flip Artists was an initiative from ‘flip: disability equality in the arts’, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and in partnership with Artlink Central, Birds of Paradise, Dundee Contemporary Arts, engage Scotland, Federation of Scottish Theatre, National Theatre of Scotland and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Together we offered nine development opportunities for disabled artists across Scotland to develop their artistic practice or career through an individualised programme of mentoring and support.
We supported people who were beginning to develop their own work or ideas and needed support to take the next steps in their development as a professional artist. The programme worked across art forms with no restrictions and was open to performers, visual artists, writers, musicians and so on.
Amble Skuse is a composer and musician who was part of the Creative Scotland International Creative Entrepreneurs Fellowship in 2013. For this Amble worked in Beijing for three months where she worked alongside other musicians, theatre companies and visual artists.
While with flip Artists, Amble undertook the immense task of travelling from Scotland to Singapore by train. Before embarking, Amble decided to make this extraordinary journey into an interactive residency, Tracks and Sleepers. flip Artists helped Amble gather contributions from the public: questions, tasks and statements to inspire unique compositions or blog entries, for Amble to write while on the move. These contributions were collated into anonymous envelopes. Throughout her journey, Amble opened and reacted to these tasks, posting the results on a Tumblr page. It was not until after Amble posted a completed task on the Tumblr that flip Artists revealed the person behind each entry. As a resolution to this project, Amble presented a performance work that incorporated printed images taken while on the trip at Gayfield Creative Spaces in Edinburgh, as part of The view from here – an exhibition curated by flip Artists. Amble was resident during the exhibition, processing her journey.
Through flip artists Amble has also had mentoring support as part of the FST Step Up mentoring programme.
“Flip has helped me to have space to think, which is the most important thing I have ever done.”
Twitter: – @ambleskramble
Examples of compositions:
While with flip Artists, emerging actor Derek Darvell worked with director Caitlin Skinner on a monologue based around his own experiences of growing up. Derek also worked with director Cora Bissett on his audition technique and on audition pieces to prepare him for auditions once flip Artists finished. Derek was signed up to BAFTA Scotland’s Career Starter membership programme, giving him access to workshops, seminars and exclusive screenings organised by BAFTA Scotland until June 2016. Derek also had mentoring support as part of the FST Step Up mentoring programme.
Derek has been in a variety of productions, most notably working with Lung Ha Theatre Company for a number of years. Derek is also highly skilled in karate and has taken part in international competitions.
Twitter: – @derekdarvell198
Facebook: – www.facebook.com/MrDarvell
Casting Call Pro: – www.castingcallpro.com
Author Jane Wallman-Girdlestone completed a final draft of her new novel, Sleight of Hand, with help from flip Artists. She met with sector organisations including Scottish Book Trust and Creative Scotland and received mentoring support through SPARK literary agency. Such professional support and advice provided Jane with a better understanding of the world of literature and publishing.
Through flip Artists, Jane also took part in a writing training course with Moniack Mhor (with tutors including Val McDermid) and began development work on two new manuscripts. Moniack Mhor provided Jane with further support through a bursary place on a further course in winter 2015. In 2015 Jane was also able to present her writing at the annual writer’s event Bloody Scotland. flip Artists also helped Jane set up a new website with which she can promote her writing.
Jane Wallman-Girdlestone is a published novelist and writer in spirituality and well being. She is a chaplain in NHS Highland and an Honorary Research Fellow at University of Aberdeen.
“Identified by creativity not disability – more than taking artist seriously – that’s empowering”
Website: – www.janewallmangirdlestone.co.uk
Lynn Pilkington began her journey with flip Artists as a performance poet with the desire to develop a solo dramatic performance. As a result she worked with the National Theatre of Scotland on the dramaturgy of a solo performance, receiving mentoring support from Caroline Newall, George Aza-Selinger and myriad other arts professionals exploring her creative possibilities – Lynn was the most prodigious in terms of external support. She had further mentoring as part of the FST Step Up mentoring programme and her avid exploration led her to work with poet Rachel McCrum on developing her spoken word poetry into a pamphlet of edited prose and, with input from illustrator Charlotte Duffy, created a booklet of her poetry – available to at The view from here. From performer to poet to collaborator Lynn exhaustively explored her creativity and how it and she fits into the world.
Website: – www.projectlynn.weebly.com
Twitter: – @ProjectLynn
Maki Yamazaki is a multidisciplinary artist living in Glasgow. Maki writes comics, composes and records music, and develops games. Maki runs the studio, Silvana Laboratory, and works as part of the digital, creative collective, Organ Thief. Maki worked with games developer Dr Niall Moody to expand her own understanding of coding and game development. Maki is now working on her own narrative driven computer game and has enrolled herself on a games design degree course at university. Maki has also been in talks with Dundee Contemporary Arts to share her work at one of their Drop In And Play events.
“Without flip and Niall I wouldn’t have made the decision to return to education. Having Niall’s help, my programming has got twice as good. The education system has failed me in the past and I’ve finally got the right support through flip.”
Website: – www.makiyamazaki.com
Twitter: – @doctorcarmilla
Tumblr: – www.mx-yamazaki.
Bandcamp: – www.carmilla.bandcamp.com/ – www.makiyamazaki.
Patreon: – www.patreon.com/
While with flip Artists, musician and electronic music composer Matthew Ward worked with musician and music producer Fergus Costello on creating some original tracks. One finished track was mastered by DJ Mark Sherry. Fergus also took Matthew to music events around Glasgow to further his knowledge of the industry.
Matthew Ward is a musician and composer who has worked with Sonic Bothy, Sense Scotland and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. At present Matthew has completed an HNC course in Music performance and production achieving an A grade pass and has just completed the same course at HND level. Matthew can play many and varied instruments, and has experimented with making recordings of every day sounds, manipulating them in the studio. He is currently working as a musical consultant for Sensatronic and taking DJ lessons with the intention of composing and mixing his own tracks.
Soundcloud: – soundcloud.com/matthew-ward-aka-wardy
While with flip Artists, dancer Neil Joseph Price worked with dancer and Royal Conservatoire for Scotland lecturer, Gary Gardiner. Gary and Neil both went to Uist (where Neil was brought up) to explore Neil’s relationship to the island in the development of his first self choreographed piece. Neil also had mentoring support as part of the FST Step Up mentoring programme.
Neil Joseph Price also works with Indepen-dance and attends the Talent Hub, where he has been encouraged to develop his own ideas and develop plans he may have for his future. Neil is currently focusing specifically on development of technique and the Talent Hub Tutors have arranged for Neil to begin practicing Pilates. Neil is keen to have more input in dance choreography and to continue choreographing himself.
Visual artist Pum worked on a series of collages that featured in the exhibition, The view from here, curated by flip Artists at Whitespace in August 2015. working with flip Artists Pum also had work exhibited at Broth Art, London and Summerhall, Edinburgh as part of the August 2015 Unlimited exhibition.
Dundee Contemporary Arts have created a limited edition run of etching of a series of four of Pum’s collages – these were available at DCA and at the flip Artists exhibition. DCA have also worked with Pum since the end of flip Artists and are exhibiting her work in the exhibition Lend me your Legends in February 2016.
Pum also explored how she develops a career as an artist and as an individual with Autism and found structures that support her while not impacting negatively on her creative routine.
Pum’s practice developed out of her creative response to her awareness of her own Autism. Her collage work led her to appreciate the unusual perspectives which her Autism affords her, whilst gaining unique insight into the problematic aspects of the condition. Art making has played an integral part in her ability to manage her life with Autism. Pum has also completed a one year residency with Project Ability.
Image: ‘Transition’ by Pum
“flip Artists has helped transform Pum’s sense of ownership of her art. It’s now not just something that Pum happens to do, it’s something that Pum makes happen. flip has helped Pum focus on simple strategies for taking ownership and governance of her creative collage work.”
Composer, musician and writer Sonia Allori worked with Ruth Hemus on the development on her opera Dada’s Women, taking inspiration from Hemus’ book of the same title. Through support from flip Artists, Sonia was able to take a research trip to Zurich, Switzerland with Ruth Hemus, which she blogged about here. Sonia also had mentoring support as part of the FST Step Up mentoring programme.
She also plays with The British Paraorchestra and has been working on “Seasons 4.0”, a multi-arts collaborative project with Drake Music (London) and the choreographer Sheron Wray. Sonia toured with Graeae Theatre Company in Spring 2014 as “Maisie” in their new production of Threepenny Opera. Since finishing with flip Artists Sonia worked with Magnetic North on their Rough Mix creative labs, forming an ongoing professional relationship with the company.
“It has given me the chance to further develop an idea for a larger scale work than I have written before, to form a creative team for the project and to plan how to write the work.”
Watch a short film about flip Artists 2015: Supporting disabled artists in Scotland
The view from here
flip Artists exhibition and events
29th August – 3rd September 2015
Open daily 11am – 6pm (11am – 3pm on 3rd September)
Opening event: Friday 28th August 6.30pm, performances 7pm – Included a performance of new music by Sonia Allori, a performance by actor Derek Darvell and Jane Wallman- Girdlestone reading from her new work Sleight of Hand. Lynn Pilkington also introduced her new pamphlet This is what a girl looks like.
Closing event: Thursday 3rd September 12 noon – The artists involved discussed their professional development, including new works cultivated during flip Artists. Sonia Allori was in conversation with Caroline Newall (Director of Development National Theatre of Scotland), Matthew Ward with Musician Sally Clay, Neil Joseph Price with lecturer Gary Gardiner, Amble Skuse with Kenny McGlashlan (Chief Executive Officer, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland).
flip Artists – was an exciting one year initiative to support the next generation of disabled artists in Scotland.
Exhibitions included new collage by Pum Dunbar, a performance residency from Amble Skuse following her Tracks & Sleepers odyssey, audio and BSL interpreted extract from Jane Wallman-Girdlestone‘s novel ‘Sleight of Hand’ and ‘This is a girl with a story to tell’, a new poetry pamphlet by Lynn Pilkington.
The performance events included readings, performances, talks and an in conversation event.