Ten artists from Coventry and Warwickshire have been selected to receive grant-funding to take their ideas or skills to the next level.
The Coventry City of Culture Trust, working with Unlimited, a national arts commissioning programme that enables new work by disabled artists to reach UK and international audiences, put out a call for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people who live or regularly work within a CV postcode to apply for ten micro commissions of up to £1,000 each.
After an impressive amount of applications, the final ten have been chosen and cover a range of work that have themes of activism, community collaboration, environment and public and digital spaces.
Al Davison, Edi Jo Murray, Emily Woodruff, Hayley Hindle, Debbie & Culley, Katie Walters, Lou Sarabadzic, Richard & Rishard, Sebastien H-W and Chrysalis Craft Coventry (Seyedeh Naseriniaki), will now all work with producers within the Coventry City of Culture Trust team to develop their ideas.
The diverse range of artistic work that will be developed by the artists include an autobiographical comic book sequence looking at experiences of hate crime; a reimagined painting of Lady Godiva; an exploration of the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum’s natural history collection; a slapstick theatre piece on the subject of isolation; and an audio artwork piece documenting the soundscapes of different parts of Coventry.
Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “I am thrilled that we have selected and awarded small grants to these ten extraordinary local artists and practitioners.
“We want Coventry UK City of Culture 2021 to be truly inclusive and representative of the all of the people of the city, which includes commissioning artistic creations from d/Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists.
“These artists are all making art, of one kind or another, their profession and their future. I can’t wait to see how they respond to our City of Culture themes and the great art that they create for our 2021 programme.”
Jo Verrent, Senior Producer at Unlimited, said: “It was incredible to see the talent and creativity within the applications for these micro commissions!
“This partnership has already opened up our networks to a new, fresh diverse pool of disabled talent with some exceptionally creative ideas that can be realised on a small budget.
“We really hope that this helps spread the news about Unlimited and our current main commissions, research and development awards and awards for emerging artists that have a deadline in October - it would be great to see even more Coventry and Warwickshire based disabled artists represented!”
You can find out more about the selected artists below.