The winner of the 2014 Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, which will be hosted by the Victoria and Albert Museum with support from The Helen Hamlyn Centre of Design at the Royal College of Arts, is multidisciplinary artist Carmen Papalia.

The Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, set up in memory of sculptor Adam Reynolds, supports disabled artists by offering the opportunity to engage in a three month residency at a high profile gallery or cultural institution.

Papalia makes experiential projects about access with regard to public space, the art institution and visual culture. His current work is focussed on developing and conducting participatory projects which create prolonged moments of radical accessibility in institutional and non-institutional settings. Born in Vancouver, Papalia has worked extensively across Canada and the USA and has contributed an article entitled 'A New Model for Access in the Museum' to Disability Studies Quarterly.

To read this article in full click here.

To watch Mobility Device, a short documentary film by Mickey Fisher, in which Papalia replaces his cane with a marching band click here.

Papalia will receive a £5000 bursary and undertake a three month residency hosted by the Victoria and Albert Museum beginning in January 2015.


On receiving this award Papalia commented:

'This model for support is not only difficult to come by given the current cultural landscape, it is exactly the sort of action necessary in healing the gap between disability and contemporary art….I want to express my deepest thanks to the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary decisions committee for the tremendous support that they have shown in selecting me as their 2014 award recipient. I am deeply moved by the kindness and generosity that this unique opportunity represents. I look forward to my time in residence in early 2015.'

Laura Southall
, Assistant Programme Manager for Creative Industries, Higher Education & Residencies, Victoria & Albert Museum commented:

'It's very exciting to add the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary Residency to our established residency programme here at the Victoria and Albert Museum this year. Public participation is a huge part of any residency at the Museum and we hope that Carmen's work will open up wider conversations with the public about access issues, as well as the inclusive and enabling capacities of art and design. It has already been an interesting and rewarding process to work with Shape on this project, and we look forward to welcoming Carmen to the V&A in January.'

Professor Jeremy Myerson, Director, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design commented:

'The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA is very pleased to be providing support for Carmen Papalia in his Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary Residency at the V&A. Access to culture for older and disabled people is a key part of our agenda and, as designer in residence, we are sure that Carmen will develop some exciting new ideas around this theme.'

Tony Heaton OBE, CEO, Shape commented:

'The Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary has been the catalyst to create the most amazing of opportunities, and now it takes another twist and turn with our first ever engagement with a museum.  And what a museum, the V&A! Adding to that the involvement of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art.

These institutions are great partners for Shape and between us we can offer the bursary recipient Carmen the potential for a truly creative experience.

All the panel were excited and intrigued by his practice and I am really looking forward to his engagement with us in the process'.


The shortlisted artists, who will feature alongside Papalia in the Shortlist 7 Exhibition in Spring 2015 include:

 Laila Cassim -

Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings -

Peter Matthews -


Selection panel:

Jeremy Myerson (Director, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design).

Tony Heaton (Chief Executive, Shape),

Leanne Manfredi (Programme Manager: Higher Education, Creative Industries and Residencies, Victoria and Albert Museum),

Laura Southall (Assistant Programme Manager: Higher Education, Creative Industries & Residencies, Victoria and Albert Museum)