Make Do & Mend

We are delighted to announce the artists who have been selected for Make Do & Mend a development opportunity from Stellar Quines and Bird of Paradise. The artists were asked to submit an application for a creative idea for an early stage project that explores the theme of motherhood and the connections involved. The development of this project will happen throughout 2020. the successful applications are:

  • Dancing in the Dark : Robert Bennett (leader of project), Janice Barbour, Jorja Follina, Lesley Howard, Jourdan Walker (dancers), Chloe Divers (project coordinator)

  • Breaking the Fall : Emily and Cherrie Beaney

  • Medusa 2020 : Heather Marshall, Creative Electric

  • Screech : Jen McGregor

  • UnTangled : Ruth Rankin (lead artist) and Naomi Stirrat (collaborator)

It was a very competitive round and the panel were very impressed by the range of projects that were submitted. Thanks to all those who applied or took part in our surgery days. 

Discover more about each project below

Robert sits in his wheelchair facing the left side, dressed in a shirt and tie. Sitting in front of him is a young woman in a red dress, she is facing the other way to him. Robert's arm is being held to her chest tenderly.

Robert Bennett (leader of project), Janice Barbour, Jorja Follina, Lesley Howard, Jourdan Walker (dancers), Chloe Divers (project coordinator)

Dancing in the Dark will explore the theme of what it means to be a Mother through dance by telling the story Robert’s Mum’s experiences of raising a disabled child and her background as a ballet dance teacher, which was very formative in the development of his passion for dance. The focus will not only be on Robert’s mum but also his sister who played a large part in raising him. Dancing in the Dark will challenge conventional ways of moving in dance in particular for wheelchair users by using a hoist during the dance piece. 

A young woman and an older woman sit together, looking at each other. In their hands they hold slivery sculptures that look like casts of their own heads.

Emily and Cherrie Beaney

Breaking the Fall brings together two female artists, mother and daughter, in the creative exploration of the impact of a child’s chronic illness on motherhood. Experiences of epilepsy will be explored from the perspective of both mother and daughter, focusing upon issues of control. These themes will be visualised in the design of wearable sculptures and experimental movement sequences.

Wearing a blue boiler suit, Heather is on her hands and knees in what looks like a run down public toilet, the floor is covered in lots of pills and she is trying to collect them up into a white ceramic bowl.

Heather Marshall, Creative Electric

Medusa 2020 – “A heid full ae snakes is bound tae make yae do mad hings”. A contemporary, Scottish retelling of Medusa, a woman wrongfully branded as a monster created by Heather Marshall of Creative Electric. The curse that was placed upon Medusa was not from Athena but rather from her own body and mind and the way society viewed her. A monthly curse, not in the form of a bleed, but her hormones banishing the production of serotonin in her brain. During Make Do and Mend Heather will develop new writing based on the story of Medusa and Heather’s experiences of pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. The writing will be developed with three performers who have experience of menstruation.

Profile of Jen, she has red hair in a short bob cut with thick make up around her eyes with which she looks out the corner of here eyes into the distance.

Jen McGregor

ScreechCombining physical theatre and voice/instrument dialogue, Screech will explore the figure of the childless woman and how even the lives of the maternally-disinclined or infertile are shaped by expectations regarding motherhood. It will also serve as an experiment in new ways of notating performance to depict more accurately a neurodiverse writer’s intention.

A young woman stares into the camera, she is wearing a jumper and flicks her long her with her left hand.

Ruth Rankin (lead artist) and Naomi Stirrat (collaborator)

UnTangled – “Mother knows best” What happens when others tell you they know what’s best? Educational Psychologist, Doctor, Teacher, Occupational Therapist, Health Visitor. A web develops that a mother has to UnTangle to make sure her child doesn’t suffocate. We hope to create a performance piece that comforts and encourages mothers, as well humanising the often ‘statisticised’ ASN community. This embryonic idea pertaining to Motherhood will celebrate the relationship between a mother and her sensory seeking child, exploring the role of the mother as untangler.


Make Do & Mend is an artist development opportunity from Stellar Quines Theatre Company, that offers artists a chance to develop an idea, based around a theme that invites an opportunity to consider the position of women and girls living in Scotland today. For 2020 they are teaming up with us to offer an opportunity exclusively to artists who identify as disabled.

The project title, Make Do & Mend, is derived from a World War II pamphlet that encouraged women to be frugal and stylish. This fund exists to see what artists can achieve with limited resources – a contemporary take on the wartime slogan. Since the project’s launch in 2018 they have awarded eight artists seed funding to develop a new work that responds to different themes and provocations.


The aim of this collaboration is it to create a unique opportunity for artists to create something amazing that they would not otherwise have the chance to develop. Stellar Quines know that it can be hard for artists to find opportunities that create a space to do something you would not normally do – to not do just what is expected. BOP know that for disabled artists development opportunities that do not successfully support access requirements can stifle creativity before it has begun, let alone let you find the creative conditions to push in a new direction. Working together our companies are creating a space for artists to bring a new idea to life and challenge themselves as artists.

What this is and how this is delivered is entirely up to you. We are open to new ways of working as well as more traditional methods. Crucially, this opportunity should fuel your imagination both thematically but also in the methodology you might employ. Per proposal there is a maximum fund of £2,000 available (the fund is £8,000 in total). There is also an additional fund of £2,000 to contribute towards access costs across the programme of supported artists.


The bond between a mother and their child is unlike any other – but it is often a complex and tangled relationship. For Make Do and Mend 2019 we are inviting artists to respond to this theme of motherhood and the connections involved. To apply for this you; do not need to be a mother or parent; might want to consider the experience of disabled mothers or of being a mother to a disabled child; might want to respond to an absence of motherhood; to motherhood through surrogacy, adoption or fostering; to celebrate motherhood or any other experience of motherhood. A core question that you might want to consider is: What is the connection between mother and child?


Make Do & Mend is open to applications from individual artists, companies or collectives be that emergent or mid-career, who identify as any gender. We welcome applications from artists who identify as People of Colour. The lead artist(s) must identify as disabled. We do ask that when engaging a creative team, you are mindful of gender balance and reflect our own commitment to working with a minimum of 70% woman identifying participants.

For further information about the initiative, please visit the Make Do & Mend page on the Stellar Quines website