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Visual Voices

Emerging artists with learning disabilities curated their own visual art exhibition at The Old Truman Brewery in response to modern London architecture.

From 30th October to 5th November 2009 the Truman Brewery in London’s East End hosted a ground-breaking exhibition of film, installation, photography and drawings made in response to modern London architecture. We wanted people to drop in and experience first-hand the talent and vision of the artists involved.

The exhibition had over 1000 visitors in a week

 

The exhibition ‘Visual Voices’ was funded by The London Development Agency’s  2012 London Cultural Skills Fund; to address a gap in provision for artists and dancers with learning disabilities so that they can gain greater skills and become cultural leaders. These artists had an inspiring experience; working out of an East End Studio, working with the organisations Tate Modern and Photofusion; and training with professional artists, such as filmmaker Riccardo Iacono.

This exhibition was the result of a unique training programme led by Project Volume's Artistic Director, Susan Norwood, to begin to explore the different qualities of mulit-media and to then encourage the true voice of the artist through nuturing their artistic vision and beginning to instill in them the skills for curating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These six London Artists curated this exhibition and selected further artwork from other talented artists with learning disabilities, who, were unable to take part in the training, creating a platform for this brilliant work to be seen. ‘Visual Voices’ was part of a larger body of work created in partnership with Corali Dance Company, the exhibition culminated in a ‘Performance Lab’, a catalyst to explore potential collaborations between these artists and the dancers working with Corali Dance Company.

Further artists with learning disabilities gained training with Susan Norwood in leading an inclusive art gallery tour, insight into designing a workshop for an integrated group and practical professional skills and practice in leading an art workshop, in response to an exhibition at The Saatchi Gallery, London.

Outcomes of the project:

  • To develop a framework of arts training for artists with learning disabilities in line with their non-disabled peers

  • The development of ‘leadership’ skills would empower the participants to contribute more fully and equally to our culture.

  • The work would address skills gaps by building new competencies to allow artists with learning disabilities to integrate more fully into mainstream culture.

  • The training programme strove to push back barriers that exist to prevent artists with learning disabilities achieving artistic excellence

We will be adding an online gallery of video and artwork from this exhition shortly. Please check back for updates.

Images: (Top image) Truman Brewery, exhibition detail, 2009; (Middle image) detail of video installation, by Mary Ash; (Bottom image) Truman Brewery exhibition detail, 2009. Photographer: Chris Diedo

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