Altered Landscapes

An exploration of Juan delGado's exhibition...


The exhibition starts outside the door, with a welcome sign that states how the art space is intentionally darkened, and kindly signposts the audience to accessible alternatives if needed. On entering the exhibition, I find myself submerged in darkness, invited in by a dim ambient light bulb to 1 of 3 landscape images. Background noise echoes through the exhibition space, creating an ambiguous and atmospheric tone. The text on the first wall accurately describes what the exhibition entails, in addition to this there is a longer printed supplement, an 'easy read' guide around the exhibition particularly useful to those with language difficulties, and an enlarged text. These extra steps taken to ensure accessibility provide an inclusive framework, creating a well thought-out welcome to all. The offer of additional information bodes well for everyone, as the photographs document purposefully dim-lit landscapes that insist on being seen up close with difficulty.

The first image shows a discoloured, yellow-tinged industrial terrain. The sense of darkness it is accompanied by, with only a light bulb to draw light from, heightens a sense of struggle and allows one to imagine how it might be like for someone to walk through these landscapes at night. The second image offers a softer version of abandonment; a yellow sweater amongst a straw field. The contrast between man made and natural elements feels more commonplace, but proposes questions of whom it belongs to as the notion of disbandment is takes hold. The final image conjures a grey landscape of bare trees, evergreens and electric pylons amongst a fog. This image leaves me thinking it could be anywhere in the world, but it smacks of the UK.

Moving into the film space, there is a low hanging light fitting installation, with brightly coloured visuals of somebodies point of view, walking through various landscapes. Leaves; grass; fields; pavements provides a sense of movement and urgency. This installation is placed directly adjacent to the film, leading us to view.

The film begins by overlooking coloured city lights, a city unknown, with stars reflected just as brightly in the sky.  It conjures up the image of his home, a place he needs to leave. The breathing of the narrator, the sounds of his environment and his internal thoughts spoken out loud make this film ever more real and immersive.  

"They look the same, yet somehow different. The lights, the colours, the shapes."

The two mediums are brought together with subtitled and spoken word, lending a painfully real insight into the thought process of war-led heartbreak.

"I need a response. I am in a world of silence. But I must find you. I need a sign. Those vast vessels which once carried our dreams, they are all empty now."

His voice trembles; he becomes upset and unclear to make out, leading us to engage with the text. He is reasoning with someone, ultimately saying his goodbyes. As black and white features of his city move to shots of traffic at night, it becomes apparent he is fleeing.

"The war has changed everything, it comes with a price. I'm changing, I'm becoming without you, this sickness is taking me over… I must leave, Habibi."

Bright black and white images emerge, depicting a starker, but still bleak, reality that is all too reminiscent of the UK and Europe. Natural images of mountains, sea, rivers and grass appear, and then traffic appears. This shows another form of uncertainty; a cold, harsh viewpoint takes hold. The blend of grey scenes of discarded junk, dumping grounds and bare trees conjure up a metaphor for a new future in an unknown place. His breathing turns to heavy panting as he crosses grass and fields, along with several discarded items on his way towards a dumping ground, a sight that feels all too familiar still. Emptiness and endless grey images give a very familiar perspective. There is something heavily weighted here. Yet this isn't where the eeriness lies, rather it's uncertainty that festers. There is imagery of plastic in trees in the wind, resonant of paper fortunes tied to Japanese 'O-mikuji' trees.

As the film draws to an end we are faced with the view of barbed wire on a motorway, as the sounds of seagulls and wind merges in with the sounds of passing cars.

DelGado's film and exhibition offers a deeply personal account and heartfelt insight of what it is like to flee your home country amidst a war in search of an alternative. Despite a clear attachment to his home and evident regret, Habibi makes the brave decision to leave this country risking he may never see his loved ones or home again. DelGado's installation is a fully engaging experience, inviting his audience to witness an authentic account of an endangered individual affected directly by war. 

Artist Opportunity

Opportunity for artists with the Oriel Davies Gallery...


I am writing from Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown, to let you know that we have an exciting opportunity for new artists.

Litmus is a programme which offers early career artists the chance to develop and present their work through spaces across Wales and the Welsh Borders.

Here at Oriel Davies, we have a Litmus space which is small and yet versatile, measuring at 158cm (w) x 212cm (l) x 219cm (h). 

We have two Litmus spaces which we would like to take applications for - artists are encouraged to submit applications showing ambition, experimentation and creative risk taking as part of a commitment to developing their creative practice.

You can find more information about these places and how to apply by visiting:

Artist Call Out

Why? Fest is looking for Midlands based Bands, Acoustic acts and Spoken word artists...


We are looking for artists who describe themselves as from a Diverse or Disability Arts background - to perform at this 1 Day event in Birmingham on 8th July 2017.

Please circulate this information as far as you can and to any specific artists that you feel it may be of interest for!

Artists are asked to contact Robin Surgeoner, Festival Producer in the first instance via email:

To learn more about the background to Why? Fest, please take a look at

We are hoping to finalise the line up by early June so please do not hesitate to get in touch!

INSIDE project update

Daniel and Antonia's exhibition, taking place in March!


Opening in March, is Daniel and Antonia's exhibition/installation as part of FORMAT festival. Find out more information by clicking here.

Visit the INSIDE project page for further updates and more information on other INSIDE activities.

Call for Art Submissions

Professional Development Prizes Up For Grabs!


Submit Your Artwork to Tight Modern 2016:

Tight Modern 2016 is open to submissions from UK based marginalised and disabled artists. You have until 30th October to enter your work. 

If selected, your work will tour across libraries and galleries in the UK. We also have some fantastic cash, art materials and professional development prizes up for grabs.

Don't miss the deadline - enter your work here

Public Prizes:

1st Prize: Â£250, 1:1 surgery, £50 CASS Art materials
2nd Prize: Â£175, 1:1 surgery, £50 CASS Art materials
3rd Prize: Â£50, 1:1 surgery, £40 CASS Art materials
Highly Commended: Â£40 CASS Art materials
Commended: Â£40 CASS Art materials

Judges Prizes:

Platinum: 10 hours mentoring, £250, £50 CASS Art materials
Gold: 5 hours mentoring, £175, £40 CASS Art materials
Silver: Â£100 course voucher, £150, Â£40 CASS Art materials
Bronze: Â£50 course voucher, £50, Â£40 CASS Art materials
Highly Commended: Â£40CASS Art materials
Commended: Â£40 CASS Art materials

For full information on Tight Modern, please see the website:

Call for proposals

Fierce FWD 2016: a Call for Proposals...


Fierce FWD is a development programme for artists working in Live Art and performance from or based in the West Midlands supported by Arts Council England and Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Fierce FWD offers the opportunity for artists to develop an idea for a live performance/experience in the public realm alongside a period of research and field trips.

Fierce will select between eight and ten Fierce FWD artists. Each artist will receive a micro-bursary of £500 to try an artistic experiment, develop a piece of work or conduct some research towards a project.

From the eight Fierce FWD artists two or three will receive additional funding, mentorship and producing /curatorial support to develop a finished site-specific work for Fierce Festival in October 2017.

Full application details.

Deadline: noon, Monday 26th September.


Fierce Festival 2017:

There will be no Fierce Festival in 2016. but look out for announcements regarding Club Fierce and other exciting projects soon. The next Fierce Festival will be back to takeover Birmingham the week of the 16th October 2017, under the helm of new Artistic Director Aaron Wright.

Call for Artists

A call for artists, for Tight Modern 2016!


We are delighted to announce Tight Modern 2016 is now open for submissions from UK based marginalised and disabled artists.

Our brand new website is also being launched alongside the competition; for details about how to submit work, our numerous prizes, upcoming free workshops and more go to:

Tight Modern is tight! Entries must be 13cmx18cm in portrait format, with a maximum depth of 2cm. You can submit original artworks, photography or computer generated images.
The competition is open until 30th October 2016.

Dialogue Beyond Sight Exhibition

Dialogue Beyond Sight Exhibition is a cross disciplinary and multi sensory collaboration...


... featuring the works of visually impaired artists and performers.

This exhibition brings together emerging and mainstream artists and performers in response to the theme “dialogue”. Collaborators examine the links between artist and audience, and practitioner and practice, presenting an eclectic range of artworks that include paintings, illustrations, sculptures and installations, with performances that include recital, storytelling and classical songs.

Dialogue inherently exists within creative practice and can sometimes be misunderstood or at other times completely disregarded. Artists and performers lead the authorship in interpretation of their works so it is objective, and not subjective.

Supporting the idea of objective interpretation, a series of scheduled workshops led by visually impaired artists, performers and other contributors will provide an opportunity to find out a little more about their practice.

For those visitors requiring a quiet tour of the exhibition, please contact us for an individual tour designed for your needs. Booking is essential as places are limited.


Dialogue Beyond Sight: Dialogue is curated by Andrew Mashigo and Rachel Gadsden.

It will be accompanied by a large print and Braille catalogue and includes a programme of workshops at the venue.

For enquiries, please call Andrew Mashigo on 07956 946 571 or Lynn Cox on 07818 437651.

Flora exhibition and audio description

Aberystwyth Arts Centre's latest exhibition, with audio description tours.


Vsit the next exhibition at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, flora. It's an exhibition about flowers - hopefully to bring a bit of summer to Aberystwyth amongst all this rain!

We understand how important it is for blind and partially sighted people to experience visual art, so we have developed audio description using these fantastic DiscoveryPENs. They'll be available at the desk in the gallery.

There will also be live audio description tours of the exhibition every Friday afternoon between 12-1pm.

Click here to watch the audio advert.

Call for entries

For Imaginary Worlds exhibition at Oriel Davies...


Oriel Davies invites illustrators, book artists, printmakers and comic artists and those studying any of the above to submit entries of work for consideration in an exhibition at Oriel Davies from 22nd October 2016 – mid February 2017.

There is a broad theme of 'Imaginary Worlds', and we are keen to appeal to creative professionals and students who work with, but are not limited to, illustration for children's and adult prose and poetry, graphic novels, artists books, media cartoons, posters and magazines. Sketchbooks, AV and 3D works are all valid as entries.

We are keen that works are for sale where possible. Wall mounted works should be framed and glazed.

Selection Panel:

Alex Boyd Jones, Curator and Amanda Farr, Director, Oriel Davies and Chris Glynn, Senior Lecturer Illustration, Cardiff Metropolitan University.


9am on Monday 6th June 2016


For full details and entry form:

Enquiries to or 01686 625041

*There is no geographical restriction and entry is open both to professional artists and to students (17+) currently training. There is no entry fee.