IN (2012-2015)

All Projects

In partnership with five mainstream galleries, commissioning five Disabled Artists to create new work for exhibition. 

The IN project started in 2012 and ended in 2015, culminating in a symposium at mac birmingham.


Sound Canvas - The Public, the Hive and touring galleries:

Sound Canvas was exhibited at The Public in West Bromwich (and is now a touring installation nationally) - it was displayed at the Hive in Shrewsbury between February and April 2014.

The first commission to be realised, Zoe Partington's Sound Canvas won a Jodi Award on Monday 11th November 2013, a commendation for Innovation. The Public who partnered the commission of Sound Canvas and where it was installed, was sadly closed on 16th November 2013.

Sound Canvas was exhibited at the Hive in Shrewsbury alongside other works from Shropshire artists - including a stunning collection of digital landscapes and photographs, showing the county at it's best - see Sounds of Shropshire, below.

Sound Canvas has now become a touring exhibition, visiting numerous venues and galleries around the country.

It has just been on display at Celf O Gwmpas in Wales. Sound Canvas also involved the services and technical involvement of Andrej Bako.

Sounds of Shropshire:

We asked Shropshire artists and writers to send in their digital photos, artwork, poetry and sounds to complement the arrival of Sound Canvas to Shropshire.

We launched an appeal for wonderful digital soundscapes of the sounds of Shropshire, reflecting the local landscape. Some of these sounds were then inputted into Sound Canvas itself - including a cattle auctioneer, ringing church bells and farm animals!

Our appeal also opened out to artists and poets. We wanted a selection of artworks and words to accompany Sound Canvas in the Hive's gallery space.

Zoe Partington was commissioned by DASH and The Public to create Sound Canvas, as part of the IN project.

Sound artist Andrej Bako was involved with Sound Canvas, working alongside Zoe.

DASH certainly encouraged people to visit the Hive, to interact with Sound Canvas before it moved to it's next location - and of course, to view the superb photography which was showcased alongside.


Walls With Wounds - The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum:

Dale Vn Marshall was the second artist to be commissioned at The Herbert - the exhibition running between 15th February and 18th May 2014. His stunning, evocative work is inspired by a dramatic memories and each one represents a healing journey through physical destruction and repair. Marshall's layered, multi-media works consist of a symbolic language of abstract expression and mark making. The result is a series of vibrant, powerful works documenting his personal journey from rebellion to rehabilitation.

Marshall strikes a balance between the frightening and the beautiful by accepting and embracing his past. These raw, emotive paintings show that hope and redemption are possible, whatever darkness may lie beneath our scars.

The exhibition was seen by over 2500 visitors who walked through the doors! A Tweet from Stephen Fry also helped boost awareness of the exhibition and Dale's work.


Disrupted - mac birmingham:

Noëmi Lakmaier is the artist and curator in residence at mac birmingham. She presents 'awkward' interventions with disabled artists'. The exhibition at mac birmingham was on show between Saturday 14th March and Sunday 3rd May 2015.

Disrupted was a group exhibition that was conceived for mac birmingham to directly respond to, and interact with, the arts centre venue, the building and its audiences.

The artworks and installations exhibited, invited visitors to encounter the 'Other' - that which is different and unfamiliar, often remaining unseen in our day to day lives - and to engage with it in a familiar space.

Curated by Noemi Lakmaier during her year-long residency at mac, the exhibition explored the sense of awkwardness such encounters can bring, and the unique experiences and unexpected insights that can emerge from them. 

Disrupted brought together both established and emerging artists working in the realm of Disability Arts, including the Swedish performance artist Anna Berntdson, London-based artist and activist The Vacuum Cleaner, Martin O'Brien and up and coming sculptor Anna Smith from Wolverhampton.

Disrupted was a mac birmingham commission in partnership with DASH as part of 'IN', a DASH initiative concerned with sustaining Disability Arts in the mainstream.

Photography for Disrupted, Chris Keenan, courtesy of the artist.


In Conversation With The Past - Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery:

In April 2014 disabled artist-filmmaker Nicola Lane was commissioned by Disability Arts in Shropshire and Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery to create a film reflecting on the life of deaf Romany Bill Lock, who lived and worked in and around the villages of Clun and Bishop's Castle in South Shropshire.

Bill Lock was born deaf in 1910 into a well-known Romany family who travelled throughout the Borders and Shropshire. The Lock family settled in Clun in the 1950s and Bill became an important part of the community.

To discover Bill's world, disabled artist Nicola Lane interviewed some of the many people who remember him - including 92 year old Clunton farmer Harry Collins who employed Bill and knew him well. Memories of Bill are still strong; but as Mr Collins says, it will be 'all gone' after his generation have passed.

Nicola's film aims to celebrate Bill's long life and the vanished world in which he lived and worked. Film maker, Nicola Lane, was awarded the commission to create the film, as part of a joint commission in partnership with DASH and Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, as part of the IN (Disability Arts IN the Mainstream) project, funded by Arts Council England.

Nicola wrote;

I began by visiting Clun with Kent Tomey, who showed me Clun Museum.  We went to St George's Church where Bill is buried next to his uncle and aunt, Albert and Daisy Lock. The Lock family graves were covered with fresh, beautiful flowers. I wondered if this was because it was a special day - but later I understood this is a Romany tradition and the graves are always kept bright with flowers. 

Once I installed myself at the White Horse Inn, I began to meet people who knew Bill 'in the old days', who shared their stories and helped me discover landscapes and places that formed Bill's world.

On my next visit, all Clun B&B s were full and my quest for accommodation led to more discoveries – through Maureen Saunders' Clunton B&B I met 92 year old farmer Harry Collins, who used to employ Bill on his farm. Harry told me about his vanished world: ploughing with horses, hard times in the 1920s and 30s, the first mechanisation in 1948 - the world of the farming community around Clun who as Bill's nephew Harold told me, were “brilliant” and were the reason the Lock family settled there. They employed and cared for Bill - shaving him in their kitchens, feeding him, opening their door to him on Christmas day when he would stand and serenade them with blowing on a harmonica - “It was just a noise” said Harry Collins, “but it was Bill!”

When Bill died in 2000, the Shropshire Bedlams accompanied his funeral procession through Clun. Harold Lock asked the cortege to stop in the middle of Clun Bridge, to hold up the traffic for one last time, as Bill used to do - he would walk in the middle of the road literally deaf to angry hootings from the cars and lorries that now stream through Clun in ever increasing numbers.

Someone in the White Horse said: "Since Bill died, lorries started to crash into our bridge!"

Memories of Bill are still strong and almost everyone I met had kept photos of him. These represent important memories, and I asked people I met this question: Would Bill Lock have had a better life if he had been born today instead of 1910? 

Thank you to everyone who shared their memories with me. I finished the film in Spring 2015, with a première in Clun, then a tour across Shropshire's small museums and – hopefully - international film festivals will follow. I think Bill would have enjoyed the attention!


Almost a Score - Arnolfini:

International artist Christine Sun Kim was the last, but certainly not least, of the five IN commissions - with a residency at Arnolfini in Bristol. Christine's exhibition was shown between 20th March and 5th May 2015.

Christine Sun Kim is a visual artist who works with concepts around sound and visual language. Deaf from birth, Kim deals with sound as a medium that can be physically expressive, communicative, and experienced viscerally.

Working across conventions of American Sign Language (ASL), Kim investigated the identity of her own voice and her associations of sound as a deaf person. She asked audiences to consider the role that sound and listening have in building an experience of both inner and outer worlds and the way that touch can inform listening and language.

A new collection of her drawings, created for the exhibition at Arnolfini, was on show in Gallery 5. 

During her residency in Bristol, Kim created a new film installation work in Arnolfini's intimate Dark Studio exploring the themes of language, sound and silence. This was the first time that the artist had created a film work of this size and in a residency setting. 

The residency and exhibition was complimented by a performance lecture with the artist and a specialist panel discussion, focused on the relationships between language, sound and listening, followed by an evening showcase of performative works that were inspired by the themes discussed.

Download the project and symposium information booklets below: