Whose Flame is it Anyway?
2012 has seen the culmination of our ‘Whose Flame is it Anyway?’ projects; four years of working with talented young disabled people from across Wales.
Go Get Started
Our visual art project began with a competition, requesting art work that could be selected for an exhibition and twelve winning pieces to also be chosen to be printed on to postcards. We had over 200 high quality entries of work, ranging from drawings to collages, photographs to ceramics; some created by individuals, others by groups of students from colleges. The postcards have been distributed to arts venues across Wales and an exhibition of the successful art works took place at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay during July 2012.
Ignite the Flame
Over 30 young disabled people from across Wales participated in our writing project. A group in Cardiff and one with Valley’s Kids in Penygraig met regularly and were tutored by experienced and inspiring writers, Kaite O’Reilly, Susan Richardson and Francesca Kay. The final workshop in March was run by the American poet Jim Ferris and there was a sharing of the young people’s work. A large percentage of the work produced by the young people was published in our ‘Whose Flame is it Anyway?’ anthology.
The weekly dance group run in partnership with Dawns i Bawb performed at Galeri in Caernarfon. The tutor, Dymphna D’Arcy, made a film of their performance in collaboration with Marc Rees’s Adain Avion project; this was shown in July 2012 on Llandudno promenade.
Rise & Shine North
The drama group who meet quarterly at Galeri in Caernarfon, wrote and performed two short plays in April for a large audience of family and friends. In July the group performed at the Cauldron and Furnaces event at Caernarfon Castle as part of the cultural Olympiad celebrations. The group will continue to meet for weekend workshops every three months.
Rise & Shine South
In March, to celebrate the end of the project, the drama group performed ‘Prometheus’ and ‘A Short History of the Olympics’ at Ysgol Maes Dyfan in Barry. The event was very well attended and much enjoyed by family and friends.
UCAN – Breaking The Wall
An extract of Lloyd Coleman’s commissioned piece of music, Breaking the Wall, was played by BBC NOW at the Music Nation concert at St.David’s Hall in Cardiff in March. The complete work was used to create a stunning performance piece for the young members of UCAN. The production took place in Cardiff and Wrexham in August 2012.
Unusual Stage School
2012 saw the long awaited production of ‘Birds’ at Sherman Cymru in May. The actors gained a great deal from working with a full production team and thoroughly enjoyed performing in the newly refurbished Sherman Theatre. There is soon to be an exhibition of photographs from the production.
Whose Flame is it Anyway?
An anthology of all our Whose Flame projects has been published and was launched at the opening of the exhibition at the Norwegian Church in July. The book is full of beautiful photographs of the art work, all the performance groups and the creative writing from Ignite the Flame. The book is available via Amazon or from the DAC office for only £10. There will soon be available a touring exhibition to accompany the anthology.
See more about this on the Arts Council of Wales website.
North Wales Field Officer Launch
To mark the appointment of our North Wales Field Officer, Gareth Foulkes, two events were held in North Wales in May. The event at Galeri Caernarfon was very well attended and there was a great atmosphere. The keynote speaker was Lord Dafydd Wigley and entertaining performances and presentations were given by established disabled artists, Bev Bell-Hughes, Richard Sinnott and Vivi-Mari Caplan. The event was repeated at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold with Sir Bert Massey giving the keynote address. It was a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and forge new links. Gareth will be working on developing our networks throughout North Wales.
Vision 21- Celebrating 10 Years at Sbectrwm
Sbectrwm’s annual open day this year was extra special as it is ten years since the centre opened. Councillor Judith Woodman unveiled a plaque to commemorate the anniversary. There was a wide range of stalls selling crafts and plants, fun activities throughout the day, a barbeque and cream teas.
As part of this year’s Unity Festival there was an opportunity to see some high profile disability artists who had received commissions from Unlimited, the disability arts strand of the Cultural Olympiad. Laurence Clark returned to the Weston Studio with his new show ‘Inspired’ which was very entertaining. DAC staff all thoroughly enjoyed Ramesh Meyyappan’s funny and moving physical theatre piece ‘Skewered Snails’. For the younger audiences there was an opportunity to see Tin Bath Theatre’s ‘Bee Detective’, a beautifully visual and multi-sensory production in a large tent.
Development Officer, Sara Beer, had a six week sabbatical from DAC to work as Emerging Director with National Theatre Wales on Kaite O’Reilly’s new play ‘In Water I’m Weightless’. Working with Artistic Director John McGrath was a fantastic experience and Sara gained an enormous amount from being involved in such a large production. Following on from a run at the Weston Studio at the Wales Millennium Centre the show transferred to the South Bank, London, at the end of August.
Paralympic Flame Festival
DAC was involved in the planning of the Paralympic Flame Festival that took place at the Wales Millennium Centre on August 27th. The afternoon event was opened with an excellent performance by singer Mike Thomas. Other acts taking part were the La Di Dah’s, Hijinx Theatre’s Snooks Brothers and Charlotte Church. Even though the weather was dreadful the outdoor evening event with the arrival of the paralympic torch was extremely well attended.