Contact Dance Company

At Wolverhampton Arena on Friday 13th October...

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'A breath taking, beautiful performance that provided food for the soul'...

Contact Dance Company will be performing powerful duets that explore the unique relationships & dynamics that hold us together or pull us apart.

The performances will include duets by Mosaic Disability Theatre, made during the company's residency at Arena Theatre

Friday 13th October at 1:30pm and 7:30pm - tickets priced £12 and £10 - with local groups discount £5. Matinee all tickets, £5

Tickets can be booked from The Arena Theatre Box Office on: 01902 321321

Contact Dance Company are part of Shropshire Inclusive Dance - www.sidance.live

FEDS is live

The exciting Film Exhibition, Distribution and Sales Trainee Scheme (FEDS) is live!

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Our career-making FEDS scheme is now open!

If you want to get into film but can't see a way to do it, this scheme is for you. FEDS is a proven route into the film industry and you will:

- get eight months of London Living Wage paid training at a film festival or cinema in York, Stirling, Glasgow, Cardiff or Sheffield;

- make a creative contribution, become a valued member of the team and learn a range of skills

- get a CV that will put you ahead of the competition

- attend regular industry sessions that inform you about the whole film business.

This scheme has helped dozens of people get their start in film, with over 80% staying in the film industry.

We want to make the film industry more inclusive. People of colour and people who consider themselves to have a disability are underrepresented in cinema and festival jobs. That's why we strongly encourage applications from these groups.

All you need to do to apply is fill in our short application form by 18 October. You don't need past experience, but you do need to have a passion for films and audiences. Read more here.

Artist Call-Out!

Our Biggest Artist Call-Out from Shape Arts...

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Submissions are open for "Collective Influence", the 2018 Shape Open group exhibition!

Disabled and non-disabled artists are invited to submit work for our 2018 Shape Open, “Collective Influence” - the UK's leading disability-led group exhibition - to be held at The Art Pavilion, Mile End, London from Thursday 22nd March until Thursday 5th April 2018.

Held in high-profile, artist-led spaces, the Open provides an exciting opportunity for disabled and non-disabled artists to show disability-led work and discuss views and ideas about issues and topics which are often sidelined within artistic debate. This year's theme is “Collective Influence”: what influences you? How does influence go further than inspiration

Submissions deadline: 12 noon, Monday 16th October.

To submit work for the Open or for more information, please visit: www.shapearts.org.uk/news/open-2018-submissions

Nudging Meteors

Exhibition opening at artwalk wakefield...

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Nudging Meteors: gobscure. 27/09/2017 to 10/11/2017. art house, wakefield.

http://www.the-arthouse.org.uk/event/164/gobscure-nudging-meteors

Exhibition opens: artwalk wakefield on Wednesday 27th September between 5pm and 9pm.

Wakefield is bellybutton this world crawl-climb-limp-slither-wheeled outta. everywhere narratives are wrecked - now we need to remember pasts & rewrite futures. most us silenced way too long so heres a broader story, nudging meteors singing still beating, never beaten.

Artist's performance, 7pm, 27.09 - eagles can paint theyre jes no tellin - are humans pinnacle of evolution - michael gove is minister for yeast, literally! we can learn from other species. so come join with creative remembrances & resistances - thinking literally outside boxes. yu too can make yr mark, gifts will be given

Can you please help us tour this elsewhere? Please spread the word, thank-you!

Field Guide

Support for Artists...

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We're really excited to launch our Autumn I Winter season of FIELD GUIDE events!

FIELD GUIDE is a programme of events that support artists to find ways of sustaining and extending their artistic practice.

PORTFOLIO REVIEWS FOR ARTISTS, MAKERS AND DESIGNERS on Wednesday 4th October, between 10:30am and 4pm, £5.

Get your portfolio seen by professionals, discuss your goals and gain expert advice and insight.

Bookable one-to-one 45 minute sessions are available with Shân Edwards, Artistic Director, The Art House, Amanda Peach, Retail Programme and Development Manager, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and guest curator (a replacement for Bryony Bond, Creative Director, The Tetley to be confirmed shortly).

Book a place with your chosen professional and we will contact you to arrange a time for your 45 minute session.

BOOK HERE

FUNDING FOR ARTISTS, ACE Grants for the Arts on
Wednesday 1st November, between 11am and 4pm, £10.

With David Gilbert, Programme Producer, The Art House.

Find out what funding is available for artists as part of the ACE Grants for the Arts award, gain an insight into the process and what makes a successful application.

One to one advice: Funding for artists, ACE Grants for the Arts
Wednesday 15 November I 10.30am – 4.00pm I £5

Book onto 'Funding for artists, ACE Grants for the Arts' and apply for a follow up 45 minute session for individual feedback on your proposal.

BOOK HERE

Ways of Seeing Art

Exploring the links between Art and Audio Description...

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Six months ago, Shape took part in Tate Exchange with a programme featuring a series of art workshops, a showcase of work by the artists shortlisted for Shape's 2017 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, and a Symposium exploring the links between audio description and art. 

To accompany this programme we created a booklet highlighting the barriers disabled people face in the arts, with an emphasis on blind and visually impaired people, and to encourage arts organisations to experiment with their audio description offer (as well as other forms of access) so that a richer, more creative experience is provided for the public.

You can access a free digital version of the booklet at www.shapearts.org.uk/news/ways-of-seeing-art-booklet 

To purchase a physical copy, please email marketing@shapearts.org.uk

Collective Influence

Submissions are open for the 2018 Shape Open group exhibition!

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Disabled and non-disabled artists are invited to submit work for our 2018 Shape Open, “Collective Influence” - the UK's leading disability-led group exhibition - to be held at The Art Pavilion, Mile End, London from Thursday 22 March until Thursday 5 April 2018.

Held in high-profile, artist-led spaces, the Open provides an exciting opportunity for disabled and non-disabled artists to show disability-led work and discuss views and ideas about issues and topics which are often sidelined within artistic debate. This year's theme is “Collective Influence”: what influences you? How does influence go further than inspiration?

Submissions deadline: 12 noon, Monday 16th October.

To submit work for the Open or for more information, please visit: www.shapearts.org.uk/news/open-2018-submissions

Public call out to artists!

Wanted for exhibition: DOLLS...

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Not just a child's toy, the doll has been part of civilization since as far back as 2000 BC. The Paddle Doll, pictured below, is thought to be one of the oldest type of doll.

Every civilisation has their own evolution and history of doll making. Materials such as corn, bone, clay, cotton, wood and much more have all been used to make dolls. They've acted as fertility charms, company in the afterlife and as important symbols during religious ceremonies. 

Project Ability is looking for artists to explore the idea of the doll for an exhibition in January 2018.

Russian Nesting dolls, (the matryoshkas) have been around since 1890 and have become much loved by all cultures. More recently of course are plastic and rubber dolls like the infamous Barbie and action figurines such as GI Joe and Marvel.

We are looking for artists who are already working with this idea, or artists who would like to try something new. As usual, we are hoping for extremely creative and unusual works of art. We want to celebrate the many charms and eccentricities of the doll. 

Important info & dates: 

Where: Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow

When: 20th January until 24th February 2018

Deadlines: Email submission only: on or before 3rd November 2017.

Please include: title, description of the piece, size, materials and an artist's price. If exhibited, we will add 40% onto your artist's price. You may choose for the work not to be for sale.

Notification of successful artworks: by 17th November.

Delivery of work: on or before 8 December (artist responsible for all carriage costs)

Other info: Artwork must be ready for display with instructions if needed

Artists can submit up to three artworks & up to three images per artwork

Please email questions & submissions to: exhibtions@project-ability.co.uk 

Blast! Festival

Artist and curatorial opportunities...

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Blast! Festival - curatorial and artist commissions. An exciting opportunity for six curators and six artists from the West Midlands.

Multistory is inviting early / mid career curators and artists to apply for one of 12 opportunities to create new work / exhibitions for our Blast! Festival in 2019.

Curators' Opportunity:
Curators are invited to apply for one of six commissions to work within one of the six towns of Sandwell, focusing on communities and re-imaging and re-presenting work from the Multistory photographic collection. We are interested in receiving applications that present creative approaches to animating our collection, engaging with communities and presenting an exhibition / event / performance that sits within the Blast Festival in 2019. This opportunity is open to independent curators, artists or collectives based in the West Midlands.

Artists' Opportunity:
Artists are invited to apply for one of six commissions to develop new work for the Blast! Festival in 2019. Artists will be required to work within one of the six towns of Sandwell, focusing on, and collaborating with, communities identified by Multistory. This opportunity is available to artists working within photography, moving image, digital media and sound. We are open to applications from independent artists or collaborations.

Successful applicants for each opportunity will receive a budget of £5K (inc VAT) for fee, delivery, materials and production of the work (additional budget is available to support the installation of the work); each curator / artist will also be supported by mentoring and professional development, with six master classes / artists talks by professional artists forming part of the programme of support.

Blast! is an ambitious two-year project that will develop, showcase and celebrate exceptional art produced in the borough of Sandwell. Focusing on photography, moving image, digital media and sound, Blast! will see six flagship weekenders of international and breakthrough artist commissions produced with communities and businesses in each of Sandwell's six distinctive towns, culminating in a festival finale on the streets of West Bromwich in June 2019.

The deadline for receipt of applications is 6pm on Friday 22nd September 2017.

Caron Wright
Company Manager

Direct Dial: 0121 569 2883
Mobile: 07875 704973

www.multistory.org.uk

The Incorrigibles

Perspectives on Disability Visual Arts in the 20th and 21st Centuries.

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In 2015, DASH was awarded funding by Arts Council England and in partnership with mac Birmingham, to create a book, an encyclopaedia if you will, of the most pertinent and esteemed disabled artists in the UK. It published in 2016, sharing it's birthdate with the 40th anniversary of Shape Arts. As a trustee at DASH and as an emerging disabled artist, the development of this book was of interest to me.

The definition of the term 'incorrigible' is boldly stated at the beginning; "(of a person or their behaviour) not to be changed or reformed." This definition acts as a necessary introduction to the book.

Adrian Plant and Tanya Raabe-Webber, two artists who identify as disabled, discuss just that. The decision to self-identify and the impact that has can be both problematic and beneficial on an artist's work, particularly in the mainstream art world. They introduce the motive of the book being both an enlightening tool and necessary celebration, against a place where disability arts is still largely discredited. They explain how Cultivate, a bespoke mentoring project for disabled visual artists, and acted as a foundation talking point and catalyst in the creation of this book. Most of the artist's featured in the book were part of such groups, and so it rings throughout the book as important reference points.

Craig Ashley's short essay discusses how the book came to fruition from the symposium Awkward Bastards. There is a clear reaction from the notable lack of presence from such a book and the disability arts lack of recognition in the mainstream arts world is frustrating. He gives a detailed account of political views:

"We felt there was a question around legitimacy that also needed to be framed as part of the conversation, to acknowledge the historical context of exclusion and subsequent civil rights action in Britain during the post-war period."

He touches on the issue around the legitimacy of the mainstream arts world, and discusses the positive movement that can be taken from the symposium, notably that the Arts Council cited diversity to be 'a key issue in relation to the programming and audiences, leadership and workforce of all our funded organisations.' from 2014. He references the Black Arts Movement as a means to illustrate a similar need for a revolution to push forward the Disability Arts Movement. Ashley gives an informative, honest yet optimistic hope for change, in which Awkward Bastards clearly encapsulated.

Tony Heaton begins his own essay by quoting Bill Bryson on the surprising figures of British Inventions and how that includes disability arts, as a unique springboard to an informative view of the Social Model of Disability. He gives a historical account of how the politics of disability has challenged local authorities, given access to the arts and built positive relationships that have led to the current form of disability arts.

The Incorrigibles are 14 selected visual artists discussing their practice. They were asked 6 questions that aimed to provide "inspiration and advice to the readers of this book" in which it most definitely delivers.

The sorts of questions posed were not in anyway assuming, and instead scoped an interesting and colourful portrait of them as individuals, as artists, and as disabled people, along with the difficult question around self-identifying as a disabled artist. The use of questions very much dictated their answers;

"What/who inspired you to want to become an artist"

"What were the main personal challenges you faced during your early career as an artist and what strategies did you develop?"

"As an established/respected artist can you reflect on your relationship to the so called 'mainstream' museum and art worlds?"

"In what ways has the existence of the 'Disability Art movement' helped or hindered your career development?"

"Tanya Raabe-Webber identified herself to be a disabled artist, borne out of the Disability Arts movement. How do you choose to define yourself as an artist and why?"

"What advice would you consider most vital to give an emerging Disabled Artist and why?"

Although many of the artists simply feel their destiny was to always be an artist, or that their education nurtured them into becoming an artist, many of the artists felt it grew from a form of rebellion against mainstream views imposed on them during their youth, which comes as no surprise to a disabled artist. This notion spurred self-led teachings of their chosen art form; in fact, disability led many of them to art. As David Hevey says, "Just when it couldn't get any more weird; it did: I got epilepsy. This was both the final and terrible end, and the enlightening beginning of the rest of my life."

Jon Adams is an esteemed artist specialising in abstract digital illustrations.  When asked about identifying as a disabled art maker, he answers, "I am artist first and yes, I'm an autistic person".

Perhaps this view of self-identity aids the positive relationship he has with the arts sector in which he works.

"I have actively been chosen for projects because of my Autism/Asperger's... If you want to see work that is different, commission people to think differently, but also think differently about the way you commission and treat them...to be honest I've never registered that there is anything other than mainstream; I don't like using the word mainstream as it implies segregation... The work should speak for itself."

This I think is agreed from most art makers whether disabled or not, Bobby Baker makes the equally important point that rather her disability, she feared of being ousted at St Martins for being simply being a woman and not conforming to housewife ideals.

Juan delGado also echoes this point of view.  Highlighting the ever-growing how the digital landscape gave him and other independent filmmakers the platform for real artistic success on a mainstream stage.

One of the highlights of the book is the contribution from Sue Austin. Sue Austin is a wheelchair user who uses herself as the subject in her work. Her work encapsulates the term 'disability arts', as her chosen images from 'Creating the Spectacle!' depict her 'Flying Free' through a coral reef in her wheelchair. This body of work, as she explains, I personally was delighted to see her included in this book. I wrote my dissertation on the disabling images the media portrays, I found her work to be the most notably? against the argument in my research.  I found myself nodding in agreement when she states, "I feel a sense of recognition and shared identity with Disability Arts that acknowledges the complex realities of the disability experience."

These are just a few accounts of the importance of disability arts and the liberation of disability arts. "Disability Arts exists and I for one feel better and stronger in knowing this."

Statements like this by Heaton, are peppered throughout the book, shouting loud and proud about disability arts, and thereby creating a medium to talk openly about the history of disability arts, it's current position in difficult times, and encourages discussion and optimism for it's future.

The Incorrigibles offers viewpoints around political movements, and erased rich history, often overlooked by mainstream arts. It acts an empowering tool that any artist should be proud to have on their bookshelf to fully understand the complexities of an important genre of art.