect, my interest doesn’t seem to run out of steam. I hope people enjoyed reading about Ben Lunn’s life as a composer after an interview with him was released on Tuesday. Even if classical, orchestral music isn’t something you listen to, learning more about how his career has continued is something I recommend.
Life hasn’t been quite so active for him, but he’s had enough work to do. I see it as further proof that disability arts are still alive, despite the pandemic that’s causing us trouble.
Once again, the events and opportunities listed below are available for readers to experience in some way. You might watch them, you might hear them, or you might get involved with them yourself. People can access discussions about various disability arts online. There are also plenty of ways to get involved in viewing, hearing or expressing visual artwork, music, film, performing arts and literature due in the future.
If real-time interaction is needed, most people currently speak face-to-face via Zoom. If you need help setting up Zoom, then click here for help via their website. YouTube is also regularly used to show videos, and webpages often give plenty of information about the event or opportunity too.
So, I’m keen to release more information to my readers. What disability arts are available soon?
Artist in Residence (2020): Elinor Rowlands – ‘I dug into the soil and I grew things’
What does it involve?
Every year, Drake music provides D/deaf and/or disabled individuals planning to use sound and music with professional practice with a ten-month opportunity. Within this time, they have a chance to work on a musical project in collaboration with Drake Music. They’re labelled as one of Drake Music’s Artists in Residency, as Elinor Rowlands was in 2020/21.
After finishing her project, Elinor went on to share ‘I Dug into the soil and I grew things’ with others. It is a series of well textured videos that explore the emotions that various objects hold. However, she plans to expand her work in the future by creating an immersive digital experience.
When asked, she explained the reasons she has chosen to develop this work:
“Here, my synaesthesia expresses live storytelling and embodied memory through objects. I use sound as a way to express and recall memories and dreams held in the prisms of objects, we keep, gather and display in our rooms and about us.”
Her work debuted at DM on the AiR last winter. This was an accessible micro-festival set up to celebrate the DM Artists in Residence. With a feast of new music, it also included a research & development performance for people to experience.
For more information about how Elinor interacted with her audience with her personal appearance and footage via Zoom, you’re best heading to the Drake Music webpage to learn more about her. You can also take a look at Elinor’s website for more information too.
Elinor has since gone on to develop her project further. ‘I dug into the soil and I grew things’ has reappeared, and the recent release of Velvet Curtains might well interest others. It’s available for viewing online via YouTube now or from the Drake Music webpage mentioned earlier. This is an audio-video piece about the internal lived experience of autism.
The Disability Discrimination Act: 25 Years on for Disability Arts
What does it involve?
This might not sound like an event, but I know I haven’t yet drawn people’s attention towards it via The Disability Issue. People might not believe the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act was something significantly linked with disability arts. However, many other disabled artists, disabled people and I beg to differ.
When the 1995 DDA arrived disabled people wanted many improvements to arrive over time. However, what’s happened since hasn’t led to disabled artists painting colourful, accessible pathway pictures and selling them for decent sums of money. This may only be an article, but, written by Shape Art’s chair Tony Heaton OBE, it provides people with many links to the key stories about how disability arts has been used as a power within the UK. Shape Arts first began in the 1970s, with other disability arts organisations such as Graeae and Heart n Soul formed in the 1980s.
A link also gives people access to plenty of films kept on the National Disability Arts and Collection Archive (NDACA) website. These are films showing both artistic performance and discussion about the past experiences. In a video, the life of the late disabled artist Steve Cribbs is discussed by his brother Joe. Plus, footage of Ian Stanton performing is also available, along with his wife Audrey speaking about the life of the late disability rights activist and musician too.
However, I recommend reading Tony Heaton’s article on Shape Arts website in full before moving on to view these films. He provides a good introduction about how the power of disability arts has existed for quite some time.
Shadowlight Artists Luminous Exhibition
Available until 11 November 2021.
What does it involve?
This showcase stood out so much when I decided to browse DAO’s magazine. By heading to this webpage alone, you’ll immediately find plenty of visual art entertainment. You can also read plenty of material about the artists and artwork shown too.
Shadowlight Artists’ Luminous exhibition was due to be made available in November 2020 in Oxford. However, when it was about to begin, the nations lockdown interfered with the project’s production. A second lockdown then appeared when the gallery was showing the exhibition too. However, a virtual exhibition is now available. Fans of the artwork can now take a good, long look at everything on show too.
From the start of the page, you’ll be able to scroll down, quickly enter the virtual exhibition, and also read more about each artist when viewing their material.
The Shadowlight Artists include Danny Smith, Richard Hunt, Wendy Belcher, Tom Breach, Mark Hemsworth and Lucy Skuce. Please, head to the DAO website to view their work and learn so much more about them. They’ve clearly put plenty of effort into their work. Give it the attention it deserves!
Heart n Soul at Home
Every workday, and sometimes weekends too.
What does it involve?
You may well already be aware of the organisation, but, if not, Heart n Soul is an award-winning creative arts company and charity. They have believed in the power and talents of people with learning disabilities for quite a while now. They provide them with opportunities to discover, develop and share their power and talent as widely as possible.
During the Lockdown period, Heart ‘n’ Soul have clearly made a major effort to keep people entertained. These activities obviously are not suitable for myself and many other disabled people. But people with learning disabilities can be significantly entertained during this period with a many artistic classes available on a weekly basis via Zoom.
One point they make that I’m particularly fond of is that they simply want to make sure their attendees have a lot of fun! People will be able to access visual art, dance, music and other arts in various session coming soon.
If you’re totally new to their website, I recommend starting off at Heart n Soul at Home. The website’s very easy to browse, and you’ll be able to find out more about their past, present and future events and opportunities too.
The Art House: Wakefield’s Friendly Gallery with Workshops & Courses Due
Courses and workshops are between £35 and £125.
What does it involve?
With events and exhibitions underway, making people aware that they might want to keep track of The Art House Gallery in Wakefield is on the blog’s to-do list this week. Their exhibitions to be launched don’t involve the work of disabled artists alone. However, in the past, they’ve given disabled people equal rights in terms of opportunities to have our work on display.
After hearing about his work, in February 2020 I attended Justin Edgar’s Reasonable Adjustment exhibition. The Art House in Wakefield was available after a train journey to Yorkshire, and Justin’s work didn’t disappoint. It was also great to chat with him via Zoom recently too, and an interview with the filmmaker should be available soon as well. If you want to learn more about what Reasonable Adjustment was all about, you can still head to the exhibition’s website.
Other disabled artists who have had work displayed at The Art House include Shape Art’s chair Tony Heaton OBE. In 2019, his exhibition named Altered was on display from March till May. A video is available on the Art House’s exhibition webpage telling you more about what it involved as well.
The Art House has also now announced the list of this summer’s six-week courses and workshops online. I might well mention these in more detail when the summertime appears. Still, if you’re very keen to find out more, just click the link to find out more about it.
Do Not Despair!
There might not have been as many opportunities to get creative with the help of others this week. However, what you read about and view online should inspire you to create artwork as well. You’ve got to use your imagination after reading, viewing and hearing the arts. What art impressed you most? What would you change about artwork if it didn’t impress you enough? If you want to get involved with the arts, don’t be afraid to start alone. Try to come up with your own ideas and work from there.
We all have our own lives to focus on, so what means a lot to you? Disability arts experts such as Tony Heaton OBE often exploit their feelings through disability arts. Disabled artists often loudly express what’s most important to them with the work they do too.
On Tuesday, I’ll be providing you with an interview with senior producer Jo Verrent. She’s a solid member of staff at Unlimited, an important disability arts programme that’s currently developing into an independent organisation. She’s also played a significant role and has helped to develop the UK’s Disability Arts Alliance #WeShallNotBeRemoved over the past 12 months as well.
I’ll be writing three other interviews that will be shared on both The Disability Issue and #WeShallNotBeRemoved’s website with Jo Verrent’s written session soon as well.