Attenborough Arts Centre and Disability Arts Online are pleased to announce the five artists selected to receive a commission of £1500 and participate in their new co-produced artist support programme.
At a time when disabled artists are facing additional and ongoing barriers to work, Disability Arts Online and Attenborough Arts Centre want to support those who are at risk of being unable to access vital resources and networks. Commencing in February and running through to June 2021, the programme will support artists to access the development, materials and resources they need to sustain their practice during the continuing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The artists will work on their commissioned activities between February and June 2021. In addition to the financial award, the artists will participate in regular conversations with each other and staff from AAC and DAO. Both organisations will work with the artists and support them to achieve their aims by helping them make connections and broaden their networks, understand and define their access needs, and through offering advice and guidance with a focus on facilitating dialogue, social exchange and mentoring support. The artists will be invited to share their work via AAC and DAO digital channels, and the programme will culminate in a public talk hosted by Disability Arts Online.
After obtaining a BA and MA at Wimbledon School of Art, Lynn Cox took a career break to have and nurture her children; allowing her to reassess her career to focus on her passions of using darkness as a device for creativity, and her interest in the Situationist practices of psychogeography and the intersection between work/ leisure. In 2013, Lynn became a Churchill Fellow, enabling her to travel to Asia; to observe exhibitions in darkness and to instigate creative art/coaching workshops in the dark. In 2017, Lynn led on the making of permanent sculptures for Eureka’s The National Children’s Museum. Subsequently, Lynn co-lead on Sense’s 9-month ‘Sensibility’ Project/Festival. Lynn is an author and speaker, covering such topics as coaching disabled people and disability arts.
“I’m making a playful film of myself walking around London in a skirt (made from white canes and copper wire) that keeps me 2M away from people – highlighting the ridiculous aspect of a blind person being able to keep socially distanced.”
Bhavani Esapathi is a maker, writer & social-tech activist working on the intersections of autoimmune diseases or invisible disabilities, migratory politics and access to healthcare. She is currently awarded the Artist-in-Residence at Invisible Flock as part of the Cost of Innovation programme and proud recipient of Art Council England’s DYCP Award [2021-2022]. Previously, she has worked with/exhibited as part of the London Design Festival, The Victoria & Albert Museum, The British Museum, Athens Digital Arts Festival, The British Council amongst others. Her seminal digital storytelling project won the WIRED Magazine’s Creative Hack Award for ‘the best idea’ category in Tokyo, Japan.
“As part of this commission I am excited to build a new oeuvre through which the chronic & disabled community can begin to define themselves for we have been spoken for far too long. This will manifest in a multitude of ways that I don’t want to give out just yet however the heart of it will be to build the right tools for the chronic-disabled community to come together and seek appropriate representation in health economy.”
Emelia Kerr Beale
Emelia Kerr Beale is a Nottingham-born artist and recent graduate of Edinburgh College of Art currently based in Glasgow. They utilise drawing, sculpture and textile to explore mental and physical health realities and the role of imagination as a tool for coping with complex conditions. At the moment they are researching and making work that centres interdependence, dedication, exhaustion, and methods of visualising better futures. As a person with ADHD, they are passionate about neuro-inclusion and celebrating neurodiverse ways of making and thinking as meaningful artistic approaches.
“For this commission, I will be celebrating the importance of drawing within my practice and working towards creating a printed publication that visually explores my lived experiences of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and how they intersect with anxiety and neurodiversity.”
Sasha Saben Callaghan
Sasha Saben Callaghan is a writer and digital artist, living in Edinburgh. She was a winner of the 2016 ‘A Public Space’ Emerging Writer Fellowship and the 2019 Pen to Paper Awards. Her illustrations have featured in a wide range of exhibitions, journals, and magazines. Sasha uses collage and photomontage to create surreal and rebellious images, blending the uncanny and the everyday and challenging viewers to see beauty beyond the mainstream.
“I’ll be producing six unique chapbooks, small, tactile time capsules, each with 32 pages of collages and mixed media, chronicling a year of the pandemic in Scotland.”
Jas Singh’s work addresses sociopolitical current affairs. Graduating from Central St Martins in 2012 with a BA Fine Art exploring time-based, durational performative and interdisciplinary practices. Life changes in 2014 resulted in neurological complications forcing him to take a hiatus. In 2018 he returned to the arts and reconfigured his method of practice from audio dissonance to considering visual overload with the same intent.
“Over the past year performing S A B O T A G E via live online streams I’ll be looking to develop this during my time with AAC & DAO.”
Michaela Butter MBE, Director, Attenborough Arts Centre said:
“These commissions are a wonderful way to celebrate 5 years since the Attenborough Arts Centre opened our major new galleries to promote access and visibility for disabled visual artists to a wider audience. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Disability Arts Online on what feels like an important opportunity to support disabled artists through these challenging times.”
Trish Wheatley BEM, Chief Executive, Disability Arts Online said:
“We’re thrilled to be working with Attenborough Arts Centre to support such a dynamic cohort of disabled artists dealing with a varied spectrum of themes and mediums. 2020 was a really tough year for everyone, but disabled artists have been hit especially hard. That’s why it feels important to be developing the careers of these five artists as 2021 gets into full swing. I’m genuinely excited to see what comes out of the programme and you should be too.”