The Emergence Bursary is a new award created by a-n, Disability Arts Online and Shape 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. Here, we showcase some of the existing work of the four inaugural bursary recipients, Fae KilburnLetty McHugh, Lauren Saunders and Leo Wight.

The four recipients are appearing at the Emerging Artist Discussion event, hosted by Shape and Disability Arts Online at Tate Exchange, London on Friday 22 March (free, but book now to avoid disappointment as places are limited).

Hint: Click on the images for an expanded view.

Fae Kilburn

I am a Birmingham based Printmaker, I exhibit my art nationally and internationally. My recent work is a series of mono print portraits exploring family, disability and identity. Whilst creating this work a softer colour pallet and new style emerged. In 2018 I was KIRA artist in residence CA, the quiet environment suited me, reinforced my creativity and influenced the style and size of my work. I have been awarded the Emergence bursary 2019 and arts council funding to continue creating work inspired by the Canadian landscape and I will be returning there this summer, the bursaries are also enabling me to create prints in different locations across the UK.

Letty McHugh

I am an artist and writer with an MA in Creative Practice from Leeds College of Art. I am influenced by Situationist theory and Object theory. Underpinning all my work is the idea that the primary value of all objects is their ability to evidence human existence and communicate intangible emotions, memories and experiences.

My work explores the universality of personal experiences and the resilience of ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. I create long-running participatory projects which can lead to a wide range of outcomes. For my current project I’m working with print and origami.

Seeds with a message

Love, Letty x

Lauren Saunders

Lauren Saunders is an award-winning and socially-engaged interdisciplinary visual artist living & working in Hull, UK. Her work responds to philosophical questions by systematically dissecting, capturing, interrogating and translating thoughts and experiences through collage and by drawing in the expanded field. The intellectual, sensual and material sits in relation to the concepts, subjects, media, contexts and surfaces explored within her participatory practice.

Lauren graduated with a 1:1 whilst her work explored the rhizomatic nature of reality; she has since turned to exploring environmental philosophy and Deep Ecology. Lauren has also worked professionally in theatres, colleges, healthcare and community settings and on various public engagement projects.

Leo Wight

Leo Wight is an artist living and working in Glasgow, he graduated from The Glasgow School of Art in 2018 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography.

Mundane, yet profoundly intimate, Leo Wight’s work explores daily life spent with another, the spaces they inhabit and the intimate moments they share. Working predominately in black and white analog photography, he embraces the unique qualities of the medium allowing grain, dust, blurs and scratches to add their voices to his photographs. Through his photographs and moving images he creates a quality of stillness, quiet and closeness, enhancing the intimacy the work evokes. Through his work he hopes to normalise a view of queer intimacy and queer bodies.


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