Applications for the second of three rounds of awards now open.
Liverpool based Fittings Multimedia Arts has been awarded one of the 10 commissions for the first round of Unlimited, the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad project. Unlimited, delivered in partnership between London 2012 and Arts Council England, will celebrate disability, arts, culture and sport on an unprecedented scale and is set to transform the disability arts movement in the UK. In this round over £400,000 of funding has been awarded to 10 commissions across the UK.
Fittings Multimedia Arts commission is called The Ugly Spirit. Using the fascinating lives of conjoined Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker as inspiration and metaphor, The Ugly Spirit will explore the conflicting notions that lie within us in a challenging and critically engaging performance piece. Developed in partnership with David Hoyle, Tanya Raabe and Gary Robson, Fittings will work with disabled and non-disabled young people from the North West to explore issues of identity. The resulting piece will tour a variety of mainstream venues and unusual settings around the country.
Unlimited encourages collaborations and partnerships between disability arts organisations, disabled and deaf artists, producers, and mainstream organisations to celebrate the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and produce work like never before. Press images from the 10 commissions can be downloaded here.
Applications for the second round of commissions are now welcomed from disabled and deaf artists or disability arts groups wishing to create high quality work to form part of high profile showcase events across the UK. Further information on the application process can be found at www.london2012.com/unlimited.
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, Cultural Olympiad said: “These are my first commissions since I started work for the Cultural Olympiad Board and I am proud to be working on a festival which will be offering more commissioning for disabled artists than any Cultural Olympiad and festival anywhere in the world. This is a chance to change the way work by disabled artists is perceived and enjoyed round the world, and we are thrilled to have such exciting commissions to get the programme started.”
Moira Sinclair, Executive Director, Arts Council England, London said: “Unlimited Commissions will bring projects by some of our leading disabled and deaf artists to new audiences across the UK in the run up to London 2012, showcasing their work on a world stage. We hope that the Commissions will leave the legacy of a strengthened sector long beyond the Games, and we wish all the artists the very best as they develop their work in the coming months.”
Garry Robinson, Fittings Multimedia Arts Artistic Director, said: “We are very pleased to receive this commission. Not only does it enable us to develop a project that is both challenging and exciting but it also provides us with an opportunity for a wider audience for our work.”
Aileen McEvoy, Executive Director of Arts Council England, North West said: “Our congratulations go to Fittings Multimedia Arts for an exciting piece of work that will develop new collaborations between disability arts organisations, disabled and deaf artists, producers and mainstream venues. As well as exploring identity, the work will celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic games with young people of the region and create a fantastic opportunity to showcase the work on a worldwide stage.”
Unlimited Commissions is a commissioning fund of £1.5 million for new work which is believed to be the largest single investment in creative work by disabled artists. The second half of the Unlimited programme will provide support to artists to develop their talent and skills and present their work to audiences in the UK and abroad. Through Unlimited Talent there will be resources and training to foster young talent and develop skills across the sector, forging new partnerships between disability and mainstream arts organisations. Unlimited International will support collaboration between the artists in the UK and other countries, showcase new work around the world, and promote a global debate amongst young people about disability rights.
Tessa Jowell, Minister for the Olympics, said: “We want the London 2012 Paralympic Games to help break down the barriers disabled people can often face. The inspirational projects announced today not only showcase the true depth of artistic talent we have amongst disabled people in the UK, but also communicate disability in a creative and thought provoking way that will challenge people’s perception of disability.”
The project is principally funded by the Olympic Lottery Distributor, and is delivered in partnership between London 2012, Arts Council England, the Scottish Arts Council, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council.