We're delighted to announce the successful applicants for the first ever National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) Research and Development Award!

NDACA, a project delivered by Shape Arts, and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, launched the R&D Award this May. After a rigorous selection process, we’ve selected the four recipients who will each receive a £1,000 bursary, along with five mentoring sessions.

The four mentors taking part in the programme are key figures from the Disability Arts Movement (read our Meet the Mentors blog for details). They will provide their respective mentees with guidance and advice to develop their practice, creating a valuable opportunity for established artists to support a new generation of disabled artists by sharing their skills and experiences.

The recipients are…

Jack Bull, who will be mentored by Tanya Raabe-Webber 

Jack is a Brighton based artist specialising in mixed media artworks, using an array of different materials such as acrylics, spray paint, pastels, markers, inks, household paints and materials, graphite and etching blades.

Jack held a solo exhibition called 'Mystery Eyes' as part of Brighton Fringe in 2014, and has been commissioned by several organisations including Creative Junction. The NDACA R&D will give him the opportunity to learn how to make photo books and zines as a way of displaying work in an engaging way.

As Jack explains, 'Although some of my work may have slightly grim or unsettling undertones to it, the contrast of bold colour creates something visually powerful and positive. I attempt to challenge the viewer to see my vision, yet I remain open to people's personal interpretations.'

Website link: http://www.jackbull.co.uk/ 

Jack Bull's mixed media painting from his series 'Mystery Eyes'.

 Zara-Jayne Arnold, who will be mentored by Julie McNamara 

Zara-Jayne is a writer, performer and workshop leader based in London, currently working with 'In Sight Theatre', of which she is Co-Founder. Zara's one-woman show 'Naming Culture' debuts at Edinburgh Fringe festival this summer. She told Shape, 'I am really passionate about my writing, and aim to share my skills to help build other people's confidence, too.'

Zara-Jayne wishes to cultivate and expand her writing skills by experimenting with different types of work. The NDACA R&D will allow her to develop her new play 'Waste', which uses recycled materials to discuss how to improve the environment for future generations.

Website link: http://www.insighttheatrelondon.com/ 

Zara-Jayne promoting her show 'Naming Culture'. 

Mark Tamer, who will be mentored by Allan Sutherland 

Mark is an experimental photographic artist working with both analogue and digital mediums. Mark's artwork explores the frailty of the body, the mind, and of life itself. He’s worked with Shape before, most recently as a resident artist at Liberty Festival 2017.

Mark told us, 'I believe mistakes can not only show up a process, but can often tell us more about something than something perfectly executed. Evolution is full of “mistakes,” life is full of mistakes, therefore art should include mistakes. '

During the NDACA R&D period, Mark wishes to work on a new body of work entitled 'Breakdown'. The piece will be process-led, responding to the surrounding area of his artist studio on the East Coast of the England. During this project, he intends to develop his work through text, both found and his own.

Website link: http://www.marktamer.co.uk/ 

Image from Mark Tamer's series, 'A Memory That Fades Like a Photograph'.

Aminder Virdee, who will be mentored by Tony Heaton OBE 

Aminder is an interdisciplinary artist working across multiple art forms, including performance, sculpture, installations, painting, digital and moving image.

'I use ideas relating to the Self and Identity to deepen people's understanding of the possible notions attached to  ‘disability’,’ Aminder told us. ‘I aim to challenge the Medical Model of Disability and reclaim the ‘disabled’ identity that is often marked with demeaning and damaging imagery in popular culture.'

The NDACA R&D provides Aminder the opportunity to test new concepts and push the boundaries of her current practice by developing skills in the production of sculptural work. She is specifically interested in merging installation with digital work, and exploring the use of fragile materials in sculpture.

Website link: http://www.aminder-virdee.com/ 

Still from Aminder Virdee's video piece entitled, 'Keep This Leaflet. You May Need To Read It Again.'

Banner Image: From Mark Tamer's series 'Breaking Pictures - 35 Film'.  

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