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17 February 2012

Within this section you will find interviews and discussion of the Arts in relation to disability identity, experience of barriers and discrimination, access and inclusion. Please let us know what you think! You can respond by filling in the comment forms at the end of each page.

A-Z listing

Interview: Shining a light on Bobby Baker and Daily Life Ltd

Shining a light on Bobby Baker and Daily Life Ltd

11 May 2016

Letting in the Light, a light-box exhibition organised by Bobby Baker’s charity Daily Life Ltd, lit up the streets of Stratford during the dark winter months of this year and showcased the work of artists who have experienced mental distress. Elinor Rowlands spoke to her about the impact of the exhibition and the charity’s new project, Roving Diagnostic Unit.

Interview: Silent Faces on Follow Suit

Silent Faces on Follow Suit

4 May 2016

Silent Faces are an emerging integrated company and their physical theatre show Follow Suit has been awarded the iF Bursary at this year’s Brighton Fringe. Stopgap’s Lou Rogers caught up with them as they prepare for the debut performance on 9 May at the Sallis Benney Theatre, following the iF Not Now When? Part 2 event.

Interview: Introducing: Priya Mistry’s Musical Mental Health Cabaret

Introducing: Priya Mistry’s Musical Mental Health Cabaret

3 May 2016

Using a sophisticated visual language and brutally honest monologue developed by the ‘all-singing-all-dancing-all-mental’ cast and crew, Musical Mental Health Cabaret debuts at Attenborough Arts this June. Alice Holland meets Priya during rehearsal to find out more about the show and Priya’s work developing new techniques and expressions for artists with mental health issues. 

Interview: Bekki Perriman on The Doorways Project

Bekki Perriman on The Doorways Project

29 April 2016

Artist, Bekki Perriman first received Unlimited R&D funding for The  Doorways Project in 2014, which took the form of a photography exhibition. She has since gone on to receive a further Unlimited Commission to expand the work into a site-specific sound installation that will tour to several sites. Joe Turnbull spoke to her about the work and the experiences which shaped it.

Interview: Access at Brighton Festival

Access at Brighton Festival

20 April 2016

Year on year Brighton Festival are making progress with small but important steps in improving the festival’s access offer and are gradually diversifying their audiences. Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival’s Theatre Producer Orla Flanagan talks to DAO about some of the festival’s outcomes, spurred, in part by engagement with Unlimited.

Interview: Why Cameron Morgan Loves Classic TV

Why Cameron Morgan Loves Classic TV

8 April 2016

Paul F Cockburn speaks with artist Cameron Morgan about his Unlimited-funded exhibition of paintings, TV Classics – Part 1, as part of this year’s Glasgow International.

Interview: Noëmi Lakmaier – Cherophobia

Noëmi Lakmaier – Cherophobia

21 March 2016

Artist Noëmi Lakmaier’s latest piece, Cherophobia takes the form of a 48-hour long live durational performance which will see Lakmaier suspended in mid-air using 20,000 helium balloons as part of the Unlimited Festival in September. Elinor Rowlands speaks to her about the roles of discomfort and control in her work.

Opinion: SICK! Lab 2016: A collaborative exploration of identity and trauma

SICK! Lab 2016: A collaborative exploration of identity and trauma

18 March 2016

Dedicated to using the performing arts to explore, broadly, the difficult stuff of life, SICK! Lab  took place at the Contact Theatre, Manchester from 9th-12th March 2016, showcasing performance, discussion and presentations on the tricky themes of identity and trauma. Colin Hambrook gives an overview, taking the temperature of the collaboration

Interview: Getting Cosy with Kaite O'Reilly

Getting Cosy with Kaite O'Reilly

3 March 2016

Award-winning playwright Kaite O'Reilly speaks to Joe Turnbull about deaf culture, dissident sensibilities, and her Unlimited-funded "big growling play" Cosy which launches at Wales Millennium Centre on 8 March.

Interview: Amit Sharma – The Solid Life of Sugar Water

Amit Sharma – The Solid Life of Sugar Water

23 February 2016

Since premiering at 2015’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Solid Life of Sugar Water has picked up rave reviews from national and festival press. Elinor Rowlands caught up with Amit Sharma, the show’s director, ahead of a three week run at the National Theatre in London from 26 February to 19 March 2016. 

Interview: Black Kripple Delivers Poetry & Lyrics

Black Kripple Delivers Poetry & Lyrics

17 February 2016

With the release of Leroy Moore's new book Black Kripple Delivers Poetry & LyricsRobin Surgeoner spoke to him about the history, issues and smouldering angst that the verbiage within delivers like punches to one's conscience.

Opinion: Disability: a creative advantage?

Disability: a creative advantage?

16 February 2016

Chaired by critic Lyn Gardner, Dao’s editor Colin Hambrook attended a debate at the Arena Theatre, which was part of a series of conversations hosted by the Guardian. A Nation’s Theatre is a joint initiative, from the newspaper and the Battersea Arts Centre highlighting a showcase of innovative theatre made in the regions to be brought to London this summer. 

Interview: A clear sense of direction – Elinor Rowlands

A clear sense of direction – Elinor Rowlands

5 February 2016

“When we feel inadequate, it’s because we’re not being heard” – Elinor Rowlands talks to Kate Lovell about ‘coming out’ as a disabled artist in the latest of DAO’s Viewfinder peer-to-peer interviews.

Interview: Jess Thom on taking Biscuit Land to the small screen

Jess Thom on taking Biscuit Land to the small screen

9 November 2015

In partnership with Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) and Arts Council England, BBC Four’s Live From Television Centre will feature a half hour slot from Jess Thom aka Touretteshero. Colin Hambrook caught up with the performer during rehearsals in the BBC studio at Wood Lane. 

Interview: Chloe Phillips explores Audio-Description as a creative tool

Chloe Phillips explores Audio-Description as a creative tool

29 October 2015

Chloe Phillips is an Associate Artist with Taking Flight Theatre, based in Cardiff. Earlier this year she received an Unlimited R&D award to work with the company to produce 'The Importance of Being Described…Earnestly?' - a pilot for a production experimenting with new ideas about audio description. She talks to Colin Hambrook about her motivation and the way the project is shaping up.

The Sound of Disability

The Sound of Disability

21 October 2015

As part of an Arts Council funded programme of work, Dao is engaging with freelance writers to commission opinion pieces and interviews, instigating wider debate about music and disabled musicians that creates a greater understanding of where music sits with disability arts. As part of this programme of work Dao has commissioned a young disabled composer Lloyd Coleman to produce a piece of music for the British Paraorchestra 

Interview: Artist Aaron Williamson tells Dao about his new work Demonstrating the World

Making 'Demonstrating the World'

6 October 2015

Over a period of five weeks, Performance artist Aaron Williamson invited visitors to witness the building of an odd set of ‘absurdist’ furniture at the Shape Gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre. The pieces will become key to the performance as it becomes ready to tour later this autumn. Colin Hambrook asked Williamson and Producer Edd Hobbs about what it means to ‘demonstrate the world’.

Interview: Film/TV Director Bim Ajadi on his career so far

Film/TV Director Bim Ajadi on his career so far

29 September 2015

Award-winning filmmaker Bim Ajadi’s credits include co-directing a film for Channel 4 shown at the London Paralympic Ceremony in 2012. With a media career spanning almost 15 years, Colin Hambrook asked Ajadi about his professional journey so far and his ongoing commitment to nurturing fellow deaf talent, as he prepares to deliver workshops at the BBC’s See Hear Weekend in Bristol.

Experimental Art Is Catalyst for Urban Revitalization

Experimental Art Is Catalyst for Urban Revitalization

14 September 2015

DisArt was a multi-venue Disability Arts Festival, which took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan from April 10th to July 31st, 2015. Through several world-renowned exhibits of Disability Arts from all over the world, DisArt Festival 2015 challenged its audiences to reconsider the importance of community, identity, and difference. Report by Alexandra Kadlec

Interview: flip Artists: The View From Here

flip Artists: The View From Here

29 August 2015

A recent exhibition in Edinburgh’s Gayfield Creative Spaces presented work by nine disabled artists who have recently completed a nine-month programme of mentoring and support from several high profile arts organisations in Scotland. Paul F Cockburn spoke with Robert Softly Gale, director of flip: Disability Equality in the Arts, who coordinated the programme.  

Opinion: Edinburgh Festival: 'iF Not Now When?'

Edinburgh Festival: 'iF Not Now When?'

26 August 2015

Forest Fringe at the Drill Hall played host on 25 August to a day of lively and vibrant discussion: 'iF Not Now When?' produced by Stopgap and hosted by Jo Verrent, Senior Producer of Unlimited. Colin Hambrook reflects on some thoughts from the day's proceedings

Interview: British Council Showcase at Edinburgh Festival

British Council Showcase at Edinburgh Festival

30 July 2015

The British Council Theatre and Dance team are currently busy working on their tenth showcase since 1997 at the Edinburgh Festival. Colin Hambrook spoke to Neil Webb, Director of Theatre and Dance about the outcomes British Council are hoping for as a result of the showcase and the broader spectrum of their disability arts work across the globe 

Trish Wheatley on 'Shaping a Diverse Future'

Trish Wheatley on 'Shaping a Diverse Future'

17 July 2015

As part of an Arts Council Catalyst funded programme arts professionals working in UK were invited to The Point, Eastleigh on July 10th 2015, to discuss through provocation, debate and performance 'Shaping a Diverse Future'. Here is director of Disability Arts Online Trish Wheatley's provocation on the future of the Arts.

Discussion: Accessible Edinburgh Fringe?

Accessible Edinburgh Fringe?

6 July 2015

Every August the world’s performers and entertainers flock to Scotland’s capital. Paul F Cockburn asks just how easy is it for disabled artists and audiences to get the most out of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Discussion: Pulse Festival: the uses of BSL and Audio Description in Theatre

Pulse Festival: the uses of BSL and Audio Description in Theatre

30 June 2015

As part of the Ramps on the Moon event at New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich on 5 June, delegates had the opportunity to sit in on an open rehearsal of Jeni Draper’s Fingersmith’s latest show ‘War Crimes for the Home’ and Sue MacLaine’s ‘Can I Start Again Please.’ Liz Porter responds to the uses of British Sign language and Audio Description in theatre.

Discussion: ‘Dance and Normality’ Integrart Symposium 2015

‘Dance and Normality’ Integrart Symposium 2015

23 June 2015

The Dance and Normality symposium held at the Musee d’ethonographie, Geneva on 2nd June saw an international line-up of speakers and performers hosted by IntegrART. Trish Wheatley responds to the international picture for the theory and practice of dance and normality, presented on the day. 

Interview: Penny Pepper talks about her experience of working with The Literary Consultancy

Penny Pepper talks about her experience of working with The Literary Consultancy

16 June 2015

The Literary Consultancy, (TLC) founded in 1996 by its Director Rebecca Swift and Hannah Griffiths, offers a service in assessing writers’ manuscripts to give advice on how to approach publishers and agents. Colin Hambrook interviews Penny Pepper about her experience with TLC in time for their ‘Quality Writing for All’ campaign launching on 16th June at The Free Word Centre in London. 

Interview: Claire Cunningham on Give Me A Reason To Live

Claire Cunningham on Give Me  A Reason To Live

15 May 2015

Choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham talks to Colin Hambrook about her new solo performance ‘Give Me  A Reason To Live’. Exploring religious art, and the questions it raises about impaired bodies and quality of life, the work takes the form of a series of tests of body and of faith. Stripped down the work is a study in the notion of empathy.

Opinion: Crips mean cash: disability as a commodity

23 April 2015

The media has caught on to the idea that ‘worthiness’ sells. As a result disabled people have been more prominent on tv and within the arts, yet as a group we have been getting a rawer deal since the 2012 Paralympics says, tv producer/ director Richard Butchins.

Promo: Amanda Lukoff: The R-Word

Amanda Lukoff: The R-Word

19 April 2015

Film-maker Amanda Lukoff is a triplet, one of three girls. Their older sister Gabrielle was born with Down’s Syndrome. It was the experience of people’s reaction to her sister that made her want to advocate for Gabrielle. Here she shows a trailer for a documentary she is currently fundraising for: a film about the power of words and the love between siblings.

Interview: Liz Crow on Figures

Liz Crow on Figures

5 April 2015

Artist/activist Liz Crow talks to Trish Wheatley about her current project Figures, the mass-sculptural performance that makes visible the human cost of austerity and urges action against it.

 

 

Opinion: Assisted Suicide in the Theatre: Kill Me Now!

Assisted Suicide in the Theatre: Kill Me Now!

26 March 2015

Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, London have recently had a five week run of Kill Me Now - a black comedy by Canadian playwright Brad Fraser with director Braham Murray; and starring Greg Wise as Jake, a long-suffering father and Oliver Gomm as Joey, a young man living with cerebral palsy. In response Colin Hambrook asks whether the debate about assisted suicide is part of a much darker expression of the desire for power over other’s lives and deaths.

Opinion: Trish Wheatley on Critiquing Learning Disability Performance

Trish Wheatley on Critiquing Learning Disability Performance

24 March 2015

On Monday 23rd March 2015 Mind the Gap hosted a conference about international learning disability performance. Trish Wheatley was asked to speak on the panel about critiquing learning disability performance – the ‘Quality’ debate. The extended version is published here. 

Opinion: Awkward Bastards: the fraudulent face of ‘Diversity’

Awkward Bastards: the fraudulent face of ‘Diversity’

23 March 2015

Awkward Bastards took over mac birmingham on 12th March, the day Terry Pratchett died and the day the government announced further cuts to disabled peoples’ Access to Work funding. Dao editor Colin Hambrook gives further reflection on the Symposium

Interview: Gary Thomas: on being an artist

Gary Thomas: on being an artist

21 January 2015

Gary Thomas is a writer, director and artist with 11 short films and 4 screenplays to his name. He’s been blogging on Dao on and off since 2010. His film installation ‘The Dog & The Palace’ won an Inspire Mark from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He shares his successes and aspirations with Dao

Opinion: DaDaFest International 2014: The Big Debate

DaDaFest International 2014: The Big Debate

31 December 2014

A highlight of the DaDaFest Congress was the Big Debate. Trish Wheatley responds to the question of recognising how much influence non-disabled people should have in working within the Disability Arts sector

Interview: Tony Heaton on the next tranche of Unlimited applications

Tony Heaton on the next tranche of Unlimited applications

11 December 2014

Colin Hambrook talks to Tony Heaton, CEO of Shape who are lead partners with Artsadmin for the Unlimited programme, with a focus on the kinds of work that Unlimited might attract in the second round of applications, with a deadline set for 2 February 2015. 

Preview: DaDaFest International 2014: Young DaDa Presents…

DaDaFest International 2014: Young DaDa Presents…

24 November 2014

Michelle Stubbs gives an overview of events happening in the DaDaFest young peoples’ programme at The Bluecoat and the Central Library, Liverpool from 29th – 30th November, including an account of her involvement with the making of a film about the City

Opinion: Now+Then: 3 Decades of HIV in Merseyside: a participant’s perspective

Now+Then: 3 Decades of HIV in Merseyside: a participant’s perspective

5 November 2014

Now+Then is a documentary film that uncovers Merseyside’s journey with HIV from the 1980s to the present day through people’s own stories. Created specifically for the Sahir House exhibition, showing at the Museum of Liverpool Life until 8 February 2015 the film is the culmination of two years work archiving the history of HIV on Merseyside. One of the participants, Cate Jacobs writes about her experience of working with Danny Kilbride, creative director of Thinking Film

DaDaFest International 2014: Art of the Lived Experiment, curated by Aaron Williamson

DaDaFest International 2014: Art of the Lived Experiment, curated by Aaron Williamson

29 October 2014

Conceived by DaDaFest and delivered in partnership with the Bluecoat, Liverpool, 'Art of the Lived Experiment' runs from 8 November 2014 to 11 January 2015 as part of DaDaFest International 2014. Colin Hambrook interviewed curator Aaron Williamson about the exhibition which contains the work of 28 artists from the UK and abroad, and includes sculpture, film, installation, painting, prints and performance works. 

Opinion: To Wheel Or Not To Wheel? Disabled Characters in Theatre & Television

To Wheel Or Not To Wheel? Disabled Characters in Theatre & Television

12 October 2014

There is still a preponderance for non-disabled actors in theatre and television to 'crip up' for disabled roles. Mik Scarlet looks at the slow emergence of disabled actors within mainstream representation and discusses the question of a disabled actor playing a character who has a different impairment to their own?

Opinion: Dao Writers on Poetry

Dao Writers on Poetry

18 September 2014

Dao is building a collection of essays about poetry and profiles of poets, offering a disability perspective. So far we've published an article by Owen Lowery on a selection of war poets; a profile of George MacKay-Brown by Richard Longstaff, personal explorations of the first three collections of Seamus Heaney by Anthony Hurford, an analysis of Wilfred Owen's anti-war poem 'Disabled' by Emmeline Burdett and a profile of Nazrul, 'The Rebel Poet' by Dejani Chatterjee 

 

Unlimited 2014: Chisato Minamimura: Ring the Changes+

Unlimited 2014: Chisato Minamimura: Ring the Changes+

29 August 2014

Whilst eagerly awaiting the delights of Unlimited Festival next week, Sarah Pickthall attended a recent sharing of work in progress of Chisato Minamimura’s commissioned work Ring the Changes+ at TripSpace Studios in Haggerston - a collaboration produced by digital artist Nick Rothwell and Body>Data >Space.

 

Interview: Unlimited 2014: Ian Johnston: Dancer

Unlimited 2014: Ian Johnston: Dancer

18 August 2014

Created with the late Adrian Howells, 'Dancer' is a gentle provocation on what it is to be a 'dancer'. Producer Lucy Gaizely answered a few of Dao’s questions about what promises to be a fun and thought-provoking show in the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre on Saturday 6 September.

Interview: Unlimited 2014: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

Unlimited 2014: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

12 August 2014

Owen Lowery is the author of a volume of poetry, Otherwise Unchanged (Carcanet 2012), and is the recipient of an Unlimited award. John O’Donoghue interviewed the poet by email about the inspiration, form and development of his work providing an insight into his creative identity. What follows is an edited version of this correspondence.

Opinion: Unlimited 2014: Katherine Araniello hosts The Dinner Party Revisited

Unlimited 2014: Katherine Araniello hosts The Dinner Party Revisited

30 July 2014

Katherine Araniello first presented The Dinner Party in 2011. A development of that work, The Dinner Party Revisited, has been commissioned for 2014’s Unlimited Festival - a commission that confirms Katherine as one of the most significant Live Artists in the UK. So what does it mean to be a 'Live Artist'? Lois Keidan, Director of the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) explains.

 

Interview: Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon talks about Exposure

Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon talks about Exposure

29 July 2014

Nina Muehlemann met artist Jo Bannon during a networking meeting with other artists and people involved with the second round of Unlimited. She talked to Jo about her Unlimited 2014 commission, ‘Exposure’ over a glass of wine.

Interview: Unlimited 2014: James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner on Madlove

Unlimited 2014: James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner on Madlove

27 July 2014

James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner, received an Unlimited research and development award for Madlove - a project which asks those with and without mental illness to collaborate in designing a ‘safe place to go mad’. John O’Donoghue talks to the artist about his idea to get people to participate in redesigning the asylum.

Interview: Unlimited 2014: The Flickering Darkness (Revisited) by Juan delGado

Unlimited 2014: The Flickering Darkness (Revisited) by Juan delGado

17 July 2014

Spanish artist Juan delGado and creator of The Flickering Darkness (Revisited) met the film’s editor Colombian filmmaker Juan Soto in a dimly lit room at the Geffrye Museum in East London. A conversation about how the artistic processes were led by their intentions in the making of the film, was transcribed and edited here by Manuel Angel Macia

Interview: Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods

Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods

15 June 2014

Choreographer and performer Claire Cunningham tells Paul F Cockburn how her new work melds movement and words to discuss religious attitudes to disability.

Opinion: Beggar's Show Campaigns To Save The Independent Living Fund

Beggar's Show Campaigns To Save The Independent Living Fund

16 April 2014

Natasha Lewis plays the role of Lucy Brown in Graeae Theatre Company's touring production of 'The Threepenny Opera'. She comments on the devastating effect on disabled artists… and would be disabled artists, resulting from the closure of The Independent Living Fund

Interview: Simon Fildes talks about his Unlimited research and development award

Simon Fildes talks about his Unlimited research and development award

4 April 2014

Acclaimed video-dance artist Simon Fildes is one of the creators benefiting from research and development support as part of Unlimited 2014. He talks to Paul F Cockburn about his plans to develop a short stop-frame animation with 3D printed models, exploring exhaustion; and how this represents the first time he's used himself as a subject for his work

Discussion: Robert Softley Gale on Wendy Hoose

Robert Softley Gale on Wendy Hoose

7 March 2014

The latest production from Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise Theatre Company is the first under its new artistic regime. Paul F Cockburn spoke with co-artistic director Robert Softley Gale about Wendy Hoose.

Discussion: Janice Parker Projects presents Glory

Janice Parker Projects presents Glory

5 March 2014

Glory sees the return of Janice Parker and Richard Layzell encouraging men, women and children of all ages and abilities and from all walks of life, to collaborate to create a large-scale immersive dance event that celebrates the city’s rich Commonwealth community and Glasgow 2014. Glory runs at the Tramway from 5-10 March 2014. Kim Simpson gives an account of taking part.

Preview: Graeae Theatre stage a new production of The Threepenny Opera

Graeae Theatre stage a new production of The Threepenny Opera

19 February 2014

The Threepenny Opera is a precursor to many modern musicals and now The New Wolsey Theatre’s Peter Rowe and Graeae’s Jenny Sealey have joined forces to bring what promises to be an anarchic version of the story to theatres in Nottingham, Ipswich, Birmingham and Leeds. In conversation with Garry Robson who plays JJ Peachum, Colin Hambrook found out more about the new production.

Opinion: The Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box

The Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box

29 January 2014

When the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) at the University of Leicester asked actor and performance artist Mat Fraser to create a show exploring the medical profession's approach to disability by responding to the collections of the Hunterian Museum, the Science Museum, and the Royal College of Physicians he came up with The Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept in a Box. By Colin Hambrook.

Opinion: John O’Donoghue on mentoring poet, Clare Best

John O’Donoghue on mentoring poet, Clare Best

15 November 2013

We hear a lot these days about ‘mentoring’. But what does a mentor actually do? How do you become one? How do people find the right mentor for them? And – the $64,000 question – are mentors worth it? Here John O’Donoghue recalls mentoring Clare Best in producing her poetry collection 'Excisions'.

Profile: Natalie Papamichael under the spotlight

Natalie Papamichael under the spotlight

30 September 2013

Natalie Papamichael’s work is at once inside and outside the academy. She defies easy categorisation, making images that are striking, challenging and disturbing. John O’Donoghue profiles an artist whose work was recently shown at Shape in the City.

Interview: Tricia Howey talks to Kati Francis, Artistic Director of BeautifulMess

Tricia Howey talks to Kati Francis, Artistic Director of BeautifulMess

12 June 2013

BeautifulMess have been running performing arts workshops in Brixton for adults with learning difficulties for a while. Tricia Howey of Narus Productions have been supporting the company in getting Foxfood off the ground. Foxfood is a multi-sensory performance which first took place at Brixton’s Lambeth Accord at the end of May and is part of the ongoing Fox Project, which will include summer workshops inspired by the production.

Interview: Ivan Riches

Interview: Ivan Riches

10 December 2012

Ivan Riches was recently commissioned by DAO to make video profiles of two Outside In artists as part of the arts Council funded programme Diverse Perspectives.

Opinion: Celf o Gwmpas from mid-Wales meet Kettuki from Finland

Opinion: Celf o Gwmpas from mid-Wales meet Kettuki from Finland

12 October 2012

Mid-Wales arts organisation Celf o Gwmpas recently took four disabled artists to meet with Kettuki in Hämeenlinna, Finland, as part of a mentoring programme. Chris Tally Evans discusses some broader issues about empowerment that came out of the trip.

Unlimited: Kaite O'Reilly on Deaf and disability arts

Unlimited: Kaite O'Reilly on Deaf and disability arts

2 September 2012

Coinciding with the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Jude Kelly, the artistic director of the Southbank Centre, hopes Unlimited Festival will provide ‘breath-taking physical feats to rival the athletes in the Olympic Park.’ Kaite O’Reilly, writer/ director of In Water I'm Weightless, reflects in this context on the trajectory of Deaf (and disability art) production, programming and marketing

Interview: Kaite O'Reilly and the cast of 'In Water, I’m Weightless' talk about the production

Interview: Kaite O'Reilly and the cast of 'In Water, I’m Weightless' talk about the production

31 August 2012

After an acclaimed run in Cardiff, National Theatre Wales and a cast of deaf and disabled performers brings the award-winning Kaite O’Reilly’s 'In Water I’m Weightless' to London as part of the Unlimited festival at the Southbank Centre. But how did such an imaginative, poignant and funny work come together? Paul F Cockburn, dropped in during the final week of rehearsals last July.

Interview: Chas de Swiet on his career, disability arts and the Creative Case

Interview: Chas de Swiet on his career, disability arts and the Creative Case

21 June 2012

Chas de Swiet has worked in arts management since 2000 and has worked for a number of arts organisations with a specialism in diversity and disability arts. He is also an artist, mainly working with sound and music. In this second instalment of Charlie Swinbourne's interview with him, he talks about his career, his identity as a disabled person, and the creative case.

Interview: Chas de Swiet on the Cultural Olympiad

Interview: Chas de Swiet on the Cultural Olympiad

15 June 2012

In the run-up to the plethora of disability arts events happening across the UK this summer, Charlie Swinbourne talks to producer, programmer and artist, Chas de Swiet about his work with Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Liberty Festival and DaDaFest

Interview: The Big Lounge Collective produce 'Assisted Suicide: the musical'

The Big Lounge Collective produce 'Assisted Suicide: the musical'

23 April 2012

The Big Lounge Collective (BLC) was launched at the Young Vic earlier in the year by seven established disabled artists in response to the lack of opportunities and infrastructure for freelance practitioners. DAO editor, Colin Hambrook, had an email exchange with Liz Carr about the BLC’s inaugural piece of work ‘Assisted Suicide: the musical’.

Discussion: The Joke

The Joke

23 March 2012

Rich Downes has been musing on what makes things funny. He starts off with a bad joke and ends up with a series of interviews with disabled comedians about what makes humour so essential to our lives.

Interview: Birds of Paradise present The Man Who Lived Twice

Interview: Birds of Paradise  present The Man Who Lived Twice

9 March 2012

The Man Who Lived Twice is a new touring production from Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise theatre company. It's a 'dramatised account' of what took place between disabled playwright Edward Sheldon and actor John Gielgud during a meeting in New York in 1936. In the run-up to the show’s launch at The Arches in Glasgow, before a Scotland-wide tour, Paul F Cockburn spoke with director Alison Peebles.

Interview: Rich Downes talks to Phil Sherman of Booster Theatre Company

Rich Downes talks to Phil Sherman of Booster Theatre Company

28 February 2012

A while back Rich Downes blogged about 'A Christmas Carol' by Phil Sherman of Booster Theatre Company. Phil is putting on a season at the Karamel Club where he will show all his work with pop up books, mime and sign. Rich attended with James Tarpey, a young friend, who is studying drama. He introduced them after the show to discuss their careers. The interview took on flavours of past, present and future.

Interview: Lung Ha’s Theatre Company present ‘Antigone’

Lung Ha’s Theatre Company present ‘Antigone’

23 February 2012

This coming March 2012, Scotland’s leading group for performers with learning difficulties, Lung Ha’s Theatre Company, presents a new version of Sophocles‘ ‘Antigone’, the classic story of a young woman standing up against society for what she believes is right. Paul F Cockburn spoke with artistic director Maria Oller and the composer Kenneth Dempster to learn about the show’s origins.

Shape Open

Shape Open

21 February 2012

Trish Wheatley interviews Ben Fredericks, Shape’s Programme Officer about the up-and-coming Shape Open - a visual arts competition, that asks disabled and non-disabled artists to respond to 'disability'

Resource: NanoWrimo, National Novel Writing Month

NanoWrimo, National Novel Writing Month

19 October 2011

Have you ever wanted to write a novel? What about writing one in a month? November is the start of NanoWrimo, National Novel Writing Month. John O'Donoghue discusses the initiative and gives five top tips.

Interviews: The 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase

The 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase

20 September 2011

A team of DAO writers went to the 5th decibel Performing Arts Showcase in Manchester from the 12th - 16th September 2011. Here you can read interviews with many of the artists and delegates reflecting on decibel and the Creative Case for Diversity, which was launched at a conference at the beginning of the week.

Forest Forge Theatre Company: Peeling


Forest Forge Theatre Company: Peeling


26 March 2011

Playwright Kaite O’Reilly discusses Forest Forge Theatre Company’s production of Peeling
, touring Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset from 26 March – 16 April 2011

Discussion: Victoria Wright on language

Victoria Wright discusses language

29 April 2010

Victoria Wright featured on Radio 4's 'Word of Mouth' with Francesca Martinez. Here she discusses her relationship with the language used by and about disabled people, and asks questions about the importance of definitions.

Interview: Tony Heaton discusses Shape's Animate artists' talks

Tony Heaton discusses Shape's Animate artists' talks

25 January 2010

Animate will explore the rich history of Disability Arts, through a programme of talks and workshops. Colin Hambrook talked to Tony Heaton, sculptor and Chief Executive of Shape, about the background to these events to be staged in London.

Discussion: Art of Difference Festival and Symposium 2009

1 December 2009

Colin Hambrook, editor of DAO, attended the Art of Difference Disability and Deaf Arts Festival at the Gasworks, Melbourne from 10-21 March 2009. He also went along to the Momentum09 one-day conference in Auckland on 27 February 2009. Here he compares the differences between the development of Disability Arts in the UK in comparison to developments in the Antipodes.

Audio: NY Programmer Bill Bragin enjoys Decibel09 and The Fish Police

Audio: NY Programmer Bill Bragin enjoys Decibel09 and The Fish Police

22 October 2009

Audio: Decibel 2009 was a cool mix of Deaf and Disabled and 'traditional' diverse BME performers. Jon Pratty speaks with Bill Bragin, programmer from the Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts in New York. Has mixing audiences and culture strands flattered, or flattened Deaf and Disabled acts at Decibel?

Discussion: Liz Porter reflects on the movement

Lead On

19 October 2009

Liz Porter reflects on what the Disability Arts movement has given her over the years – and where she is now – in response to discussions at the Lead On conference as part of the government funded Cultural Leadership Programme held in Cheltenham Town Hall on 21 September 2009.

Disability and the Novel

Disability and the Novel

27 February 2009

Why are contemporary disabled characters and the plots they are involved with so often driven by ‘issues around their disability’ rather than anything else? It wasn’t so for Dickens, Stevenson or Zola, so what has changed?

Disability Art and Science: Resonant Frequency

Disability Art and Science: Resonant Frequency

23 January 2009

Resonant Frequency was a partnership between ITHACA, Science Oxford (the Oxford Trust) and Disability Arts Online (DAO) which sought to explore the issues around disability arts and science.

Discussion: Pallant House present 'Outside In'

Pallant House: 'Outside In'

14 December 2008

'Outside In' is a programme initiated by Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, dedicated to creating opportunities for marginalised and disabled artists. Colin Hambrook gives a personal take on the issues which underlie the project.

Close up talk @ Tate Britain

19 November 2008

Liz Porter recently experienced an audio-described talk at Tate Britain, focussing on a variety of work in the galleries permanent collection. She reflects on access for visually impaired gallery visitors, looks at the merits of this kind of access provision.

Alan Scott: in memoriam

Alan Scott: in memoriam

19 November 2008

Alan Scott was a photographer, printmaker, writer and raconteur with a love of philosophy and a wealth of understanding and knowledge. Sadly, Alan died on Thursday 16 October, aged 57 years. Here DAO reproduces a selection of words and images to create

Disability Arts, a monster, a myth

Disability Arts, a monster, a myth

2 September 2008

Penny Pepper gives a potted history, swears a lot and asks some vital questions about where the disability arts movement is going

Interview: Gus Cummins talks about his new work Ictal

Interview: Gus Cummins talks about his new work Ictal

11 August 2008

Gus Cummins is creating a variety of visual arts and media, inspired by his experience of epilepsy. The work ranges from painting to video and digital installations. Colin Hambrook asked Gus a few questions in preparation for seeing the work at DadaFest

Minding the Gap

Minding the Gap

10 May 2007

DAO asks Sarah Kennedy about the work of Mind the Gap and a forthcoming conference it is organising around opportunities for learning disabled actors

Phil Lancaster

Phil Lancaster

8 May 2007

Colin Hambrook talked to Phil Lancaster about his compelling, computer generated images and his view on Disability Art in general.

Tim Jeeves: On Catharsis

16 December 2006

Tim Jeeves explains, in prose, reasons for his performance piece The Last Days of Mourning

On The Next Level: Labels Seminar

On The Next Level: Labels Seminar

16 December 2006

In response to a workshop, as a part of Art Shape's 'Space Between' touring exhibition, Zoe Partington confronts the issue of labels. Who uses them? Who chooses them?

Interview with Deborah Williams

Interview with Deborah Williams

16 December 2006

Colin Hambrook talked to Deborah Williams about her approach to making theatre and her dreams for her company, Reality Productions.

Joe McConnell: Beyond Compliance

1 February 2006

DAO looks at the wide gap that separates self-declared accessible websites from websites which are genuinely trying to offer disabled people a comparable experience to that of the non-disabled.

Disability Arts Moments

Disability Arts Moments

1 December 2005

DAO asks what are your favourite pieces of work (in any art form) by disabled artists? What do you feel should be preserved for future generations?

North West Disability Arts Forum: TransART

North West Disability Arts Forum: TransART

1 April 2005

DAO contacted North West Disability Arts Forum NWDAF to find out about an innovative project aiming to open up debate about identity, access and inclusion within contemporary art

Maria Kuipers

Maria Kuipers

1 March 2005

Colin Hambrook reviews the work of an artist whose work embraces a therapeutic approach.

Mark Ware: Mind Games

1 December 2004

Mark Ware has created a play, a film and an exhibition that's influenced by his life after a stroke at the age of 39. Colin Hambrook talked to him about his creative journey.