Shortlists announced for Unlimited’s third round of commissions funding and R&D awards


Unlimited, the arts commissioning programme delivered in partnership by Shape Arts and Artsadmin, which supports disabled artists to create and present exceptional work across all art forms, today announces the artists shortlisted for the third round of exceptional and ambitious arts commissions and Research and Development (R&D) awards.

Noemi Lakmaier Cherophobia

Previous Unlimited commission – Noemi Lakmaier’s ‘Cherophobia’ performance at Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival. Photo by Grace Gelder for Unlimited.

Unlimited, funded by Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, British Council and Spirit of 2012, currently has three separate strands of support for disabled artists and companies to create new disability-led work – Main, Emerging and International. Applicants have now been shortlisted in each category by selection panels made up of industry professionals.

Sarah Pickthall, Chair of the International panel, remarks:

“It has been an honour to read through so many exciting expressions of interest within this new strand and to consider what incredible art, imagined now, will be developed further with Unlimited’s support.”

Dr Kai Syng Tan FRSA, one of the selection panellists, comments that:

“The selection process was enjoyable as it was tough! Several of the proposals were so well put together that I was buzzing with excitement as I went through the documents. I feel fortunate to have played a role in the selection process, and cannot wait to read the full proposals of the shortlisted work.”

Shortlisted artists and companies will now develop their applications, with guidance from members of the Unlimited team, before submitting full applications in February; successful applicants chosen by the panels will be announced in March 2017.

“The range of applications we’ve received this time is staggering – barrier breaking, intriguing, thought provoking work across all artforms and combinations, including digital” explains Jo Verrent, Senior Producer of Unlimited:

“We’ve had artists wanting to create work focusing on identity, politics, climate change, isolation, ethics from artists we know, and those coming to Unlimited for the first time. Those shortlisted have provoked the panels with ideas that are confident, ambitious and truly extraordinary. By supporting all the artists on the shortlists, we can be assured that there will be some incredible work coming from Unlimited over the next 18 months.”

“Unlimited was a catalyst to realising my ambition” says artist Aidan Moesby, previous Unlimited awardee and current Chair of the Emerging selection panel.

“It enabled me to create work which became my ‘calling card’. In being chair of the Emerging Artists Panel I hope to afford a range of other artists who have the vision and ability the same opportunity to realise their ambition I had, through the essential elements of funding, time and support.”

Previous Unlimited commissions were highlights of this September’s Unlimited Festivals at Southbank Centre, London and Tramway, Glasgow. These included Sheila Hill’s ‘Him’, Noëmi Lakmaier’s ‘Cherophobia’, Aaron Williamson’s ‘Demonstrating the World’ and Liz Carr’s ‘Assisted Suicide: The Musical’.

The artists shortlisted are as follows, listed by strand, including artform and location:

Main (Commissions) – main commissions for established disabled artists:

• The Calliper Kid Versus The 20-Metre Rule (Jason Wilsher-Mills); visual arts, Midlands
• Cosmic Scallies by Jackie Hagan (Graeae); theatre, London
• Family Picture Book Concert (Britten Sinfonia); music, South East
• Hold the Hearse! (Julie McNamara); theatre, London
• Jumble Soul (Jackie Hagan); theatre, North
• Lump (Justin Edgar / 104 films); visual arts, London
• Memory Garden (Bonny Cummins); visual arts, South East
• Playing God (Ben Fredericks); visual arts, Midlands
• Sailing Through The Dark (Amelia Cavallo); combined arts – circus, London
• Street Candide (Bradley Hemmings, G+DIF); combined arts – outdoor, London
• Transformations (Owen Lowery); literature, North
• Velcocity (The British Paraorchestra); music, South West
• Vogue: The House of Krip (Fittings Multimedia Arts); theatre, North
• Wards (Penny Pepper); combined arts – literature, London
• We Are Fucked (Jo Bannon); theatre, South West
• We sat on a mat and had a chat and made maps! (Kai Syng Tan); combined arts – visual arts, North

Main (R&D Awards) – R&D awards for established disabled artists:

• Absent voices (Esther Appleyard-Fox); combined arts – visual arts, South East
• Altered-Ego (David Sinden); visual arts, Wales
• Another England (Vici Wreford-Sinnott); theatre, North
• Breathing Installation (Anna Berry); visual arts, Midlands
• Bubble and Butch (Rinkoo Barpaga); combined arts – visual arts, Midlands
• Cracked Up (Elaine Paton); theatre, Wales
• A Crash Course in Cloudspotting (Raquel Meseguer); combined arts – visual arts, South West
• Eye2Eye – River Runs Through (Omeima Mudawi Rowlings); visual arts, South East
• Hut 8 (Mark Smith / Deaf Men Dancing); dance, London
• Importance of being… (Chloe Philips); theatre, Wales
• Inspiration Porn (Simon Startin / Woven); theatre, London
• Jeremiah (Jack Dean); theatre, North
• It’s the Cuts (No Excuses); theatre, North
• Secret Songs of our Stars (Juliet Robson); combined arts – visual arts, South East
• #Toy Like Me at Home Doll House (Rebecca Atkinson); Other – visual arts, South East

International – international collaborative commissions:

• Alegria Samba School (The New Carnival Company CIC); combined arts – music, South West
• Antardrishti (working title) (Baluji Shrivastav); music, London
• Archive of Hope (the vacuum cleaner / James Leadbitter); combined arts – visual arts, London
• [between language and skin] (Aidan Moesby); visual arts, North
• Beyond the surface (Zoe Partington); visual arts, Midlands
• The Deal (Equart / Salubrious productions); music, Wales
• Gamelan Plus (Adrian Lee); music, London
• It was Paradise (Rachel Gadsden); visual arts, London
• Pulse (Chisato Minamimura); combined arts – dance, London
• The Singapore ‘d’ Monologues (Kaite O’Reilly); theatre, Wales
• Somebody’s Watching Me (Billy Read); dance, Midlands
• Still Tragic But Brave (Barbara Lisicki/Wanda Barbara); combined arts – digital, London
• The Voice of the Unicorn (working title) (Richard Butchins); visual arts, London
• A Trail of two cities (Maria Oshodi); combined arts – audio, London
• X0X0 (Working Title) (Jane Gauntlett); other, London

Emerging – commissions for young and/or emerging disabled artists to create work or run participatory projects:

• The cripTOMfactor (Tom Wentworth); theatre, Wales
• Elephant (Milton Lopes); combined arts – circus, London
• Gallanach (Amy Rosa); visual arts, Scotland
• Labelled (Jessica Starns/Dyspraxic Me); combined arts – visual arts, London
• Louder is Not Always Clearer (Jonny Cotsen); theatre, Wales
• Me, Myself and Us: Creative Workshops (Rowan James); combined arts – performance, South West
• Monument (Art In Motion – AIM); combined arts – live art, South West
• My Dirty Secret (Kristina Veasey); visual arts, South East
• My Life in London (Working Title)(Thompson Hall & Ian Wornast); visual arts, London
• One way or another [working title] (Aby Watson); dance, Scotland
• Paragon City (Jason Eade); other, South East
• Pull Up (Delson Weekes); combined arts – music, London
• Reflective Moves (current working title) (Helen Hall); dance, Northern Ireland
• Spin (Rick Rodgers / Hubble Bubble Productions); other – outdoor, South East