Recipients of the 2019 Emergence Bursary announced


Disability Arts Online (DAO), Shape Arts and a-n The Artists Information Company are pleased to announce the four artists selected for the Emergence Bursary. The bursary is a new award created as part of a pilot project aiming to tackle the isolation, low confidence and marginalisation of emerging disabled artists, as well the lack of accessible opportunities in mainstream arts settings.

Emergence illustration

Illustration by Josh Rooster

The artists chosen for this inaugural award are:

Fae Kilburn – a printmaker who specialises in linocuts, woodcuts and mono-prints, using texture as a way to investigate nature and personal histories.

Letty McHugh – interactive artist and writer who creates long-running participatory projects that discuss the universality of personal experience.

Lauren Saunders – a socially-engaged interdisciplinary visual artist whose practice explores the act of drawing in the expanded field.

Leo Wight – a predominantly black and white analogue photographer making work exploring identity, sexuality, gender, queer culture and imagery.

In accepting their awards, the artists said:

“This will enable me to develop all aspects of my practice; by being creatively challenged and mentored I hope to write and talk more effectively about my work and learn complex new printmaking processes, moving towards a more tactile approach, which will physically engage people.”

Fae Kilburn

“This opportunity will be transformative to my artistic practice, enabling me to travel, research and create work that would have been otherwise impossible.”

Letty McHugh

“I hope to improve the quality and scope of my practice, and increase my confidence alongside raising my profile. Also to use this platform to speak about my lived experience and challenge the stigma around mental disabilities.”

Lauren Saunders

“I am very excited about the opportunity this bursary is giving me to get back into the darkroom and make new work. As well as this the support provided by DAO and Shape will help me develop my practice and negotiate the art world as an emerging artist.”

Leo Wight

The artists will receive a £1500 bursary award as well as bespoke support to help develop their practice during the coming year. For its initial pilot phase, from January 2019, the collaborating organisations will profile the work of the artists, as well as provide professional guidance. We aim to disseminate findings about the barriers emerging disabled artists are facing in these tough times, as well as explore innovative access solutions.