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'Dancing, laughing, living, loving...

22 April 2014

Blog Wendy Young

7 inch single of Bedsitter

...and now I'm all alone in Bedsitland'.........feeling uninspired, I heard Soft Cell on the radio and was taken back to my own Bedsitland.  It was the early 80s and having lived in hotel accommodation with other chambermaids, waitresses, housekeepers, I took the plunge to get a job outside and had one week to run around London agencies and a Paddington Hotel my mate told me about (I was told no, because I was English!).  I was very young and very naive and...

Feeling less than reality:

22 April 2014

Blog Gini

Black and white etching using printed net to create forground and background to the drawing of a hand-shaped tree with its canopy of fingers grasping at an escaping bird.

In those patches where I seem to be unrecognisable to myself I get to wonder about life, the universe, cake and everything else. I attempt a little distance from my practice - in order to 'make' the questions I need to ponder people. I need to think about who we are and who I am. I am, but not in a sense of separateness that singles me out and then leaves me vulnerable: vulnerable to the judgement of others who see themselves as qualities or quantities separate from the whole ness...

Exploring the compromise between participatory work and Art

21 April 2014

Blog Lynn Weddle and Anya Ustaszewski: Living Portraits

photo of artist Lynn Weddle, photographed on a path in the countryside

We are currently questioning what moving from a participatory to an artistic approach means for us as individuals? There is a real tension. As experts in participatory practice we are keen to ensure that we bring to the project good facilitation, comfort and safety: fine tuned skills developed over the years and something that really matters to us both. We've been trialing the process with ourselves and people we know and trust before we take it to our subject group, with interesting...

The hidden face of war

16 April 2014

Blog Richard Longstaff: Beyond Watford

I touched on the subject of war in a previous blog, 'Words of war' with the poem Volley of shots. It was just after writing this piece that Salerno’s Child came into my head. I don’t like writing about the same theme time and again but wanted to share this with you because it is a moving story. My father had served in the second world war and was part of the allied invasion of Italy in the September of 1943. The Salerno Landings as they are now known in the history...

Hamburger Queen: Where fat politics and disability politics meet – and have a party!

16 April 2014

Blog Nina Muehlemann

me winning Burger Queen in 2011. Also pictured are Gloria Swansong, who won the 2012 contest, contestant Bea Sweet and host Scottee

This month, ‘Hamburger Queen’, a beauty contest for fat people, is in its final run. Dreamed up by performance artist Scottee, the contest is part beauty pageant satire, part platform for chubby people. Contestants have to show off their fabulous outfits in a ‘fat trend’ round, their cooking or baking skills in the ‘fat taste’ round, and, last but not least, prove their fat talent. In the past four years, this round has incorporated anything from comedy,...

Not half right

15 April 2014

Blog Jane McCormick

Living with a neurological disorder that involves head pain there are many times when I don't feel quit right. Sometimes it's from pain and the general sense of brain disorder that goes with the territory and sometimes it's from the depression that is also part of the package. 'She/he is not half right' is a popular Irish saying to describe someone who has mental health issues but there are others that work equally well like 'Bad with the nerves' or 'Not all...

News: Fittings Multimedia Arts are awarded funding for Missing!

1 April 2014


News: Fittings Multimedia Arts are awarded funding for Missing!

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.

News: Funding of over £400,000 announced helps support disabled artists to create ambitious and high quality work

31 March 2014


News: Funding of over £400,000 announced helps support disabled artists to create ambitious and high quality work

UNLIMITED today announced over £400,000 of funding to support 26 disabled artists across the UK to create ambitious work covering all genres. Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England (ACE) and Creative Scotland (CS) & led by Shape and ArtsAdmin, the 2014 round of the programme aims to build on the successful legacy that was at the heart of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, which celebrated the work of disabled artists on an unprecedented...

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

22 April 2014


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

Review: Sky One: The Smoke

17 April 2014


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

Interview: 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

Review: If These Spasms Could Speak by Robert Softley

23 March 2014


'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: Hayward Gallery host Martin Creed's 'What's the point of it?'

19 March 2014


Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, Creed uses a wide range of artistic media and including music, his art changes everyday materials and actions into surprising reflections on life. Jessie Woodward sent in the following review of access within the exhibition, which is on show until 5 May. 

Opinion: 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

Discussion: 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.

Gallery: Extant present ZombieyeZ in Zagreb

16 December 2013


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!

Poetry: John William Brown

5 April 2014


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.

Poetry: Anthony Hurford: The Staff of Asclepius

17 March 2014


Anthony Hurford came to DAO via the Survivor's Poetry blog. He submitted a selection from his forthcoming poetry pamphlet due to be published by Survivors' Press in summer 2014