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By celfogwmpas, Aug 15 2017 11:34AM

Celf o Gwmpas in partnership with Disability Arts Cymru (DAC) is delighted to announce the successful applicants for the first ever residency programme open to disabled artist in Wales.

Celf o Gwmpas are delighted to award the places to Lou Lockwood: Imprint - a further experiment in touch memory, Dawn McIntyre: Sanguis et Capillum, Jack McClafferty: Exploring the language of landscape, people and place and Jo Munton: We are innocent when we dream.

A high standard of applications were received, all coming from artists who have achieved a professional level of practice and selection was made on the basis of artistic ambition, risk-taking and experimentation.

Each of the artists will have the opportunity to spend time with ground-breaking arts organisation Celf o Gwmpas at Centre Celf in Llandrindod Wells, Powys, focusing on research, experimentation and the development of new work.

Residencies will be taking place from October 2017 to January 2018, and the successful applicants are forming part of a national and international residency programme supporting disabled artists working in a wide variety of art forms.

Each artist will receive a bursary, accommodation and shared studio facilities at Centre Celf as well as advice and guidance on career development and an in-residence group exhibition in March 2018.

Celf o Gwmpas continues to generate and create through an international pioneering training and workshop programme, gallery exhibitions, screenings and performances, working towards social inclusion, inspiring artistic ambition and providing a resource for the wider community.

By lizmorrison, Jun 29 2015 10:58AM

It was a great evening but to me did seem to echo the flavour of the "is it all about capitalism?" versus "patchwork of people coming together" debate that's been going on.

Everybody's very keen at saying we must all get together but a bit short on what we actually need to do when we are together. And I think there is a fear that touchy feely-ism will replace positive action. Mind you, coming together worked a treat at Greenham Common so it depends how you do it! lots of people, especially those nice men from BBC Radio 3, who were recording us for Free Speech (go on, give it a listen were very keen to point out that our audience were very warm and receptive and that those who should have been getting our message, like a bullet between the eyes, were actually in scant supply. Isn't that the point?

Isn't it that we, the disadvantaged and discriminated against, are too easy to ignore when we are divided and what we need to do is to see that the fears of the Muslim community and the disabled community (and remember you can actually be both!) share common themes.

The allusion to 1930s Germany and that which is happening to disadvantaged and minority groups across Britain and Europe is there for anyone to see and it's scary. It's one of the reasons I used Hitler's black triangle as a symbol in the Celf event.

It was an inspiring night but I think we need some joined up thinking because it's only with a platform like The Senedd in Cardiff that those who think they're not affected, i.e. the ones who should be sitting up and taking note, might be dragged kicking and screaming to understand what's really happening. We need to be artistically as well as politically clever if we stand a chance to see justice starting to be served.

By lizmorrison, Apr 27 2015 01:30PM

Image Credit Ceridwen Powell: Time for a New Paradigm 2015 mixed media

On March 12th 2015 at the Awkward Bastards symposium organised by DASH at the MAC, Birmingham, I acquired a label saying that I am one, so I guess I must be.

It’s not the only label I’ve ever had, my journey through the psychiatric system has been a parade of many different labels, currently I have one saying I’m a schizo. Physically, I have a photo ID card in my purse that labels me a cripple. So am I a mad cripple? I often say so myself with more than a little hint of sarcasm, but am I not just a person? One who faces barriers not faced by the majority, and as a result who experiences exclusion and discrimination. But in terms of diversity, shouldn’t we be in a post-activist society now, where organisations like DASH don’t need to use emotive titles like ’Awkward Bastards’ to sell tickets to events?

Sadly, it seems we haven’t advanced that far. The speakers at the symposium outlined their own long experiences of diversity activism, some having been fighting the good fight for over 30 years, but it did seem that we (the minorities) have been saying the same things to the same people for a very long time, but still we are not being truly heard. Yes, there has been legislation and a string of QUANGOs and committees and round after round of project funding, but we seem to have made little real progress, apart from a greater sensitivity to the use of language (in public, at least), and policies that talk the talk but no-one is walking the walk. I wondered whether this has been deliberate, short-term funding and short-lived diversity rights organisations that have the rug pulled from under their feet whenever they start to make a difference. Setting minority groups in competition against each other for limited pots of money, divide and conquer. And in the current financial climate, how can we make meaningful progress when so many individuals and organisations are facing cuts and struggling to stay afloat? Who has the time, energy and hope to be able to fight any more?

After the various speakers had told us their story, there was a lively discussion, a key question was asked by many, am I a (insert minority group as appropriate) artist, or just an artist? The room appeared to be divided about this, but I was thinking about myself and have come to the conclusion that I am a disabled and disability artist, in that I face additional barriers imposed by society to being a practising artist (hence ‘disabled’), and much of my work explores these barriers, my own and those of other people (hence ‘disability’).

My work also explores social and environmental issues, and I would have no qualms about describing myself as an ‘environmental artist’, so why should I feel anything other than proud about being a ‘disability artist’? Do I run the risk of ghettoising myself with this epithet? But I feel very strongly that ‘disability artist’ aligns me with a political identity that is still, and increasingly, oppressed, and I must speak out against this and challenge it and ask difficult questions, and try to be a voice for the voiceless.

And so yes, we do still need emotive titles, and I will wear my ‘Awkward Bastards’ label with pride.