Our patron

Did you know that Rachel Gadsden was the patron of DASH?


Here's a little information about Rachel...

Rachel Gadsden is a multi-award winning artist who has a BA and MA in Fine Art; she was artist for Hampton Court Palace 2008 - 2009, and has undertaken 4 major commissions for UK Parliament (2009 – 2015). London 2012 Cultural Olympiad commissions followed - Unlimited Global Alchemy and Starting Line.

In 2013 Gadsden represented the UK, creating “This Breathing World” for Qatar – UK Year of Culture 2013, for British Council and Qatari Government, HRH Prince Charles formally opened the exhibition. Further 2013 commissions included Talking Souls with BC South Africa & Cube of Curiosity with Marc Brew for Liberty Festival.

In 2014 Gadsden created a digital artwork for the Sochi, Winter Paralympic Torch Lighting. Gadsden also embarked on Al Noor ~ Fragile Vision, a multi-cultural collaborative UK and Middle East project and she recently completed 14 Stations of the Cross paintings for St Joseph's Cathedral, Abu Dhabi.

2015 commissions have included The Four Fridas for GDIF, Almanda for Freewheelers Theatre and Media and ILHAM exhibition and conference at MIA, Qatar.

In 2016 Gadsden was awarded an Artist international Development Fund Award and an a-n Travel Bursary to go to Palestine and has been appointed lead artist for the Lighting of the Rio Paralympic Torch Festival at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.

Gadsden was awarded the National Diversity Award 2013: Positive Role Model for Disability was shortlisted for the European Diversity Awards, Hero of the Year 2014 and won Breakthrough UK - National Independent Living Award "Influencing disabled people's participation in society".


DASH bids farewell to Trustee

Last week DASH bid a fond farewell to trustee Nicola Lane, after having served three years on the board.


Nicola is an artist-filmmaker, who first became involved with DASH in 2012. She remembers: "I was excited by DASH's 'Unlimited' commissions for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad."

After this it became clear that she wanted to contribute to supporting disabled artists working in the mainstream, because she believes their point of view is creatively innovative. As a disabled artist herself, she benefited in 2001 from an Arts Council funded professional development opportunity, which significantly advanced her artistic practice.

Nicola joined the board of DASH in 2013, and has spent the last three years being involved with the exchange of ideas and creativity.

Nicola believes that DASH makes a difference by providing disabled artists with high profile opportunities and enabling disabled people to access creative practice which will lead to more disabled artists...

Nicola says: 'It is with immense regret that I feel I have to leave my position of trustee at DASH as at this point, as presently I cannot contribute as much as I would like to. I have sincerely loved working with the board and staff to support their work with disabled artists and am immensely proud of our achievements together.'

The board and staff thank Nicola for all her support and encouragement over the last three years and wish her all the best with her future projects.

Office Space Available

Celf o Gwmpas has an exciting opportunity to rent office space...


Office Space Available from April 1st 2016 in part of a lively and vibrant Arts Centre.

We have 2/3 desks in a spacious shared office available from April 1st at Centre Celf, Llandrindod Wells. 

They are in a fully accessible building, close to the town centre.

£100 per desk per calender month inclusive of all bills + WIFI access.

Alongside the desk space, additional conference space and meeting rooms are are available.

For more information, contact Sarah at centrecelf@celfogwmpas.org or call 01597 822777


A message to the young man I met on the train today


Today I caught the 11.53am Virgin train from Birmingham New St to Shrewsbury, it's not a train I normally catch.  I found a seat and started to eat the meal deal I had picked up in the station, when you asked if you could sit in the chair opposite mine.  I said yes, of course.  The rest of the seats were taken by other passengers who barely registered they were sitting next to another person.

I got out the Metro newspaper to see if I could finish the 'challenging' Sodoku puzzle, something I never quite seem to be able do, occasionally I looked of the window, I noticed you looking around and out of the window a lot.

When we got to Wellington you asked me what the time was, so I told you 12.38.  You then asked me if the next stop was Shrewsbury.  I said yes, and asked if you had not been to Shrewsbury before.  You told me that you were from Wales and that you had literally just come out of prison. I said I bet you are looking forward to going home, your face lit up, you told me you had been inside for three years.

So we started a conversation and you told me that you have ADHD, Aspergers and anger issues and that next week you have an interview for a job as a bin man.  I asked if there was anything you wanted to do, but you couldn't get past the fact that you would be a bin man.  So I asked you if you liked art.  Your face lit up again, you told me you have a GCSE in art and that you had a good art tutor in prison.  Then you got your bag and pulled out a sheaf of drawings and paintings. You told me they were just sketches, I told you to always to hold on to your art and that it may take you places you hadn't imagined.  I could see that you have a talent that is begging to be developed.  

I gave you my card and told you that DASH worked with Disabled Artists and told you to contact me when you are settled back home. I'm really glad I talked to you today, I hope that you get in touch and that at the very least you had a good experience on your first day out.

Paula Dower

Turning Point West Midlands

News and opportunities from the latest Turning Point West Midlands newsletter.


Studios Available at Stryx, Birmingham
There are currently studios available at Stryx, based at Minerva Works in Digbeth. If interested, email a link to your website and a short artist biography to stryxarts@gmail.com

Studios to rent, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
Located on the ground floor of a refurbished block, it has been specially designed to produce high class work space with a communal bench for start-up businesses. It includes individual sound proof units, which are suitable for jewellers, artists, office work and other types of business. Facilities include a kitchen / restroom, toilet and shower, and use of a courtyard; equipment includes a polishing room. Prices start at £70 p.c.m for communal bench.

Exhibition Space Available - Hereford Museum and Art Gallery
Herefordshire Museum Service is accepting submissions for exhibition proposals for the Art Gallery in Hereford. Submissions will be put before the Exhibition Panel who meet quarterly in March, June, September and December.

The Elmley Foundation 
Funding for groups in Herefordshire and Worcestershire planning arts events or purchases. There are two funds - Events and Activities and Arts Equipment. Upcoming deadlines: Friday 25 March 2016, Friday 17 June 2016, Friday 30 September 2016.

Coventry Small Arts Grants Scheme
Grants are available to local creative organisations and community groups organisations for high quality arts activities that have a direct benefit for the city of Coventry. Upcoming deadlines: 1 April 2016, 1 June 2016, 1 October 2016.

Open Access Awards, Creative Black Country 

Supporting activities that build audiences and promote artistic excellence in the Black Country, and open to individuals, groups and organisations in Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. Seed Awards, up to £500; Grassroots, up to £2k; Growth, up to £4k.Deadlines:  Monday 16 May, Monday 19 Sep 2016.

Paintworks Public Art Commission
Crest Nicholson and Verve are seeking to commission an Artist or Artists to develop new public works as part of the development of Paintworks in Bristol. The Commissioners are looking for visually engaging artworks that animate the public spaces. Deadline: 9am, Monday 11 April 2016.

Hereford Contemporary 
Applications are invited from designer makers working in non-traditional and traditional media. Selection will consider design and technical skill and reflect a variety of media and styles. The show will take place from 11-13 November 2016. Deadline: Wednesday 30 March 2016.

East meets West 2
QUADFORMAT and GRAIN Projects seek submissions on the theme of 'leisure' from emerging photographers and filmmakers who are based in the East or West Midlands, or those who have recently graduated (within 3 years) from a Midlands-based university. Selected artists will be invited to exhibit their work in QUAD's Extra Gallery spaces in an exhibition from July - September 2016, and take part in portfolio review sessions with industry expert(s) as part of their ongoing commitment to supporting the development of emerging talent within the region. Deadline: Midnight, Friday 15 April 2016.



Various opportunities

Here's the DASH highlights from the recent Turning Point West Midlands newsletter...


New Art West Midlands is now open at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery,  mac birmingham and The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry. The shows take place until May 2016. 

Exhibition dates:

Waterhall Gallery, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Friday 12 February to Sunday 15 May 2016

mac birmingham
Saturday 13 February to Sunday 10 April 2016

The Herbert Gallery & Museum, Coventry
Friday 26 February to Sunday 24 April 2016

Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Friday 11 March to Saturday 14 May 2016.

The Fine Art of Hanging On, our event as part of New Art West Midlands 2016 in partnership with The New Art Gallery Walsall took place on Saturday 27 February 2016. The event explored the opportunities and challenges that artists face. Audio recordings from the event are now available.

Help Arts Council England build a more diverse workforce
Arts Council England are working to create a practical toolkit for arts and culture organisations, which will support people management and foster good diversity practice across the sector. They are asking those who work in the arts sector to fill in a short survey to help them to produce something that arts organisations, museums, libraries and others can use easily, that inspires and enables.

New Art WM – Art Market Project: Freelance Curator Bursary Awards 
New Art WM is offering three bursaries of £2000 each to freelance curators or artist-curators who are based in the West Midlands region.  These bursaries are designed to support WM curator/artist representation, mentoring, and continued professional development. Deadline: 5pm, Friday 25 March 2016.

Direct Art Action, opportunities available in Walsall:

Direct Art Action have multiple units in Walsall town centre in which they will be running exhibitions, installations and public engagements. They would like to offer opportunities for artists and organisers to get involved with their spaces. Contact Gavin Lawley - gavlawley@gmail.com for more information.

What are the challenges for visual artists?

Your opportunity to tell Arts Council England, what you think!


The Arts Council has recently commissioned a research study on the livelihoods of visual artists. Our aim is to gain a comprehensive understanding of how artists in England live and work.

This will provide valuable insights for the Arts Council, other policymakers, funders and stakeholders in the visual arts, to inform future support and investment.

Here's where you come in...

We need your help with one important aspect of the study - an online survey, designed to be completed by visual artists.

This survey will help us understand how visual artists are currently living and making work, as well as any barriers preventing them from realising their full potential.

If you are a visual artist, we'd be very grateful if you would take some time to help us by completing the survey. If you know or work with artists, please pass on the link below and ask them to get involved. The deadline for responses is 25th March 2016.

Take the survey >

This survey and the wider study are being run by research consultancy TBR, a-n and James Doeser. Many thanks for your time - we really value your contributions.

Media Archive Traineeships

Are now open for 2016 applications!


Please help us bring new and diverse talent into the archive sector.

It is vital for the Archive sector to record and preserve diverse stories from people of all backgrounds. Therefore, the Media Archive Traineeship aims to bring fresh and diverse talent into the industry. We are pleased to report that in last year's scheme 57% of trainees were female, 14% came from a BAME background, and 7% had a declared disability. We hope these figures will be even better in 2016. 

We would be really grateful if you could help us spread the word to potential applicants, using any of the below in your newsletters or social media.

Newsletter copy:

Dreaming of a career working with film, TV or digital media? Creative Skillset has again partnered with Film London and FOCAL International to give 10 individuals the chance to kick-start their careers – as Media Archive Trainees.

If successful, you'll complete four weeks' paid intensive practical training in London, developing key skills in film handling, media asset management, intellectual property rights anddigital archiving, whilst learning about the crucial role of heritage and archives in film, TV and the wider Creative Industries.

You'll be matched with two of the UK host companies, where you'll complete paid industry work placements lasting up to 10 weeks each. And if that was not enough, you'll have an industry mentor – giving you priceless career insight along the way.

So if you're looking for a fulfilling career in media heritage, simply click here and apply by Monday 29 February 2016. You could be that essential link, helping to keep our media heritage alive!

Twitter/Facebook copy:

Love Film or TV? Start a career in archives + keep our media heritage alive! Find out about our new traineeships: http://j.mp/1UY2zh0

Save classic Film and TV for future generations! Start your career in media archives. APPLY to our new traineeship: http://j.mp/1UY2zh0


Reef Television looking for contributors

Reef Television are looking for contributors to participate in a BBC documentary exploring identity fronted by Alison Lapper...


...an artist with a disability and internationally renowned photographer, Rankin.

Both presenters will explore the relationship between image and identity and what we mean when talking about beauty.   

Both are fascinated by the ability of the photographic medium to challenge people's perception of this subject and want to present a broader and richer notion of what image and beauty actually means to us all. 

Reef Television would like to talk to people who have a disability or have suffered some trauma or accident that has altered their appearance,  or it could be someone who's struggled with the way they have looked all their lives.  They are particularly keen to find a male wheelchair and/or prosthetics user who is not a military veteran.

If you are interested in discussing this subject further and might be willing to be part of this film please contact Cat at nbp@reeftv.com

The well-being of those who agree to take part will be treated as paramount.