A Digital, Disabled-Centred, Artistic Platform
Locked World is a digital-born project: an online arts space which is being designed for (and by) disabled people.
There will be a number of different pieces of digital art* by emerging disabled artists, areas for audiences to be creative, as well as workshops and events. And the best part? Everything on the site can be adjusted to suit each individuals’ access requirements – without compromising on the experience of the artwork.
* By digital art we mean: art which has been created using a digital format (for example – video, animation, recorded audio, photography, illustration, writing, games and apps etc.)
What is it about?
“there is power in recognising your world is locked
and though this project might build empathy or understanding it is not first and foremost an attempt to forge a key
to unlock this world
to unlock this world would mean unlearning me
unlocking this world would not mean becoming free
I am free when the world stops attempting to teach me a new body
I am not aiming to assimilate
my aim, just now is to be
BOP Young Artists
Locked World hosts and holds a collection of disabled-centred digital art.
It holds creative manifestations of individual neural / medical / physical / sensorial / societal experience which challenge perceptions of disability and neurodiversity.
Internal thoughts, perceptions and sensations are externalised: interpreted, mimicked, echoed, denied, stretched, masked and digitised.
Locked World was conceived by BOP Young Artists. We have created a space that we want to share work in, based on the following principles:
- A space where accessibility is central – not an afterthought,
- A space where disabled people are the ‘norm’,
- A space where we can go at our own pace,
- A safe space which challenges ableist racist heteronormative trans-exclusionary patriarchal and capitalist discourse,
- A space where we can share experiences with other disabled people (and non-disabled people, and people for whom those labels do not fit),
- A space where we can honour and amplify the voices of other disabled artists.
The above principles are underpinned by the following values:
All of the work carried out as part of Locked World must respect our principles and values.
The collection will begin with the work of BOP Young Artists, and will expand throughout the 9 month cycle. There will be 3 newly commissioned artworks, as well as audience artworks which will grow with each month.
“There are three things that stand out about BOP: their uncompromising approach to access and inclusion, their rigorous attention to target audience needs and wants, and their desire to learn. These attributes combine to mean that the company has embraced digital technology with determination that they will find ways to apply their unique perspective and drive to new environments”
Creative Scotland – Digital Pivot Report
Why digital access?
Due to the pandemic, people have been unable to attend live in-person performances, and so the need to create art which is accessible through digital means has been huge.
There seems to be a growing awareness that for some people, and particularly for some disabled people, being able to engage with art digitally is far more accessible than accessing it in person.
However, the internet can be very inaccessible for many disabled individuals. There is a huge amount of digital content which is:
- Entirely visual, with no alternative text provided;
- Audio based, with no transcripts, captions or sign language interpretation provided;
- Intellectually inaccessible (in other words – it’s not been written in plain english)
- Contains flashing imagery and is not prefixed with a trigger warning or alternative version
Thankfully, it is becoming increasingly commonplace for websites to provide options for changing the contrast, having text read aloud, automated captions, and adjusting text size.
But, there is something missing.
At BOP, we champion the process of Creatively Embedded Access (CEA), which means making sure that accessibility is developed throughout the creative process. This has seen our productions have super sassy audio description and characters who are sign language interpreters.
When we embed access tools creatively, we are communicating to disabled audiences that they are not an afterthought – their engagement with the work is not secondary to non-disabled audiences.
Across the Scottish theatre industry CEA is celebrated, and an increasing numbers of arts organisations are embracing embedding access creatively. But what about access to digital artworks?
With theatre having moved in digital direction since after the instigation of the national lockdowns, BOP have been asking “how do we make digital art which has accessibility creatively embedded?”
And that’s what Locked World aims to explore and showcase.
Who is involved?
|design and code|
|Web Design and Development|
|Web Access Consultant|
|Quiet Space Consultant|
|Digital Producing Consultant|
|Reubs J. Walsh|
|Consultant on Neuroscience|
|Morna McGeoch||Project Lead & Producer|
When will it happen?
Locked World will launch in 2022 and will run for 9 months, with different artworks and events added each month!
How do I get involved?
There will be 1 area of Locked World where the artwork will grow organically throughout the duration of Locked World. In this area, the audience (that’s you) will be presented with a question or an invitation to respond to in a creative way.
There is no requirement to respond, but if you wish to, you will be welcomed to submit a ‘creative contribution’ (this could be in written English, British Sign Language, it could be a video of a movement piece, or an audio recording – as long as it is in a digital format).
All submissions will be published (with the understanding that the principles and values stated above must be respected). Each submission will undergo an ‘access translation’ in order to maximise accessibility for all audience members. As an example – if you were to submit your creative contribution as a video in BSL, then a verbal translation into spoken English would appear as part of your creative contribution, as well as captions translated to written English.
Note: You do not need to be ‘an artist’ to submit a creative contribution to these sections of Locked World.
When we first publicly announced the development of Locked World in 2021, we ran an open call for commissions – seeking three Deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent artists to create accessible, digital artwork as part of Locked World. (You can read more about the call out process at the ‘Commissions Call Out: Archive’ drop down below).
We are very excited to announce the commissioned artists:
Georgia Holman is an artist/writer based in Glasgow. Using poetics as a medium to project the imagining and making of an inverted world, her work questions how we can build empathic structures as a resistance to the neoliberal pervasion of individualism. Graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 2019, with a semester studying abroad at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, her work is informed through her own neurodivergence, queerness and changing capacity, and is explored further through the lens of queer theory, disability justice and anti-capitalist teachings.
Current/ recent projects include ‘I want it for us, and I also want it from us’ a film work commissioned by Birds of Paradise Theatre Company (Glasgow), ‘Throb’ a forthcoming collection of poems to by published by ShelfShelf Press (Chicago) and text for the publication ‘Memories, stuck in a timeloop’ with CherriHarari. She is also a member of the 2021/22 cohort of the Collective Studio by the NewBridge Project (Newcastle) and a Co-director of EMBASSY Gallery, a non-hierarchal artist ran initiative in Edinburgh.
Rylan Gleave (b.1997) is a Leith-based composer and vocalist whose musical practice involves mending the unfeigned gaps in his classical voice study with the healings of imaginative neuro-/gender-divergent kinship. Re-emerging as a composer/performer, his recent work has explored the instrumental qualities of his late-breaking trans-masc voice through queer autoethnography, and autistic-specific notation. His compositions have been praised as ‘haunting’ by The Herald, and ‘rapturous’ by The Scotsman, who named him ‘One to Watch’ 2021, describing him as ‘one of the brightest lights in Scotland’s new music scene’.
Rylan studied with Linda Buckley, Oliver Searle, and David Fennessy at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, supported by a Dewar Arts Award, The Kenneth Barrett Scholarship from the RCS Trust, The Glasgow Educational and Marshall Trust, and The John Mathers Trust.
Sandra Alland experiments with form and access in writing, film and interdisciplinary art. Co-editor of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back, San has published three poetry collections and two short story chapbooks. They’re committed to slowness, and to multiply-marginalised communities thriving beyond ‘diversity’ crumbs from institutions. www.blissfultimes.ca
Twitter and Insta: @san_alland
The invitation: We are seeking 3 early-to-mid-career artists / groups who identify as D/deaf / disabled / neurodivergent to create a piece of work for Locked World.
Locked World is a radically accessible digital arts space conceived by BOP Young Artists.
This work was made in response to the concept of a “Locked World”. This term means different things to different people. To some, it may mean feeling excluded from the world, while to another it may mean advocating for their privacy from doctors, benefits assessors and passing strangers.
We are making creative work together because of a shared identity. However, the Disabled community is incredibly broad, and one element of shared identity doesn’t necessarily equal shared experience.
So, this is an invitation for collaboration – corroborations and contradictions are equally welcomed.
Please see the drop down boxes below for information about applying
Principles & Values
BOP Young Artists have created a space that we want to share work in based on the following principles:
- a space where accessibility is central – embedded thoughtfully and not an afterthought,
- where disabled people are the ‘norm’,
- a space where we can go at our own pace,
- a safe space which challenges ableist, racist, heteronormative, trans-exclusionary, patriarchal and capitalist discourse,
- a space where we can share experiences with other disabled people (and non-disabled people, and people for whom those labels do not fit).
- Space where we can honour and amplify the voices of other disabled artists.
The above principles are underpinned by our values:
All of the work carried out as part of Locked World must acknowledge our principles and values.
What are we looking for?
Alongside the work presented by BOP Young Artists, we are looking to present 3 new digital artworks from early to mid-career artists who identify as d/Deaf, disabled and/ or neurodivergent.
By digital art, we mean art which has been created using a digital format (for example – video, animation, recorded audio, photography, illustration, writing, games and apps etc.)
Each of the artworks in Locked World will exist in relation to a different area of the brain / body / mind (not strictly anatomically accurate by any means, although we do have additional support from a Neurodivergent neuroscientist!).
The relationship between the art and the anatomy might be fictional, real, parallel, loose, scientific, challenging, paradoxical and/or completely contradictory depending upon your individual creative inquiry.
Proposals must consider Creatively Embedded Access, including creative captioning, British Sign Language interpretation and audio description.
The aim of this offer is to give space to disabled artists who are already making digital work with Creatively Embedded Access, or who have ideas about making digital work with Creatively Embedded Access but haven’t had access to the funds to realise it yet.
In order to support disabled artists with the application process for Locked World Commissions, we have created a webpage on Digital Creatively Embedded Access which you can view here.
What is the offer?
Each commissioned work will be granted £1,250. This fee is inclusive of any materials you might use in making the work, and should be used as guidance for the amount of time you spend making the work.
BOP will provide in kind consultation on the process of creatively embedding access within the work.
BOP will provide up to 8 hours of support per commission with sign language interpreters, audio description specialists, creative captioning specialists, or any other creative access specialist you wish to collaborate with.
Your work will go live between January and April 2022.
We can also offer support for Access to Work, if applicable. Because we understand that paid work can be a barrier for some individuals in receipt of benefits, we are happy to offer what support we can. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the offer?
To apply for this commission please complete the form. You can either complete a written application (online form, Word Doc, or PDF) or you can submit an application via a recorded video – instructions for how to apply via video are available as a Word and PDF doc below.
If any of these application processes are not accessible to you, please email us and we will work with you to find an accessible way for you to apply. Email us at email@example.com
- Complete the written form using one of the formats provided below:
- Instructions for how to submit an application as a video:
Support for your application:
- Visit our new webpage on Digital Creatively Embedded Access.
- Come along to one of our Question and Answer events for Locked World Commissions: which you can book by clicking the following links: 28 July at 11am / 29 July at 6pm.
- Email us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
A completed application will need to include all of the following:
- Completion of an application form / application video, which details:
- A proposal for the digital artwork you would like to make
- An outline of how you would like to creatively embed access into your artwork
- Links to previous examples of your artwork
We appreciate all applicants filling out the Equalities Monitoring form as well (this has no bearing on your application) (click the button below)
The selection process
We will follow an anonymous process as far as is possible to ensure that work is judged on its ideas. BOP Executive Producer, Mairi Taylor and BOP Engagement Manager, Callum Madge will ensure work meets the selection criteria and then submit proposals forward to the selection panel.
The commissions will be selected by a panel consisting of: BOP Young Artists Development Officer, Morna McGeoch; BOP Young Artists Pilot Cohort; Freelance Digital Artist, Rosa Francesca; and BOP Board Member, Wezi Mhura.
The Selection Panel is scheduled to meet on Monday 30th August and decisions will follow this. Shortlisted applicants may be invited to have a conversation with BOP about their proposal.
Selected applicants must:
- Identify as being D/deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent
- Demonstrate experience of creating artwork
- Live in Scotland (do not need to be a UK citizen)
- Be aged 16 or over
Selected proposals will:
- Show a strong connection to the idea of a ‘Locked World’
- Include clear ideas for embedding access creatively
- Communicate a diverse perspective of disabled experience different to the existing artworks (diversity of heritage, gender, access requirements etc.)
- Help us amplify a diversity of digital artforms
- Acknowledge the principles and values detailed above
Support for your application:
How did we get here?
Locked World… Lockdown… We know, they sound very similar. But, we wanted to let you know that Locked World is not about lockdown or COVID-19.
The title ‘Locked World’ was actually chosen just one month before COVID-19 was officially termed a ‘pandemic’. It’s just a very unusual and very interesting coincidence!
Locked World was originally intended to be a live in-person performance, but because of COVID, it is not currently safe to perform to a live audience in an indoor venue. However, instead of seeing this as an obstacle, BOP Young Artists have made this into an opportunity. Now, Locked World is a large-scale digital project which is truly pushing the boundaries of digital accessibility in a multitude of ways.
|September 2019||BOP YAs were set the task to create a piece of work to share at scratch event in Dec 2019.|
|December 2019||BOP YAs shared the work created at an event hosted by The Bold Collective and supported by Scottish Youth Theatre.|
|January 2020||The group reflected on the solo performances from the December scratch night, finding what they wanted to explore further as a collective.|
|February 2020||The group developed an immersive promenade performance piece called ‘Locked World’.|
|March 2020||Cancellation of Youth Theatre Arts Scotland’s National Convention of Youth Drama, where ‘Locked World’ the work in progress, was due to be performed. National Lockdown.|
|April 2020||Re-connected online – “What do we do with this work now?”|
|May 2020||Developing digital ideas – not a recording of a performance! Let’s create something truly organic and responsive to the current situation. A space to share what we’ve been making, but also, there is a real need for the amplification of the voices of other disabled people.|
|August 2020||BOP recruited digital arts consultant Leonie Rae-Gasson, who helped the Young Artists to solidify the structure and intentions of Locked World. |
BOP worked with digital producer and consultant Suzy Glass through Creative Scotland’s Digital Pivot programme, to help Locked World to move in a digital direction.
|December 2020||BOP Young Artists and Leonie created a succinct brief document for the creation of Locked World. BOP recruited further digital consultancy in Suzy Glass (digital producing) and Dalton Weir (digital accessibility).|
|March 2021||BOP were delighted to connect with Aberdeen based digital agency design and code – who came on board as the web design and developers for Locked World.|
|May 2021||The design process has begun…|