Unlimited – the largest supporter of disabled artists worldwide – has announced 24 ambitious new commissions and awards spanning a range of disciplines spotlighting talented and diverse disabled artists working in the world today.
Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme that aims to embed work by disabled artists within the UK and international cultural sectors, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people.
Spirit of 2012 has funded Unlimited’s very first Emerging Artist strand – focusing on developing and inspiring the next generation of young disabled people passionate about making change through art. Our funding also supports venues and festivals across the UK to show ambitious and high quality art by disabled people and reaches out to wider and more diverse audiences.
Jo Verrent, Senior Producer, Unlimited says “This year’s commissions have for the first time been divided into three strands – Main Commissions including several research & development awards, and new for this round, Emerging Artists, and International Collaborations, which see disabled UK artists working with disabled artists from across the globe. The response to Unlimited’s commissions call-out has been staggering and we are thrilled to announce the 2017 awardees from 269 applicants. The newly commissioned artists will be developing their works over the coming year and will be unveiled to the public across 2017 and 2018.”
The judging panels comprised of independent high-profile disabled artists, curators, critics and senior staff members from several organisations, including Spirit of 2012 Chief Executive Debbie Lye.
The 2017 commissioned artists include:
Feminist artist Jo Bannon’s visceral theatre performance We are Fucked will explore the internal and external experiences of female desire, sexuality and neoliberalist.
The British Paraorchestra under creative leadership of Charlie Hazlewood will perform Velocity, a long-form composition from Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory featuring disabled musicians and dancers
It Was Paradise by Rachel Gadsden, a collaborative multi-visual sound performance installation, partnering with artists from Palestine
Spirit of 2012 funds Unlimited along with Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales and British Council and the project is delivered by Shape Arts and Artsadmin.
Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme that aims to embed work by disabled artists within the UK and international cultural sectors, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people. Unlimited has been delivered by the disability-led arts organisation Shape Arts and arts-producing organisation Artsadmin since 2013, and is funded from 2016-20 by Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, British Council and Spirit of 2012. Since 2013 Unlimited has awarded £932,000 to ambitious disabled artists working in theatre, visual arts, literature and music. These artworks resulted in 2,323 performance and exhibition days, which were seen by 132,059 people.
Shape Arts is a disability-led arts organisation working to improve access to culture for disabled people by developing opportunities for disabled artists, training cultural institutions to be more open to disabled people, and running participatory arts and development programmes. Tony Heaton OBE will be Chief Executive of Shape until 3 April 2017, when he will be succeeded by David Hevey. Tony Heaton will then become Chair of Shape
Artsadmin enables artists to create without boundaries, producing bold interdisciplinary work to connect with local, national and international audiences. At Toynbee Studios in East London, Artsadmin have established a centre for the creation and presentation of new work. Their advisory service supports artists at every stage of their development with free advice and opportunities.