Disability Arts Online

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22 September 2008

shows a multipanelled image with different versions of one face, morphing gradually into a negative picture Caroline Cardus

Digital image produced by Caroline Cardus in a Driving Inspiration workshop

Image: Caroline Cardus

DAO is a unique online journal. Our mission is to publish quality work created under the umbrella of deaf and disability arts. In so doing we intend to bring quality arts practice to the attention of the deaf and disability communities, for critical analysis and debate. As part of this process we aim to raise awareness of the issues that face artists across the disability spectrum.

Within this unique online journal you will find commissions, reviews, interviews, profiles, blogs, listings and a growing body of reference resources documenting the history and development of disability arts within the UK and further abroad.

We have just gone live with the latest DAO which we hope you will find provides you with better access to the rich resources that lie within.

Your feedback is invaluable. Please send us your comments on the forms at the end of each page; or email us at editor@disabilityartsonline.org.uk with general feedback on the site.

New on the site

    Alan Hopwood

    9 February 2015

    Feature

    Alan Hopwood initially trained as an engineer, before gaining a BA Hons Degree and a Masters in fine art. Following 12 years as a lecturer in Fine Art, Alan has returned to his primary passion of painting. As a disabled person, Alan’s work is often both governed and informed by his condition. Working as his mobility allows, on small or large pieces or using digital media and photography, Alan finds that, despite his limitations, he can nearly always find some creative activity...

    The Sound of Disability

    30 January 2015

    Feature

    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...

    Political Pop to Pierce The Prophylaxis of The Non-Disabled

    30 January 2015

    Feature

    Robin Surgeoner AKA Angryfish looks for political songwriting. Looking for a definition he asks does it exist within “philosophical laments, agit-pop, punk angst, prosaic provocative folk, indie rock, hard rock, reggae rock, and the list goes on…” 

    Review: Theatre Re: 'Blind Man’s Song' recalls a lost magic

    23 January 2015

    Feature

    Using theatre, mime, sound and original live music in exploring the power of imagination to seek wisdom beyond our senses, Theatre Re’s 'Blind Man’s Song' opened the London International Mime Festival at Jacksons Lane. Colin Hambrook reviews a VocalEyes audio-described performance on 22nd January.

    Interview: Gary Thomas: on being an artist

    21 January 2015

    Feature

    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

    Debjani Chatterjee: A Miscellany

    13 January 2015

    Feature

    Award-winning poet-translator, Debjani Chatterjee MBE, shares a few poems from her collections, including her latest book 'Do You Hear the Storm Sing?' (Core Publications, winter 2014). She has been called 'a rainbow spirit' (Paul Beasley) and 'a voice of rare originality' (David Morley).

    Review: Ivan Riches and Simon Puriņš: 'Children of the Great War'

    13 January 2015

    Feature

    Originally shown at the APT Gallery, London between 8-11 January 2015, Ivan Riches and Simon Puriņš: 'Children of the Great War' is due to go to Alexandra Palace on Saturday 7th February and every first Saturday of the month. Produced as part of a London-wide Age Exchange project the dual-screen film and digital media installation records memories and experiences of the First World War passed down through families and across communities. Review by Emmeline...

    Opinion: DaDaFest International 2014: The Big Debate

    31 December 2014

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    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

    Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Sheila Hill's 'Him'

    11 December 2014

    Feature

    Writer/theatre-maker and installation-artist Sheila Hill received an Unlimited research and development award to work with actor Tim Barlow to create ‘Him’. The resulting film was shown at DaDaFest 2014 as part of a session titled 'Unlimited: the Artists Voice'. Review by Liz Porter

    Interview: Tony Heaton on the next tranche of Unlimited applications

    11 December 2014

    Feature

    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. 

    Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Staff Benda Bilili

    7 December 2014

    Feature

    Congolese band Staff Benda Bilili’s exuberant live shows and extraordinary story have caused a stir across the globe. To round off DaDaFest 2014, the band set the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall alight with their powerful rumba-rooted beats, overlaid with elements of old-school rhythm 'n' blues and reggae. Review by Susan Bennett

    Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Ship of Fools

    5 December 2014

    Feature

    Colin Hambrook responds to 'Ship of Fools', the vacuum cleaner’s self-initiated Anti-Section action, residency and mental creative space documented as a video diary on show in 'Art of the Lived Experiment' at the core of DaDaFest 2014

    Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Syndrome 3.1: Music/ Brain Experiments

    30 November 2014

    Feature

    Mixing science, music and the visual arts to explore the nature of performance and deafness, using realtime brainwave scanning to generate a live improvised score. Susan Bennett witness a performance culminating from a 4-day residency with the Frozen Music Collective, Ruth Montgomery and Danny Lane from Music and the Deaf, and a team of neuroscientists and coders.

    News: Heart n Soul’s Allsorts: The Listening Season

    28 November 2014

    Feature

    Heart n Soul is delighted to announce that they are working with Emmy award-winning ‘Sherlock’ composer Michael Price to co-produce ‘Allsorts: The Listening Season’, our creative arts project for adults with learning disabilities.

    Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Unsung Hero: Liverpool's Most Radical Son

    28 November 2014

    Feature

    Edward Rushton, poet, activist and scouser has been forgotten and left in the margins of our history... until now.  As part of this years’ festival, DaDaFest have partnered with The International Slavery Museum, The Museum of Liverpool and the Victoria Gallery and Museum to celebrate the life of this fascinating figure through a series of displays featuring at each site. Review by Jade French

    Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl

    28 November 2014

    Feature

    Featuring an international cast of disabled actresses The Ugly Girl is a currently touring to Salford, Wolverhampton and Liverpool. Obi Chiejina reviews a performance of the show at The Continental, Preston on 20 November

    Review: Maggie Sawkins: Zones of Avoidance

    26 November 2014

    Feature

    Multimedia live literature production Zones of Avoidance was written and performed by poet Maggie Sawkins and directed by Mark C Hewitt with film sequences from Abigail Norris. Colin Hambrook reviews a performance at the All Saints Centre, Lewes on 29 October

    Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Sophie Partridge's 'Song of Semmersuaq'

    24 November 2014

    Feature

    Song of Semmersuaq is adapted from an Inuit mythical tale. Written and performed by Sophie Partridge, it is the story of a 7ft tall chief’s daughter from a tribe who live in a world of snow.   - Cate Jacobs reviewed a performance at the Unity Theatre,  Liverpool on 21st November

    Review: DaDaFest International 2014: Lisa Simpson's 'Brought to Life'

    24 November 2014

    Feature

    The digital world meets the natural world in choreographer Lisa Simpson’s enchanting professional debut. Inspired by Goldsworthy’s ephemeral sculptural artworks, this new dance piece explores growth, change and the environment. Review by Cate Jacobs

    Music for the Masses

    21 November 2014

    Feature

    Dao asked Mik Scarlet to capture a slice of Disability Arts history from the 1990s when a bunch of disabled musicians set their sights on a career within the music industry.​ He looks back with a sense of pride at what they achieved against inumerable odds.

    Review: UK Disability History Month 2014: War And Impairment

    21 November 2014

    Feature

    On 18 November, Disability Rights campaigners, disabled people, carers and allies gathered to celebrate the fifth anniversary of UKDHM at this year’s Launch event in Unite House, Holborn, London.  Review by Sarah Ismail

    Review: Disability Arts Touring Network: Krip-Hop Nation

    19 November 2014

    Feature

    Krip-Hop Nation continues to grow internationally as a platform for disabled artists and a voice for disability-led justice and politics. Featuring MCs, rappers and DJs from the US, Germany, Uganda and the UK, supported by the Disability Arts Touring Network (DATN). Review by Cate Jacobs of their show at the Citadel, St Helens on 13 November

    Review: DaDaFest International 2014: The City Speaks

    19 November 2014

    Feature

    The City Speaks is a guided tour to Liverpool's political and cultural history of the city and its people. Created by sound artist Chas de Swiet, the audio work provides an aural tapestry made up of snippets and snapshots of Liverpool past and present, stories told in song, poetry, interviews and observations, all set against natural background sounds. Review by Deborah Caulfield

    Attitude is Everything: the rise of access for disabled music lovers and musicians

    12 November 2014

    Feature

    In 2000 Suzanne Bull MBE set up Attitude is Everything (AiE) to challenge the music industry to improve their access to Deaf and disabled customers.  Fourteen years on the organisation has had a lot of success in persuading the UK music industry that there are advantages to be found in raising their game when it comes to access provision for disabled people. Colin Hambrook recently talked to Suzanne about AiE’s beginnings and where the organisation is...

    Review: Gobscure present Collector of Tears

    10 November 2014

    Feature

    Sean Burn’s Collector of Tears is a poetic and epic love story spanning over four hundred years. A powerful play, encompassing sexual and survivor politics, the touring production was directed by Jackie Fielding and performed by Madeline McMahon. Review by Simon Jenner

    News: Unlimited opens the second round of submissions

    7 November 2014

    Feature

    Unlimited, the initiative which supports disabled artists to create and present exceptional work across the artforms, announces the opening of the second round of submissions for commission funds. Disabled artists and companies who are creating new disability-led work are invited to apply.

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

    5 November 2014

    Feature

    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...

    Review: Rite of Passage: a gravedigger's memoir by Peter Street

    3 November 2014

    Feature

    Published as an ebook by Natterjack Press, Wendy Young unearths some graveyard humour in Peter Street’s memoir 'Rite of Passage' with its tales of a young disabled grave-digger in a 1960s world that most of us would not be able to ‘dig’!

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

    29 October 2014

    Feature

    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...

    Review: Shape Open 2014: Too Wonderful to be [in]Visible

    27 October 2014

    Feature

    This year's Shape Open exhibition questions how we perceive disability, using painting, audio, textile, and even a mask made of meat to look beyond that which is visible. Currently in its third year, Shape Open is an annual call-out for both disabled and non-disabled artists to submit work of any medium in response to a disability-focused theme - this year, '[in]visible'. Mik Scarlet wheeled his way through the vast Westfield shopping complex to the...

    Review: Creative Minds South West one day conference

    18 October 2014

    Feature

    In spite of grisly weather, the turn-out for The Creative Minds Conference on 14th October at Bristol’s Harbourside was excellent with nearly 200 delegates arriving for registration. Tanvir Bush was there from the start, soaking up the palpable excitement, energy and general feeling of great warmth and camaraderie amongst the performers and organisers.

    News: Welfare Reform threatens Graeae Theatre Company

    16 October 2014

    Feature

    In the wake of the scandal of Lord Freud's comments about wages for disabled workers Graeae Theatre Company have issued a statement on the realities of the impact of the changes in Access to Work and other disability-related employment policies on the work of the company.

    News: Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival

    13 October 2014

    Feature

    Following a busy summer Together! are delighted to announce the programme for the Together! 2014 Disability History Month Festival. Highlights include the festival launch and private view of the Open Exhibition; Krip Hop Nation's workshop and performance; The Hands Project on International Day of Disabled People; the Together! Disability Film Festival and the launch of a poetry anthology and end-of-festival party.

    News: Stopgap Dance Company and The Point launch the iF Platform

    8 October 2014

    Feature

    The iF Platform (Integrated Fringe) is a unique opportunity for companies and artists producing work with disabled and non disabled artists. It will showcase the best integrated work from the UK at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 23rd – 30th August 2015 to coincide with the British Council Showcase year.

    Storylines: Mapping the past - a Carousel project

    1 October 2014

    Feature

    Storylines is a project which brings the memories and stories of older people with learning difficulties to the public through live events which combine video projection, performance and poetry. The pilot project has been led by young learning disabled artists Becky Bruzas, Jason Eade, Tina Dickinson and Sarah Watson from the Oska Bright steering committee. Review by Alan Morrison

    Claire McLaughlin: Remembering Blue

    28 September 2014

    Feature

    Claire McLaughlin shares a selection of poems from her forthcoming poetry collection Remembering Blue, to be published by Survivors Press in autumn 2014. Her work is infused with a sense of the losses and the gains that come with the  experience of impairment.

    Opinion: Dao Writers on Poetry

    19 September 2014

    Feature

    Dao is building a collection of articles about poetry and poets, and within that aim we're looking to feature a disability perspective in one way shape or form. 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'...

    Essay: The anti-war poem ‘Disabled’ by Wilfred Owen

    19 September 2014

    Feature

    Emmeline Burdett gives an analysis of one of the most famous anti-war poems of all time from the hand of the First World War Poet, Wilfred Owen. In a bid to evoke what Owen called ‘the pity of War’ the poem ‘Disabled’ gives impairment an emblematic status which, argues Burdett, impacts on attitudes today.

    Review: Unlimited 2014: Caroline Bowditch: Falling in Love with Frida

    13 September 2014

    Feature

    Combining monologue and dance, Caroline Bowditch’s Falling in Love with Frida is a passionate reclamation of Frida Kahlo as a disabled artist and a reflection on how we are remembered by others. Victoria Wright reviews a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the Unlimited Festival.

    Unlimited 2014: Touretteshero: Backstage in Biscuit Land

    13 September 2014

    Feature

    Victoria Wright learns never to put an elephant in an envelope after experiencing Jess Thom, aka Touretteshero, and her accomplice Jess Mabel Jones performing Backstage in Biscuit Land as part of Unlimited at the Southbank Centre.

    News: Disability Arts Touring Network: The Ugly Girl Tour

    11 September 2014

    Feature

    A wildly comic twist on the stereotype of a queer, disabled, intellectual trouble-maker, featuring an international cast of disabled actresses including Liz Carr (Silent Witness) and Julie McNamara (Let Me Stay). This no-holds barred musical about what it means to be the quintessential Ugly Girl adrift in a comically hostile universe is full of slapstick, music and dark humour. Presented as part of a tour to develop disability arts.

    Review: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

    11 September 2014

    Feature

    Award winning writer, poet, performer and rights activist, Penny Pepper presented her highly anticipated, unique one-woman show, Lost in Spaces at the Soho Theatre last Monday. Review by Colin Hambrook

    Review: Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon: Exposure

    10 September 2014

    Feature

    Jo Bannon's Exposure was a ten minute one-on-one performance event, which took place in a room on the fourth floor of the Royal Festival Hall. Sue Austin describes its impact on her in the context of her own live performance art

     

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

    9 September 2014

    Feature

    Juan delGado's The Flickering Darkness is a video installation filmed at the Corabastos market in Bogotá (Columbia), the largest of its kind in Latin America. Produced during a three-month residency in the city in 2009 and re-edited for Unlimited, the project explores the journey produce sold at the market takes, from its arrival before dawn to its consumption. Review by Gary Thomas

    Review: Unlimited 2014: Unleashed

    7 September 2014

    Feature

    The premise of ‘Unlimited Unleashed’ is simple enough – some of the performers of various Unlimited productions do something on stage that they don’t normally do. The result is a stunning, chaotic cabaret night. Nina Muehlemann reports from this very special variety show.

    Review: Unlimited 2014: the vacuum cleaner: Madlove

    6 September 2014

    Feature

    James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner has been asking people how they would design a safe place to go mad, in a series of 3 hour workshops in the Royal Festival Hall. What would the ideal mental hospital be like? John O'Donoghue went to find out about the blueprint for a Madlove Designer Asylum.

    Review: Unlimited 2014: Michelle Ryan & Torque: Intimacy

    6 September 2014

    Feature

    In a funny, moving dance-theatre piece, staged in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Michelle Ryan shares her most private thoughts and feelings in a collaboration with theatre-makers Torque Show and a live score by Lavender Vs Rose. Review by Amardeep Sohi

     

    Review: Unlimited 2014: Drake Music: Seasons 4.0

    6 September 2014

    Feature

    Sophie Partridge went to a sharing of a Drake Music’s Seasons 4.0 an Unlimited commission featuring a collaboration across electro-acoustic music, contemporary dance and interactive technology. The event took place at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green on Friday 5 September.

    Review: Unlimited 2014: Perceptions of Difference: DAO & Survivors' Poetry

    4 September 2014

    Feature

    On Level 5 on the Royal Festival Hall lies the Saison Poetry Library: an eclectic crowd gathered to hear poetry from four stalwarts of the Survivors' Movement. Wendy Young was there for the inspiring words of Hilary Porter, John O’Donoghue, Debjani Chatterjee MBE, Frank Bangay the Bard of Hackney!  MC’d by Colin Hambrook.

     

    Review: Unlimited 2014: Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods

    3 September 2014

    Feature

    Religion and art are uncomfortable, but necessary bedfellows argues Colin Hambrook in a critique of Claire Cunningham’s dance/ theatre piece, which tells the stories of the religious beliefs of a range of disabled people

    Review: Liberty 2014

    1 September 2014

    Feature

    Trish Wheatley caught up with events at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford for National Paralympic Day 2014, featuring The Liberty Festival on 30 August

    Unlimited 2014: Chisato Minamimura: Ring the Changes+

    29 August 2014

    Feature

    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

    18 August 2014

    Feature

    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

    12 August 2014

    Feature

    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.

    News: Channel 4: Does It Matter? World War 1 Shorts

    28 July 2014

    Feature

    With two million British servicemen disabled by World War One, society's attitude to disability had to change. Co-produced by Artsadmin and Xenoki and co-commissioned by Channel 4 and 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, five disabled artists present unorthodox takes on the legacies of war and disability through a series of short films.

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

    27 July 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Francesca Martinez: ‘What the **** is Normal?!’

    19 July 2014

    Feature

    Francesca Martinez' memoir is about growing up with Cerebral Palsy. Rosaleen McDonagh reviews the comedians reflections on her life - an arduous journey through crippledom, illustrating how the public persona of wanting to be the ‘funny girl’ contradicted her internalized oppression.

    Review: Shape Artist's Network talk by Aaron McPeake on receiving the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary

    16 July 2014

    Feature

    Adam Reynolds Bursary winner Aaron McPeake gave a talk at the Shape Gallery in Westfield on his Spike Island residency on 3 July, as part of the launch of Shape’s Artist Network; a new, quarterly event for emerging and mid-career artists to get together, develop new collaborations and share ideas for professional development. Colin Hambrook reflects on the artists' practice.

    Review: Jez Colborne: GIFT at the Southbank Centre

    8 July 2014

    Feature

    Jez Colborne’s live sound installation GIFT is one of 20 pieces commissioned by the New Music Biennial and destined for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Gus Garside saw Mind the Gap’s latest production at the Southbank Centre on 6 July.

    Review: DaDaFest: Working Lives: Here & There

    24 June 2014

    Feature

    Working Lives: Here & There is the latest exhibition by DadaFest, a disability and deaf arts organisation based in Liverpool, aiming to explore disability and employment, not just locally in Liverpool, but worldwide, through photographs and supporting narratives of disabled people in their workplaces. Review by Jade French

    Review: Shape Gallery: Shortlist 6

    20 June 2014

    Feature

    Shape have just launched Shortlist 6: an exhibition of work marking the 6 years of the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary awards. Colin Hambrook visited Shape’s pop-up gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford to see the work of the most recent bursary-winner, Aaron McPeake alongside that of three of the shortlisted artists.

    Review: Stratford Circus, Face Front Theatre & Ramira Arts Collective: No Barriers with Barriers

    19 June 2014

    Feature

    Peter Faventi of Stratford Circus’s Blue Sky Actors and associate artist at Face Front Inclusive Theatre Company, with Ramira Arts Collective present: No Barriers with Barriers a striking site-specific play performing at Rowans Bowling Alley, in the heart of Finsbury Park London. Sophie Partridge went along to find that access barriers are still grossly misunderstood…

    Interview: Claire Cunningham: Guide Gods

    15 June 2014

    Feature

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

    Review: Gary Thomas: Hidden at DAiSY Fest

    14 June 2014

    Feature

    DAiSY Fest at GLIve on 4th June showcased Gary Thomas’s monologue Hidden starring Nathan Thompson. Taking his audience on a journey through some of the darkest thoughts we can share about ourselves: following a police stop and search, the principle character Sam’s delusions take over to the point that he becomes a person he no longer recognizes. Review by Deborah Caulfield

    Recommended list of books and journals

    10 June 2014

    Feature

    This section of Dao's research pages features a series of academic journals, books, novels and literature, which discusses disability. If you know of a book or journal you think Dao's readers would be interested in knowing about please send details to Dao's editor Colin Hambrook via editor@disabilityartsonline.org.uk

    Review: Deafinitely Theatre's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream

    4 June 2014

    Feature

    Following the success of Deafinitely Theatre's production of Love's Labour's Lost as part of the 2012 Globe to Globe project, they return to Shakespeare's Globe with a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in British Sign Language, until 7 June. Review by Melissa Mostyn

    Poetry: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

    19 May 2014

    Feature

    Penny Pepper is a writer, poet and performer with an extraordinary versatility to her work. Genre-defying and quirky, her work is infused with her passion as a veteran disability arts activist.

    News: Latitude Festival awarded the Silver level of the Charter of Best Practice

    14 May 2014

    Feature

    Attitude is Everything is very pleased to announce that Latitude Festival(17th- 20th July) has been awarded the Silver level of the Charter of Best Practice. The Silver award is in recognition of the ongoing efforts of Festival Republic, the festival organisers, to build upon event access and inclusion at the site on a yearly basis, which has resulted in a loyal Deaf and disabled customer base.

    Poetry: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

    12 May 2014

    Feature

    Writing and studying poetry was initially part of Owen Lowery's recovery following a spinal injury incurred while competing in a charity judo tournament as a young professional sportsman. Having recently won an Unlimited Award, Lowery's first major poetry collection, 'Otherwise Unchanged', was published by Carcanet in 2012. The work speaks in a range of voices, drawing from poetic traditions far and wide. 

    Review: The Dandifest Fete, Norwich

    8 May 2014

    Feature

    Amongst the days entertainment at the glorious May Day Dandy Village Fete, in Norwich on 5th May, Ann Young encountered poet/ producer Vince Laws and the force of nature that is Bonk, (aka Dickie Lupton).

    Review: ‘Good Kings Bad Kings’ a novel by Susan Nussbaum

    22 April 2014

    Feature

    Winner of the Pen/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, 'Good Kings Bad Kings’ (Oneworld Publications, 2014) by the American playwright and disability campaigner Susan Nussbaum, is a novel about life inside the walls of the Illinois Learning and Life Skills Center (ILLC), - an institution for juveniles with disabilities. Review by Emmeline Burdett

    Poetry: Carol Robson: Just Saying How It Is

    22 April 2014

    Feature

    Carol Robson loves the performance genre. She self-published her first collection Words of Darkness and Light in 2012, which will shortly be published as a second edition by Thynks Publications. She writes poetry on various themes but is passionate on issues of gender, sexuality, ageing and disability. 

    Review: Sky One: The Smoke

    17 April 2014

    Feature

    Sky's television drama series The Smoke presents a central disabled child character played by disabled actress Eve Smith. Having received accolades by the critics, Ju Gosling reviews the role of Grace from a disability perspective

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

    16 April 2014

    Feature

    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

    Poetry: John William Brown

    5 April 2014

    Feature

    John William Brown is a poet, painter and performer based in Norwich. He has published in various anthologies and has produced a chapbook of his drawings and poems, Private View (1997). He was joint editor of the now defunct magazine for marginalised persons, State of Mind (2004-6). John submitted a selection of illustrated poems from his published works.

    Unlimited 2014

    3 April 2014

    Feature

    The 2014 round of the UNLIMITED programme will support 26 disabled artists and companies across the UK to create ambitious work covering all genres. Dao is pleased to announce that we are the official media partner for Unlimited and we are pleased to be working to bring you all the latest news and insights on this exciting programme led by Shape and ArtsAdmin. Watch this space for links to news of the showcase and features on the artists engaged in the...

    News: Fittings Multimedia Arts are awarded funding for Missing!

    1 April 2014

    Feature

    Liverpool based Arts Company Fittings Multimedia Arts have received very welcome news this week as their application for funding to support a two-year project working with young people across the North and Midlands has been approved by Arts Council England.

    Review: If These Spasms Could Speak by Robert Softley

    23 March 2014

    Feature

    'Informed', 'irreverent' and 'humane' are three words used on the SICK! Festival brochure welcome page to introduce the aims of the festival in shining a light on issues that often remain hidden, taboo or misunderstood in daily life. Colin Hambrook explains why If These Spasms Could Speak fits the bill admirably.

    Review: Graeae Theatre present The Threepenny Opera

    18 March 2014

    Feature

    Graeae's production of Brecht and Weill's The Threepenny Opera attempts to provoke thinking around approaches to creative access. Liz Porter caught the show in Ipswich and sent in the following review, written from a visually impaired perspective

    Review: You're Not Alone by Kim Noble

    17 March 2014

    Feature

    As if by divine orchestration an unusual and eerie fog descends on Brighton a few hours prior to the start of You’re Not Alone – Kim Noble’s only performance as part of the eclectic and brilliantly programmed SICK! Festival in Brighton. Sarah Pickthall returned through the mists to send in this review.

    Review: Vital Xposure presents Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay

    13 March 2014

    Feature

    Described as A tender and unique exploration of the impact of Alzheimer's on family relations, Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay evokes her mother's songs and stories to create a personal piece of theatrical storytelling. Cath Nichols saw the performance at the Bluecoats, Liverpool on12th March.

    Review: Creative Minds South East one-day conference

    12 March 2014

    Feature

    It’s a bold question to pose, especially at a time when funding cuts conspire to put all creative organisations on the defensive: how do we perceive, discuss and measure quality in work by artists with learning disabilities? Bella Todd reports on the performing arts aspect of the Creative Minds conference, held on 10th March at Brighton Dome - and asks some pertinent questions to stimulate further debate.

    Creative Minds: ‘What as a practitioner are you going to do now?’

    11 March 2014

    Feature

    The Creative Minds event held in Brighton on Monday 10th March was full to capacity with a good mix of delegates from different roles and organisations. The work was impressive presenting visual art, performance and films that were full of life. Creative Minds was well organised with plenty of activity and scope for discussion and sharing of practice and thought. The speakers were engaging, their presentations witty, and their messages strong. To add to the debate Kristina Veasey asks...

    Review: Frozen by fingermsiths

    9 March 2014

    Feature

    Originally developed at the National Theatre Studio, Frozen sees a cast of Deaf and hearing actors bring fingersmiths' visual and physical theatre style to the stage, in the first major production of the play in 10 years. Review by Melissa Mostyn.

    Discussion: Robert Softley Gale on Wendy Hoose

    7 March 2014

    Feature

    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

    5 March 2014

    Feature

    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.

    News: Shape’s Great Art Auction Goes Live At Bonhams!

    28 February 2014

    Feature

    Shape are incredibly excited to announce that they will be taking part in Bonhams' first contemporary art auction of the year in order to raise money to continue developing opportunities for disabled artists.

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

    19 February 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Stopgap Dance Company tours Artificial Things

    17 February 2014

    Feature

    Artificial Things marks an important moment in the 19 year evolution of Stopgap Dance Company as the debut stage production for Lucy Bennett. Karl Newman caught the touring production at the Ivy Arts Centre in Guildford.

    Review: Disability: A New History on BBC i-player

    6 February 2014

    Feature

    In this ten-part radio series Peter White presents a history of disability in the 18th and 19th centuries. First broadcast on Radio 4 last year, podcasts and transcripts are available on the BBC’s website. Review by Dr Emmeline Burdett

    Review: Growing Up Downs: Blue Apple Theatre documentary on BBC 3

    6 February 2014

    Feature

    Last night BBC 3 aired a documentary telling the story of how Blue Apple Theatre took a touring production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to 12 mainstream theatres across the south of England playing to an audience of over 3,000 people from April - July 2012. Colin Hambrook reviews

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

    29 January 2014

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Beauty and the Beast by One of Us in co-production with Improbable

    7 January 2014

    Feature

    Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz poke fun at the absurdity of normality in their new production of the age old tale of Beauty and Beast. Directed by Phelim McDermott, Artistic Director of Improbable, the company conspire to make an adult fairytale like no other. Tam Gilbert reviews a performance at the Young Vic, London

    Gallery: Extant present ZombieyeZ in Zagreb

    16 December 2013

    Feature

    Extant Theatre's blind Zombie movie was filmed in Zagreb. Below you can follow the video diary of the heroine Helen as she joins blind and partially sighted people from across the world to take part in a Zagreb clinic’s medical trial claiming to restore sight in 24 hours. How far did they go to get their sight back? Experience the shocking outcome of Extant’s interactive online film narrative!

    Review: Together 2013

    16 December 2013

    Feature

    Dao posts reports by Richard Downes and Stephen Portlock on performing arts and visual arts at the month-long Together! Festival held in the London Borough of Newham from 22 November - 19 December

    Review: BBC Imagine: Turning the Art World Inside Out

    25 November 2013

    Feature

    The latest in Alan Yentob’s ‘Imagine’ series on BBC One attempted to examine how we define ‘Outsider Art’ asking “Why in 2013 is Outsider Art finally being feted by the art establishment, and what took it so long?” Michelle Kopczyk gives a critical analysis of how the programme failed to provide answers.

    Review: Hastings Storytelling Festival: The Velvet Curtain

    22 November 2013

    Feature

    Produced by 18 Hours for the Hastings Storytelling Festival The Velvet Curtain featured an evening of adult entertainment with burlesque performers Penny Pepper, Liz Bentley, Caroline Smith AKA Mertle Merman and Crimson Skye. Esther Fox was there as the curtain parted to reveal four mistresses of the titillating tale.

    Extraordinary Change: Engage International Conference 2013

    20 November 2013

    Feature

    Engage are an advocacy and support organisation for gallery education. Liz Porter attended their international conference in Birmingham on  7-8 November, which explored the challenges that education in galleries and the visual arts face in a period of uncertainty.


     

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

    15 November 2013

    Feature

    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'.

    News: Touch Art Fair pioneers a new approach to presenting visual arts

    15 October 2013

    Feature

    The Touch Art Fair is the first ever tactile art fair in the UK. On exhibition at 35 Marylebone High Street, London W1 from 17 - 20 October the fair is organised by pioneering french artist Scratch Adelia. Jake and Dinos Chapman have created a gigantic new piece of  work especially for the event amongst fifteen other international artists working in the haptic arts.

    Review: The Shape Open 2013: Disability Re-assessed

    15 October 2013

    Feature

    Shape’s annual visual arts competitive exhibition invites disabled and non-disabled artists to submit work on a disability theme. Tim Hayton reviews this years' exhibition on show at The Nunnery Gallery in London E3 until 20 October 2013.

    John O'Donoghue discusses the making of Knitting Time by Colin Hambrook

    14 October 2013

    Feature

    Knitting Time by Colin Hambrook has just been published by Waterloo Press, part of a project comprising online content and an exhibition at Pallant House in Chichester. Here John  O’Donoghue describes the mentoring process that led to the book’s publication.

    Overview: Common Pulse: Intersecting Abilities

    8 October 2013

    Feature

    Ju Gosling reports on Common Pulse a bi-annual festival and symposium curated by Durham Art Gallery in rural Ontario, focusing on ‘important current developments that are taking place in the Canadian art and culture scene’. The theme for 2013's festival was Intersecting Abilities.

    Review: Short Circuit: When Disability And Digital Collide

    12 September 2013

    Feature

    Disabled people aren’t strangers to technology. From hearing aids to wheelchairs we’ve been drawing on human inventiveness to give us not just access but options. John O'Donoghue went along to look how digital technology is changing the face of disability art.

    News: 900 Years of Light: Multimedia performance at Exeter Cathedral

    6 September 2013

    Feature

    Exeter Cathedral will be the setting for a multimedia response to the building’s 900 year history and the contributions that craftspeople have made during that time. 900 Years of Light is the culmination of Cathedra 900, an Arts Council England funded project by visual and multimedia artist Mark Ware. For the last 18 months, Mark has been exploring the Cathedral and interpreting its art and architecture through photography, abstract photomontages, 3D artwork and sound.

    National Paralympic Day featuring Liberty Festival!

    3 September 2013

    Feature

    Greenwich and Docklands International Festival is producing National Paralympic Day featuring the Mayor of London’s Liberty Festival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 7 September 2013.

    Review: DaDaFest On Tour: Young DaDaFest 2013

    14 August 2013

    Feature

    Young DaDaFest is a performance showcase for and by young Disabled and d/Deaf people aged 13-25. Young DaDa member Michelle Stubbs reports on this years' performance on 18 July at the Johnson Foundation Auditorium of Liverpool John Moores’ Art and Design Academy.

    Gini: Con.Text: the major and minor scroll

    15 July 2013

    Feature

    Gini was awarded a Diverse Perspectives commission to make creative responses to conversations with artists and audiences at Salisbury Arts Centre. The scrolls she produced give a creative insight into peoples' reactions to work exhibited and their reasons for coming to the Arts Centre.

    Review: Don’t Call Me Crazy - documentary season on BBC Three

    2 July 2013

    Feature

    Don’t Call Me Crazy launches It’s A Mad World - a season of films on BBC Three looking at a range of mental health issues affecting young people in Britain today. Sarah Tonin responds with a review asking who will speak out against this kind of exploitative representation?

    Review: Extrêmitiés by Cirque Inextremiste as part of the Unity Festival

    27 June 2013

    Feature

    Billed as circus performance the Cirque Inextremiste were appearing for the first time in Wales, presenting their newest piece Extrêmités, as part of this year’s Unity Festival at the Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff. Tom Wentworth witnessed the loud bangs, bright lights and spectacular surprises!

    News: Grace Eyre's disabled-friendly Sussex Beacon Open Garden in Hove

    25 June 2013

    Feature

    DAO has been publishing a profile of work by Grace Eyre members since summer 2012. Sheila McWattie reports on Grace Eyre members' participation in a vibrant community gardens scheme across Brighton & Hove in partnership with The Sussex Beacon, due to open to the public from 29-30 June 2013

     

    Gallery: Dolly Sen: Portugal Prints working with the Royal Academy of Arts

    15 June 2013

    Feature

    As part of DAO’s Diverse Perspectives programme, funded by Arts Council England, film-maker Dolly Sen was commissioned to produce a short documentary exploring the relationship Portugal Prints has with the Royal Academy of Arts access programme. 'Greenhouse of Hearts' highlights the inspired, dynamic work that this small project is delivering.

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

    12 June 2013

    Feature

    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.

    Creative writing: A selection of short stories by Lynne E Blackwood

    11 June 2013

    Feature

    Lynne Blackwood started writing in April 2012 after illness terminated her professional activity. She is of Anglo-Indian descent and her emotional heritage plays a strong part in her writing sensitivities, reflecting a mosaic of experiences and cultures. DAO is proud to present a series of her short stories.

    Song: Alas Atos from Making Waves Community Choir

    4 June 2013

    Feature

    Making Waves is a left/ green community choir, based in Cullercoats, which has a policy of freely sharing their produce. Oliver Swingler from the choir sent the following song to DAO. He says that if anyone else wants to record it and publish (with acknowledgement of Oliver and the choir), they are most welcome.

    Heads Up Film Series Launches

    3 June 2013

    Feature

    Heads Up, a series of films which have been produced as part of the Creative Case has been published today by Arts Council England through the Creative Case website which is managed by DAO. The 8 films feature a number of arts professionals and arts organisations who discuss their involvement with the Creative Case and what it means to them and are being released in two batches with the first four live now.  


    Review: Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan at the Wellcome Collection, London

    28 May 2013

    Feature

    The first major display of Japanese Outsider Art in the UK is showing at the Wellcome Collection until 30 June. The 46 artists represented are residents and day attendees in social welfare institutions across Japan. Nicole Fordham Hodges went to see and experience the power which is 'Souzou'. 

    Catalyst Arts success for DAO and StopGap

    15 May 2013

    Feature

    Arts Council England has announced the 62 successful applicants to the ‘Catalyst Arts: Building Fundraising Capacity’ scheme. Disability Arts Online and StopGap Dance Company are part of a consortium celebrating success.

    Review: The Angina Monologue by Doug Devaney

    11 May 2013

    Feature

    Is it possible to make compelling theatre out of a cardiac arrest? John O’Donoghue went to see Doug Devaney’ show, part of Brighton’s Five Pound Fringe.

    Review: COnscription by Caglar Kimyoncu

    9 May 2013

    Feature

    COnscription explores the call-up to military service for people who don't 'fit the mould'. The four-channel film is on show at the Old Truman Brewery, London until 18 May. Joe McConnell reviews a multimedia installation which follows the stories of four individuals who meet at a military hospital - three subjects under assessment and their doctor.

    Review: The Knitting Circle by Vital Xposure

    6 May 2013

    Feature

    A gripping celebration of the forgotten lives of women who survived long term institutional incarceration.  Julie McNamara's 'The Knitting Circle'  (a Vital Xposure production currently on national tour) reviewed by Joe McConnell

    All The Lonely People: an anthology by Plum Tree Books

    30 April 2013

    Feature

    Niamh Clune, Founder of Plum Tree Books sent out a call across Facebook, announcing that she wanted to do an anthology on All The Lonely People... poems, art, prose focussing on the subject of loneliness. DAO presents a sampler from the online anthology.

    Review: CoolTan Arts presents 'Making it Happen' at the BFI

    28 March 2013

    Feature

    CoolTan Arts film project let participants explore the process any individual needs to go through to access a personal budget, by expressing their experiences of the personalisation process through their own words, filmmaking and animation. Richard Downes attended a screening at NFT2, British Film Institute on 25 March

    Review: SICK! Festival presents Sick Notes an online archive

    26 March 2013

    Feature

    Sick Notes is part of SICK!, an ambitious, cross art-form festival that seeks out new ways of talking about and dealing with the experience of sickness. Sick Notes is an online video archive of sick jokes and funny stories about illness. John O’Donoghue likes a good laugh. But will Sick Notes deliver?

    Review: Taking Flight Theatre Company present Real Human Being

    25 March 2013

    Feature

    Taking Flight is an inclusive youth theatre project based in Cardiff. Written by Matthew Bulgo, 'Real Human Being’ uses forum theatre to deal with the issue of disability hate crime. Tom Wentworth saw a performance at Corpus Christi High School on 22 March.

    Review: Side by Side Exhibition at the Southbank Centre

    23 March 2013

    Feature

    The Rocket Artists, in partnership with the University of Brighton, present Side by Side - an international exhibition showcasing learning disability, art and collaboration. **Nicole Fordham Hodges** reviews the exhibition, on show in the Spirit Level, Southbank Centre, London until 5 April

    Review: SICK! Festival presents the vacuum cleaner's acclaimed show Mental

    18 March 2013

    Feature

    SICK! Festival of Contemporary Performance Art produced by contemporary performance organisation the Basement, played in Brighton from 1- 16 March. John O'Donoghue went to see the vacuum cleaner's show Mental, which documents 10 years of being an outlaw, inpatient and artist activist.

    Review: WOW festival presents Claire Cunningham's Ménage à Trois

    15 March 2013

    Feature

    Claire Cunningham makes work based on honing skills specifically created by her physical impairment and looking at perceived limitations as advantages. Nina Mühlemann was there to see this production created with choreographer/video artist Gail Sneddon at the Queen Elizabeth Hall for Southbank's Women of the World festival.

    Review: The Portrait Anatomised at the National Portrait Gallery

    15 March 2013

    Feature

    Inspired by neuro-scientific imagery, Susan Aldworth's experimental printmaking explores the relationship between our physical brain and our sense of self. Her portraits of three people with epilepsy are now showing at the National Portrait Gallery until 1 September. Nicole Fordham-Hodges went to see this haunting, thought-provoking exhibition.

    Review: Criptease at Southbank Centre's WOW festival

    15 March 2013

    Feature

    New York Legendary Nightlife Artstar Julie Atlas Muz guest-hosts Criptease, an outlandish, outrageous evening of neo-burlesque celebrating disabled women's bodies for Women Of The World 2013. Nina Muehlemann reviews this burlesque performance by deaf and disabled artists, at the Southbank Centre on 9 March

    Gallery: Sarah Hirst

    14 March 2013

    Feature

    Sarah Hirst is currently in her 3rd and final year on a fine art degree. The theme of her work is about exploring the masks we wear in everyday life. Her gallery of Dream Watercolours represents work that came out of a project making work about experience of hallucinations.

    Review: SICK! Festival presents Jochem Stavenuiter's Eleonora

    8 March 2013

    Feature

    SICK! Festival of Contemporary Performance Art produced by contemporary performance organisation the Basement plays in Brighton from 1- 16 March. John O'Donoghue saw Jochem Stavenuiter’s tale of what happened when his mother Eleonora had a stroke

    Review: SICK! Festival presents Under Observation

    4 March 2013

    Feature

    SICK! Festival of Contemporary Performance Art produced by contemporary performance organisation, the Basement plays in Brighton from 1- 16 March. Colin Hambrook went along to an afternoon of durational performance and film entitled Under Observation

    Review: Spare Tyre Theatre present 'Scratches'

    2 March 2013

    Feature

    Spare Tyre’s Associates join forces with their Company of Artists to showcase stories, imaginations and physicalities through spoken word, song, dance, movement and film. Nicole Fordham Hodges saw 'Scratches' at the Albany Theatre, London on 27 February. It was joyous, playful and rude.

    News: filmpro presents 'COnscription'

    2 March 2013

    Feature

    A multimedia installation by Caglar Kimyoncu exploring the politics of compulsory military service. Produced by disabled-led digital art agency filmpro, the work will show at the Old Truman Brewery, London from 2 May.

    Gallery: Liz Crow: Bedding In, Bedding Out - a live durational performance

    26 February 2013

    Feature

    Liz Crow presents her new work 'Bedding In, Bedding Out' which is one of the eight Diverse Perspectives commissions funded by Arts Council's Grants for the Arts. Drawing on audio recordings and time lapse photography of the performance, Reflections from the Bed introduces the work, its backdrop and its politics.

    Review: Birds of Paradise present 'In An Alien Landscape'

    12 February 2013

    Feature

    Glasgow-based theatre company Birds of Paradise is currently touring a new production that promises ‘an ironic and humorous journey entering the world of brain injury, consciousness, memory and creativity’. Paul F Cockburn asks: did it work?

    Review: Unlimited: an evening of film in the Southbank Centre

    10 February 2013

    Feature

    'Total Permission' follows conductor Charles Hazlewood, founder of the British Paraorchestra, as he encounters the artistry within 12 of the Unlimited commissions. Nina Muehlemann went to the launch of the film at the Southbank Centre on 6 February

    Review: TransAction Theatre present dIRTy

    6 February 2013

    Feature

    Described as an explosive, visceral portrayal of disintegration, TransAction Theatre's 'dIRTy', written and performed by Joey Hateley and directed by Julie McNamara, was performed at the Contact Theatre, Manchester on 31 January. Mari Elliott reviews the experience

    Review: Light Show at the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre

    5 February 2013

    Feature

    Light Show brings together sculptures and installations from 22 artists who use light to sculpt and shape space. Richard Downes is disturbed and illuminated by this exhibition of immersive environments, free-standing light sculptures and projections on show at the Hayward Gallery, London until 28 April 2013.

    Review: Improbable Theatre: Devoted & Disgruntled 2013

    5 February 2013

    Feature

    Liz Porter reflects on Improbable Theatre’s Devoted & Disgruntled Open Space event, inviting theatre practitioners and venues to talk about prioritising access at Unicorn Theatre in London, January 2013

    Review: Fox Searchlight Pictures present 'The Sessions'

    28 January 2013

    Feature

    There has been a surge of documentaries and films in recent times which claim to be exposing taboos about disabled people. The Sessions is the latest in a list including 'Rust and Bone' and 'The Undateables'. Most seem to be exploitative, narcissistic and made with the able-bodied gaze says Rosaleen McDonagh

    Review: Shape present 'Perceptions Of Balance'

    28 January 2013

    Feature

    Nine artists, brought together as part of Shape’s Creative Steps programme, use varied media to illustrate and express their encounters with how they may or may not experience equilibrium. The exhibition is on show at Lauderdale House until 3rd February 2013. Review by Richard Downes

    'Listening to the Dark' a selection of poetry by Peter Street

    21 January 2013

    Feature

    Published by Penniless Press, 'Listening to the Dark' is Street's fifth volume, which includes a diverse range of topics from growing up in Bolton, living with disability, his experience as a war poet in Croatia and voicing the concerns of plants and trees.

    News: DaDaFest joins Go ON Gold

    8 January 2013

    Feature

    Liverpool based disability arts organization, DaDaFest, has become the latest group to join a national campaign to help disabled people overcome the challenges of using the internet.

    Review: ActOne ArtsBase present A Sense of Beauty

    20 December 2012

    Feature

    ActOne ArtsBase are currently producing a dance and performance workshop called 'A Sense of Beauty' for schools, hospices, hospitals, theatres and outdoor venues across the East of England and surrounding areas. Katie Fraser discusses her experience of being part of the organisations training programme.

    Review: Hijinx, Odyessy present Whispers on the Waves

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    Hijinx Theatre presented a new production from inclusive community group, Odyssey, at Wales Millennium Centre from 6-8 December. Whispers on the Waves eavesdrops on stories from the last century as they wait for Christmas to turn the corner. Review by Tom Wentworth

    Interview: Ivan Riches

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Crippen presents the Criptarts

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    Crippen's latest cartoon strip takes DAO readers on an unpredictable journey with a host of disabled characters, featuring some surprising guest appearances from well known members of the disability arts community. Watch the characters develop as they grapple with many of the issues that confront us all as disabled artists, and support each other as members of the DAO extended family.

    Review: Corali Dance present 'One of a Kind' and other new works

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    Corali brought together its most recent work in a rare opportunity to see the breadth of the Company’s current practice in the foyer of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank on 4 December. Sophie Partridge was there to review the programme

    Review: The Lowry present Arabian Nights

    10 December 2012

    Feature

    Set in the Turkish pink Quays Theatre, experiencing the Arabian Nights production by the Library Theatre Company at the Lowry in Salford was, says Susan Bennett like being in the kasbah itself. It brought together larger than life the stories of One Thousand and One Nights.

    Review: The Place present Fresh 2012

    9 December 2012

    Feature

    Bringing together some of the UK’s most dynamic youth and professional dance companies including Cando2, Fresh is The Place's annual celebration of dance designed for young people. Sophie Partridge reviews...

    Review: Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet

    23 November 2012

    Feature

    Currently being screened at a cinema near you, 'Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet' directed by Jason Vile, carries Independent Living messages spotted by Richard Downes

    Review: Abigail McLellan (1969 – 2009): A Retrospective at Rebecca Hossack Gallery

    8 November 2012

    Feature

    Abigail McLellan was an acclaimed artist when she was diagnosed with MS in 1999. She continued to produce and refine her intense, vibrant art for the last ten years of her life, often using ingenious techniques to outwit the effects of her illness. She died aged 40. Nicole Fordham Hodges went to the Rebecca Hossack Gallery to see the retrospective of her work on show until 1 December.

    Gallery: Grace Eyre Foundation

    2 November 2012

    Feature

    Grace Eyre offer a wide range of visual art sessions for people with learning difficulties in Brighton & Hove. Sessions aim to build on existing talents and offer opportunities to pursue new avenues of artistic exploration. DAOs gallery contains a selection of work by Grace Eyre artists

    Review: Changing Lives, Changing Times

    31 October 2012

    Feature

    Sophie Partridge saw a recent performance of 'Changing Lives, Changing Times' by students from the Cathedral Academy of Performing Arts and Cockburn School, staged by the The Centre for Disability Studies and School of Performance & Cultural Industries at Leeds University. She sent the following review to DAO

    Review: Outside In: National 2012

    25 October 2012

    Feature

    The biggest visual arts treat of the year so far, has arrived in the form of Outside In: National which opened today at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex. Colin Hambrook extols the exhibitions virtues as a beacon for creativity.

    Review: Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers

    25 October 2012

    Feature

    Newly acclimatising to a cochlear implant, Susan Bennett reviews a performance by The Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 15 October.

    Gallery: Ivan Riches: Outside In video portraits

    22 October 2012

    Feature

    As part of DAO’s Diverse Perspectives programme, funded by Arts Council England, film-maker Ivan Riches was selected to produce a series of short, moving image, digital works with Outside In artist Paul Bellingham.

    Review: Rosaleen McDonagh's ‘Mainstream’

    18 October 2012

    Feature

    Colin Cameron responds to a rehearsed reading of Rosaleen McDonagh’s ‘Mainstream’ held at The Projects Arts Centre, Dublin on 13 October to discover a play that gives insight into disabled people's experience of oppression

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

    12 October 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Unlimited: Mark Brew Company’s 'Fusional Fragments'

    2 September 2012

    Feature

    Fusional Fragments is a fast-moving, athletic fusion of classical ballet and contemporary dance, featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie and the British Paraorchestra. Amardeep Sohi reviews the performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall, on 31 August, as part of the Unlimited Festival

    Unlimited: Kaite O'Reilly on Deaf and disability arts

    2 September 2012

    Feature

    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

    31 August 2012

    Feature

    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.

    News: Experience Oska Bright International Festival - The Digital Space

    28 August 2012

    Feature

    Oska Bright is the award-winning, international festival of short films made by artists with learning disabilities. Over the last decade, it has screened hundreds of films from around the world, enabling learning disabled film-makers to blaze a trail for their artform. You can now watch Oska Bright films via the on-demand channel at www.thespace.org

    Review: A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

    15 August 2012

    Feature

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been adapted by Simon Stephens, from the novel by Mark Haddon, and is playing at the National Theatre, London until 27 October. Nicole Fordham Hodges went to the preview earlier this month.

    Review: Superhuman at the Wellcome Trust

    13 August 2012

    Feature

    Superhuman at the Wellcome Trust gallery in London, looks at the history of humanity’s desire to be more than human. But John O’Donoghue came away uneasy about the whole idea.

    News: Lou Birks directs Paralympic Opening Ceremony film

    12 August 2012

    Feature

    Survivor film maker Lou Birks has been commissioned to write and direct a Paralympic Ceremony opening film. The film will play to a packed 80,000 seater stadium and be broadcast around the world. Estimated worldwide viewing figures are 1.5 billion.

    Review: Battle for the Winds with Breathe at Weymouth live site

    6 August 2012

    Feature

    The impressive Olympic live site on Weymouth beach provided the setting for the culmination of Battle for the Winds incorporating the Unlimited commission Breathe. The large-scale outdoor performance took place on 28th of July to mark the beginning of the sailing events at the stunning Dorset location.

    Review: New Music 20x12 at the Southbank Centre

    31 July 2012

    Feature

    New Music 20x12 brought twenty composers together with arts organisations to create exciting new music, which will be performed across the length and breadth of the UK. Richard Downes attended a celebration at the Southbank Centre on 15 July.

    Review: Youth Dance England’s 'U Dance 2012'

    30 July 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes popped in to see U.Dance 2012, Youth Dance England’s flagship event. Showcasing some of the best young dance groups from across the UK, the event took place between 13-15 July at Cecil Sharp House, London.

    Review: Road to 2012: Aiming High

    27 July 2012

    Feature

    Nicole Fordham Hodges visits the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition following its biggest ever photographic commission.

    Review: The Festival of the World Museum at the Southbank Centre

    26 July 2012

    Feature

    At the same time as London's Southbank Centre prepares to showcase the 29 Unlimited commissions by disabled and deaf artists, located at Spirit Level on Level 1 of Royal Festival Hall is the Festival of the World Museum, which displays a few prominent moments from the history of Disability Arts.

    Review: The Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess by Cape Town Opera

    22 July 2012

    Feature

    Staged at the London Coliseum, Cape Town Opera’s production of Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess' relocated the work’s enduring message by shifting the action to apartheid-era Soweto. Richard Downes went looking for something that is not missing.

    Review: Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye at Tate Modern

    16 July 2012

    Feature

    Tate Modern are showing a retrospective of the later works of reknowned Norwegian painter Edvard Munch until 14 October. Deborah Caulfield reviews the exhibition, which contains works from a period in the artists life when he became visually impaired.

    Review: Simon McKeown's 'Motion Disabled: Unlimited'

    14 July 2012

    Feature

    Motion Disabled Unlimited - the award winning exhibition and installation by Simon Mckeown - got a public outing at the torch relay celebrations, in South Park, Oxford on 9 July. Deborah Caulfield ponders the meaning of Disability Art writ large and loud at such a mainstream event.

    Review: Niet Normaal: Difference on Display

    12 July 2012

    Feature

    Adapted from a landmark Dutch exhibition, Niet Normaal (a popular phrase literally translated as ‘not normal’, but also meaning ‘cool’) features work in a variety of media. DAO is gathering a range of responses to the major DaDaFest exhibition on display at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool from now until the 2 September.

    Review: Priceless London Wonderground present Cantina

    11 July 2012

    Feature

    Cantina is the headline act of Priceless London Wonderground, London's largest festival of Cabaret and Circus. Nicole Fordham Hodges obeyed the instruction to 'leave your real life at the door' as she entered the gorgeous 1920s Spiegeltent. Oh, except that she took her mother along.

    Review: Damon Albarn presents Dr Dee

    10 July 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes reviews English National Opera’s London premiere of renaissance man Damon Albarn’s visionary new opera ‘Dr Dee’ at the Coliseum, with some thoughts on its relevance to current times.

    Crippen and John O'Donoghue present The O’Crypes

    9 July 2012

    Feature

    As one of DAO's Diverse Perspectives commissions, we've asked John O'Donoghue and Crippen to produce The O’Crypes - a cartoon blog about a family based in the fictional seaside town of Westsea - who are more than a little bemused by the Cultural Olympiad

    Review: Unlimited: Ramesh Mayyappan presents 'Skewered Snails'

    7 July 2012

    Feature

    Ramesh Mayyappan’s Skewered Snails is a darkly comic tale following a son who escapes his brutal home. Maggie Hampton from Disability Arts Cymru caught the theatre piece at The Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 28 June.

    Review: the British Paraorchestra

    2 July 2012

    Feature

    DAO Director Trish Wheatley saw the debut performance of the British Paraorchestra in the impressive grounds of Glastonbury Abbey on Sunday 1 July. World-renowned conductor and Somerset resident Charles Hazlewood introduced the ensemble to the crowd on the final day of his Orchestra in a Field festival.

    Review: Unlimited: Sue Austin creating 'Creating the Spectacle!' at the Fleet, Dorset

    1 July 2012

    Feature

    Another of the Unlimited commissions got a public outing on 27 June when Sue Austin - whose work, ‘Creating the Spectacle!’, will be enacted in its entirety on 29 August and filmed for showing at the London 2012 Festival in September - showed off the wheelchair which is the star of the show and her vehicle to another world. Gini went along to soak up the atmosphere

    Review: Yoko Ono 'To The Light'

    28 June 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes catches up with Cut Piece, from a major exhibition of Yoko Ono's work at the Serpentine Gallery, London until 9 September.

    Review: Graeae present Prometheus Awakes

    22 June 2012

    Feature

    DAO editor Colin Hambrook reviews Graeae's spectacular Prometheus Awakes event which opened the Greenwich+Docklands Festival at 10pm on 22 June.

    Headlining Normality: The Consultation by John O'Donoghue

    21 June 2012

    Feature

    At Shape's Headlining Disability debate on media representation of disability, Will Self, in conversation with Mike Shamash, posed the question of what it would be like to live in a world where disability didn't attract prejudice or stigma? In response writer John O'Donoghue imagines such a parallel universe...

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

    21 June 2012

    Feature

    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

    15 June 2012

    Feature

    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

    News: Unity Festival International Disability Arts Festival in Cardiff

    14 June 2012

    Feature

    The Unity Festival, created by Hijinx Theatre, is taking place between 21 – 30 June and will showcase and celebrate the best in inclusive, disability and learning-disability arts from Wales, the UK and around the world, promoting positive images of disability and social inclusion to audiences

    News: Turning Points by Chris Tally Evans

    13 June 2012

    Feature

    Turning Points is a ten minute film being screened as part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

    News: DaDaFest gets a makeover!

    13 June 2012

    Feature

    Innovative Liverpool-based disability and deaf arts organisation Disability and Deaf Arts will now be known as DaDaFest – taking on the name of its best known event, the critically acclaimed international festival. In line with this name change, the entire DaDaFest brand has received an overhaul including a vibrant new image and website design.

    News: Technophonia: New Music for a Unique Ensemble

    12 June 2012

    Feature

    A unique piece of music has been commissioned by Drake Music Scotland to highlight the musical talents of young people with disabilities and feature centre stage at the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

    Review: Deaffest 2012

    9 June 2012

    Feature

    For the first time in five years, Charlie Swinbourne went to the UK's Deaf film and television festival Deaffest as a journalist rather than a filmmaker. He reviews the festival and this year's batch of films.

    News: Tin Bath Theatre presents Bee Detective


    8 June 2012

    Feature

    Part of the Unlimited Cultural Olympiad programme and the London 2012 Festival, Tin Bath Theatre's 'Bee Detective' is 
an outdoor theatre show for deaf and hearing children. Created by Sophie Woolley, it will be touring parks and squares across the UK this summer.

    Review: 2Heavy Productions present Blue/Orange

    2 June 2012

    Feature

    Deborah Caulfield explores the range of emotions and breadth of ideas in 2Heavy Productions' Blue/Orange and finds it depressingly believable yet unexpectedly energising.

    Review: Southbank Centre's 'Festival of the World'

    1 June 2012

    Feature

    Colin Hambrook witnesses the launch of the Southbank Centre's 'Festival of the World' - happening from 1 June to 9 September. Overwhelmed by the range, breadth and scale of the programme, he focuses on a couple of highlights.

    Review: Amadou and Mariam

    31 May 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes takes imagined journeys from a front room, that is a boat on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, at the Southbank Centre, where Amadou and Mariam appeared in a live, screened performance on 23 May.

    Review: imove - LeanerFasterStronger

    26 May 2012

    Feature

    imove - Yorkshire's cultural programme for London 2012 commissioned Kaite O’Reilly’s new play 'LeanerFasterStronger' focusing on diversity and the interplay between sport and art. Jo Verrent reviews a performance at the Sheffield Crucible

    Review: Tales From The Other Side by Christopher Ejsmond

    17 May 2012

    Feature

    Dave Russell reviews Tales From The Other Side, by Christopher Ejsmond - a collection of ninety poems focussing on the author’s experience of mental distress and his journey of self-awareness and recovery.

    Review: Unlimited - DaSH's M21 Live Art Festival

    16 May 2012

    Feature

    DaSH's (Disability Arts Shropshire) M21 Live Art Festival was commissioned by the Unlimited programme, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Lynn Cox gives a Visually Impaired Person’s perspective on the event which took over the mediavel town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire from 5-6 May.

    Review: Unlimited - David Toole's 'The Impending Storm'

    13 May 2012

    Feature

    Acclaimed dancer David Toole has collaborated with Lucy Hind and Remix Dance Company from South Africa to create an Unlimited commission: 'The Impending Storm'. Jo Verrent caught this compelling visual feast at DanceXchange in Birmingham on 2 May.

    Review: My Song: a film about inclusion and exclusion

    11 May 2012

    Feature

    My Song follows Ellen, a young deaf girl stuck in the middle of the deaf and hearing worlds. Scripted by Charlie Swinbourne and directed by William Mager, DAO writer Richard Downes examines the themes of inclusion and exclusion and finds parallels from his own experience.

    Review: Hang Ups starring Sophie Partridge

    10 May 2012

    Feature

    Free as a bird to write what he likes Richard Downes chooses to review Hang Ups a film about fellow aerialists Tina Carter and writer Sophie Partridge

    Review: The Hunterian Museum present Anatomize

    8 May 2012

    Feature

    ‘Anatomize’ a site-sensitive performance is the culmination of a creative partnership between The Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance and the Hunterian Museum and Archives. Obi Chiejina explores...

    Review: Birmingham Rep Theatre present Gravity

    7 May 2012

    Feature

    Faced paced, dynamic and educative 'Gravity' is a gripping contemporary play about violence in schools. Obi Chiejina links the unfolding events with iconic occurrences from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. 'Gravity' continues to tour to schools and colleges throughout 2012.

    Review: Shape Open

    4 May 2012

    Feature

    The award ceremony for the Shape Open exhibition at Portobello Gallery, last night, was a crowded affair. Colin Hambrook went along to soak up Shape’s outing into a mainstream gallery space in West London.

    News: DAO is pleased to announce Diverse Perspectives project

    1 May 2012

    Feature

    DAO is delighted to announce a significant Grants for the Arts award by Arts Council England to commission eight disabled artists to work with organisations nationally to produce new works over the period of a year for online presentation.

    News: Multimedia art project to be staged at Exeter Cathedral

    30 April 2012

    Feature

    Multimedia artist Mark Ware has been awarded Arts Council Grants for the Arts funding to develop and produce an exciting, innovative high quality multimedia digital art project in collaboration with Exeter Cathedral, to interpret 900 years of history, using digital and HD technology.

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

    23 April 2012

    Feature

    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’.

    News: Adam Reynolds Bursary

    23 April 2012

    Feature

    There is a week to go for artists to submit applications for Shape Arts' Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary. Submissions close on 8 May 2012.

    Review: Laurence Clark: Health Hazard

    21 April 2012

    Feature

    Health Hazard is a touring comedy show that compares the state of health-care in the UK and the US. Richard Downes saw Laurence Clark's performance at Dugdale Centre, Enfield, 19th April 2012.

    Review: Liz Porter reflects on Carousel's inaugural performance of Gold Run

    11 April 2012

    Feature

    In celebration of Carousel’s 30th birthday, the organisation have teamed up with the music education department at Glyndebourne and artists from the Pallant House ‘Outside In’ project to create a new Cultural Olympiad show that tells the story of the special Olympics through song, film, music and visual arts.

    Review: Cooltan Arts: Women of Dickens exhibition

    23 March 2012

    Feature

    'Women of Dickens', an exhibition of art, poetry and textiles, was launched on March 14th at CoolTan Arts, with a series of workshops and a poetry reading. Nicole Fordham-Hodges went along, and discovered a secret code.

    Discussion: The Joke

    23 March 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Ceramic Impressions/ British Dental Association

    12 March 2012

    Feature

    The ceramic artist Judy DiBase extracted dental exhibits from the British Dental Museum to produce a series of quirky ceramic 'memories' for the temporary exhibition 'Ceramic Impressions'. Obi Chiejina explores the use of these extracted dental exhibits and their ceramic responses as forms of human communication, artistic expression and interpretation for the museum visitor. The exhibition runs at the BDA Museum until 24 May.

    Review: Picasso and Modern British Art

    12 March 2012

    Feature

    Deborah Caulfield recently spent two glorious hours at Tate Britain’s Picasso & British Modern Art exhibition. She urges you to go, even if your passion for Modern Art is barely lukewarm.

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

    23 February 2012

    Feature

    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.

    Review: Deafinitely Theatre: 4Play 2012

    23 February 2012

    Feature

    Every year, Deafinitely Theatre hold a showcase of short plays by four young deaf writers who have won their place on the Deafinitely Creative scheme. Charlie Swinbourne began his own scriptwriting career with the company back in 2006, so he went along to review this year’s intake.

    New Gold set to enjoy two-week theatre run

    21 February 2012

    Feature

    Critically-acclaimed dance theatre company Signdance Collective is to perform its show New Gold at Warehouse Theatre in London for two weeks in April, as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, a cultural celebration inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics.

    Shape Open

    21 February 2012

    Feature

    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'

    Review: Signs for Sounds: Contemporary Letterforming and Calligraphy

    20 February 2012

    Feature

    'Signs for Sounds' explores the contemporary practice of letter-forming from traditional calligraphy to the use of digital technologies and performance art. Obi Chiejina saw the Harley Gallery Touring Exhibition curated by Jeremy Theophilus, at the Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton.

    Review: Retina Dance's 'Layers of Skin'

    19 February 2012

    Feature

    Retina Dance's 'Layers of Skin' examines the artistic process of 'hiding' and 'revealing' in contemporary dance. Obi Chiejina uncovers some complex ideas behind the performance which tours the UK and Europe until Autumn 2012.

    Review: Lucian Freud Portraits

    19 February 2012

    Feature

    The most ambitious exhibition of the work of Lucian Freud for ten years is now showing at the National Portrait Gallery until 27 May 2012. It is the first to focus on his portraits. Nicole Fordham Hodges went along, and took a friend.

    Review: Liz Carr - The Benefits Downstairs

    14 February 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes enjoys a frosty February night, keeping faith in friends. He caught Liz Carr do a sit-down comedy routine 'Downstairs at the Kings Head' in Crouch End, London N8

    Review: An Instinct for Kindness

    12 February 2012

    Feature

    An Instinct for Kindness, written and performed by Chris Larner, tells a personal story of how the author took his ex-wife Allyson, to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland, to commit suicide. Nervously and with some trepidation, Deborah Caulfield went to see the play at Swindon Arts Centre on Thursday 9th February.

    Preview: Graeae’s Reasons To Be Cheerful

    9 February 2012

    Feature

    A year on from its critically acclaimed run in Ipswich and London, the original cast of Graeae’s hit musical ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ have reunited for a new tour. Charlie Swinbourne visited their rehearsals.

    Review: A Bigger Picture: David Hockney at the Royal Academy

    7 February 2012

    Feature

    A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy showcases David Hockney's landscape work. Included are oil paintings, photo-collages, charcoal drawings, watercolours, prints and film. With over 150 works displayed, spanning Hockney’s career of over fifty years, it is as much a celebration as an exhibition and, as such, it exudes generosity and abundance. Debbie Caulfield was profoundly affected.

    Review: Kulunka Teatro's 'Andre & Dorine

    31 January 2012

    Feature

    Richard Downes came away deeply moved by 'Andre & Dorine' by Basque company Kulunka Teatro - which played at the Purcell Room, Southbank from 26-29 January - as part of the London International Mime Festival.

    Infinitas Gracias: Mexican Miracle Paintings

    18 January 2012

    Feature

    Infinitas Gracias: Mexican miracle paintings is on show at the Wellcome Collection, London until 26 February 2012. DAO New Voices writer Obi Chiejina explores the mystery behind this exhibition of votive paintings.

    Review: Edward Burra Retrospective at Pallant House Gallery

    1 January 2012

    Feature

    The first major exhibition for 25 years of the highly individual work of the popular British artist Edward Burra (1905–1976) is on show at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester until 19th February 2012. Colin Hambrook reviews the life and works of this exceptional watercolourist who documented significant moments in the second half of the 20th century.

    Neglected Voices - a cycle of poems by Allan Sutherland

    11 November 2011

    Feature

    ‘Neglected Voices’ is a work about disabled people’s experience, consisting of four cycles of transcription poems telling the life stories of Jennifer Taylor, Catriona Grant, Peter Moore and Wendy Bryant.

    Colin Hambrook: Editorial

    25 September 2011

    Feature

    Colin Hambrook established Disability Arts Online in 2004. Since then he has been editing the journal. In his blog he comments on aspects of the work happening within the disability arts sector as well as specific arts programmes Dao is engaged with. He also occasionally writes about his own artistic output.

    Preview: The End by film-maker Ted Evans

    16 June 2011

    Feature

    Melissa Mostyn-Thomas previews a chilling new film by Deaf film-maker Ted Evans. Premiered at Deaffest, The End can be viewed on Film4, the Community Channel; on the BSLBT website.

    Discussion: Further towards an Affirmative Model of Disability

    9 December 2009

    Feature

    Colin Cameron has been conducting PhD research at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, looking at an affirmative model of disability. Colin Hambrook interviews Cameron to discover how his work is defining and redefining models of disability.

    Dao's film and tv blog

    20 October 2009

    Feature

    Dao's film and television blog focuses on portrayals of disability in the media with discussion of contemporary films and the occasional bit of television. Sarah Ismail is a freelance journalist. She blogs about disability issues at SameDifference.com. Alison Wilde has a PhD from the Centre for Disability Studies.