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Allan Sutherland

Allan Sutherland’s blog charts the progress of working on his first collection of poetry, Leaning On A Lamppost. The collection will give an overview of his work, including 20 years of performance, his more recent pioneering work in transcription poetry, found poems and a set of new work responding to his mentoring by John O’Donoghue.

Lloyd Coleman: The Sound of Disability v-blog

Lloyd Coleman is a composer, conductor and clarinettist, who recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. He's been a member of the British Paraorchestra since it was formed in 2012, and is now writing a major new piece for them. You can follow his progress here on this blog.

Film and TV Reviews

Dao's film and television blog focuses on portrayals of disability in the media with discussion of contemporary films and the occasional bit of television. Sarah Ismail is a freelance journalist. She blogs about disability issues at Alison Wilde has a PhD from the Centre for Disability Studies.

Survivors' Poetry blog

Survivor's Poetry aim to publish and promote poetry by survivors; supporting and developing survivor poets and establishing communication networks; making connections between creativity and mental health. This blog contains notes from contributors to the survivors network.

Gemma Nash

Gemma is a Manchester based multimedia artist and digital storyteller. She has a particular interest in sound and photography, with her work exploring themes of community, social engagement, disability and inclusivity. She has composed soundscapes for festivals, films and theatre and exhibited at Z Arts Brewery Arts centre, BBQ Arts & World Museum.

Gary Thomas' blog

Artist and Filmmaker Gary Thomas looks at the relationship between art and film, why it's sometimes uncomfortable, and how he deals with his own 'strands', (including disability), both personally and professionally. He'll also be writing about his own work as well as developing other projects, including films about the Olympics.

Liz Porter: Learning to See

Liz Porter has been awarded ACE G4A funding to research and develop ‘Learning to See’. Over the next 6 months Liz will work with a great creative team to explore a myriad of ways to bring the story of her life to ‘life’ through sound, music, film visual arts and creative access.

Bonk's blog

My name's Bonk and I love to write, when my brain hurts and gets too tight! I am bi-polar please don't be scared… don't run… just listen, as I get prepared. Open your eyes… I hope you enjoy my thoughts. And so I'll begin with a poem followed by some daily reports.

Unlimited 2014

The 2014 round of the UNLIMITED programme supports 26 disabled artists and companies across the UK to create ambitious work covering all genres. Dao is pleased to announce that we are the official media partner for the exciting Unlimited programme led by Shape and ArtsAdmin. As well as populating Dao with reviews and interviews with the Unlimited artists and producer, we've published this blog, which contains reflections from our writers on aspects of the Unlimited Festival at the Southbank Centre 2-7 September 2014.

Melissa Mostyn's blog

Melissa Mostyn is a writer, blogger, arts practitioner and mum-of-two. 'My grand passion is freedom of creative expression and it is this that drives my diverse love of the arts and media, taking in visual art, theatre, film, journalism, books and TV.' She often explores themes of communication, disability/deafness and human relationships in her work. 

Christopher Leith: 3 Stages for Lazarus

Christopher Leith is a master puppeteer. Recently diagnosed with MND, his new show ‘3 Stages for Lazarus’ combines live puppetry, acting and music to explore issues of life and death. Currently a work-in-progress the play is being developed with a 10-15 minute film to be be completed by the end of August with performances at the Suspense Festival in London in November 2015.

Joe McConnell's blog

Joe is a disabled Irish writer and emerging-better-late-than-never visual artist living in the UK since the 1970s. While increasingly alienated and terrified by the toxic la-di-da of the capitalist mainstream, he finds that being reborn as an artist makes life worth living again. Joe has also been blogging on the Creative Case for Diversity.

Richard Longstaff: Beyond Watford

I have largely kept my poetry to myself because of disabilities, but live in hope of finding a publisher that is disabled friendly. Nature offers me a escape from the pressures of this 'normal world' in which we live. I find comfort in the beauty of simple things all around. I also use my disability to find things that inspire me. I find the autistic mind sees things that others miss.

Rachel Gadsden in Qatar

As part of the Qatar-UK Year of Culture, the British Council are presenting an arts and disability festival featuring work from the Unlimited season, a major element within the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The programme of live performance, visual arts and film includes an exhibition and workshops by disabled visual artist Rachel Gadsden. Tim Hayton blogs about the trip.

Tim Jeeves: How to Fall in Love

An hour-long love affair, a pretend date, and a walking performance through the streets of Liverpool, 'How to Fall in Love' has been developed by artist Tim Jeeves and members of the learning disability theatre company RAWD. Follow the company's blog as they talk about the rehearsals...

Katya Robin

Katya Robin observes the language of public spaces, our ambivalence with these structures. Her cross-media works reflect common sayings and assumed knowledge. Research-based practice reveals abstruse historical and culture associations. Her research and participatory art project, Hexopolis, observes urban geometry, linking this with social access. Angry and articulate about access. 

Liz Crow's blog

I’m an artist-activist working in performance, film, sound and text, and founder of Roaring Girl Productions ( Drawn to the power of creative work to trigger change, projects range from confrontational and provocative to much gentler inquiry. My blogging will be on current projects and the questions they raise in the doing.

John O'Donoghue

I am John O'Donoghue, author, poet, and journalist. I want to write about Outsider Art, drawing on the aesthetics of Art Brut and applying these in particular to poetry. I've long been interested in these two areas and am grateful to DAO for giving me the time and space to investigate 'Poesie Brut'.

Aaron Williamson: 'The Eavesdropper'

As one of DAO's Diverse Perspectives commissions, we've asked Aaron Williamson to blog about his residency at the impressive and popular Walker Art Gallery as part of the Liverpool Biennial and DaDaFest 2012. His blog covers his work-in-progress 'The Eavesdropper' over the 12 week residency.

Unlimited @ Southbank Centre

The Unlimited Festival blog engages with artists, producers and audience at one of the biggest exposures of Disability Arts ever to happen in London. Coinciding with the Paralympic games, the festival runs from 30 August – 9 September, 2012

Nina Muehlemann's blog

Nina Muehlemann is doing a PhD in English Literature on ‘positive’ representation of disability in mainstream culture and Disability Culture. In her blog, she writes about her research, about disability in the media and in art and the gap between mainstream and Disability Culture.

Jo-anne Cox

My blog follows the process of working on The Electric Cello Diary, a project which uses music to symbolize experiences in my everyday life. It started in March 2012, when I had a huge 3 day reaction to a particularly harsh event. Eventually I realized that as a person with Borderline Personality Disorder

Nicole Fordham-Hodges

Nicole Fordham Hodges is a poet, and thrilled to be one of DAO's New Voices. In her blog, she would like to untangle her artistic process as if it were knotted string. She'd like to nudge her poetry out into the open, if it will come. She'd like to test the truth of her own and other people's work, by tapping them against each-other. She'd love to know who you are, and hear your comments on what she's written.

Gini: 'Creatives in Con.Text'

Commissioned as part of DAO's Diverse Perspectives programme, based at Salisbury Arts Centre, and juxtaposing the motivations of creatives and their audiences, Creatives in Con.Text is grown from conversations around access in it's very broadest sense. Con.Text pieces evolve through performance conversations to present research and evaluation as textual art.

The O'Crypes blog

As one of DAO's Diverse Perspectives commissions, we've asked John O'Donoghue and Crippen to produce The O’Crypes - a cartoon blog about a family based in the fictional seaside town of Westsea - who are more than a little bemused by the Cultural Olympiad

Sarah Hirst

I am currently in my 3rd and final year on a fine art degree and my project I am starting on is exploring the masks we wear in everyday life.  I have BPD and wish to use the blog to record my thought processes and progress in making my final film piece.

Simon Raven: Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary

The annual bursary, set up by Shape in memory of sculptor Adam Reynolds supports disabled artists working in visual art. The bursary, one of the most significant commissioning opportunities for disabled artists in the UK, offers an opportunity to engage in a three month residency at a high profile gallery. This year Simon Raven who makes concept-led performances, films and installations is at the Camden Arts Centre, London.

Oska Bright On The Road

Oska Bright On The Road has been taking films by and for learning disabled people around the world since early 2008. The Oska Bright steering group have been sharing their travels with DAO

Gabby Ferro

I am a 22 year old student at Kingston University, studying an MA in Film Studies. My blog is about my interaction with film (my passion) and theatre events. Occasionally I will discuss music and trips I make to concerts, galleries and museums.

Cathedra 900

Multimedia artist Mark Ware blogs about Cathedra 900, a cultural olympiad event to be staged at Exeter Cathedral from Summer 2012 to Spring 2013.

Ann Young

I am a disabled writer. I have been part of the Disability Arts scene for over two decades. My work tries to explore our ordinary lives and relationships with realism and often, humour.

Alyse Garner's blog

Alyse Garner has been reviewing film for nearly 5 years. Her blog aims to encourage debate and raise interesting questions about images of disability, adding a new dimension to the development of disability arts image analysis.

Joe Kelly's Blog

Joe Kelly is former Director of Footsteps Arts, in Ealing, West London. He is a writer and campaigner around mental health issues.

Signdance Collective International

Signdance Collective International are an international dance, music, theatre company based at Bucks New University in South East England. David Bower and Isolte Avila blog the companies travels to festivals worldwide.

Peter Street

Peter Street's blog covers a variety of publications by the author - the latest being a memoir of his days as a gravedigger in the 1960s. The blog also follows the launch of his fifth poetry volume 'Listening to the Dark', which was published by Penniless Press in August 2012.

Fittings Multimedia Arts

Raspberry is a musical inspired by the life and times of legendary disabled performer, Ian Dury. Written by award-winning playwright Garry Robson of Fittings Multimedia Arts, the play is showing at Oval House Theatre, London - 1 February to 19 February. Audio Described & BSL performance: Friday 18th February (See DAO listings for details)

Paul Darke's Blog

Paul Darke is an internationally respected academic, writer and cultural critic who has written and created extensively around the issue of identity and culture. As a conceptual artist he works across art forms, bringing new insights and exciting concepts

Lynn Weddle and Anya Ustaszewski: Living Portraits

Living Portrait expands the dimensions, shape and context of portraiture through the collaborative ventures of photographer Lynn Weddle and sound artist Anya Ustaszewski. This  gentle subversive, exploration will arrive at five beguiling living breathtaking portraits of young carers embedded with the subtlest of sounds. To be premiered at Brighton Media Centre Gallery as part of Brighton Photo Fringe at the Media Centre Gallery from 14th to 19th October 2014.

Bernadette Cremin

I am a published poet and performer. I am using DAO to blog about development of my work - in particular my one-woman show Altered Egos which was performed in the 2010 Brighton Fringe Festival.

Rachel Gadsden's Blog

Rachel blogs some reflections on her participation in the Sync 20 leadership programme.

Charles Devus

I am writing about my the development of my graphic novel Justin Sane and my experience as an artist with Creative Future; as well as the ongoing saga of Berlin where I may or may not have an exhibition in 2012.

In Touch with Art

In Touch with Art is Europe’s leading conference about museums, heritage and people with vision impairment. This blog discusses the perspectives on equal access to museums for people with vision impairment.

Ju Gosling's blog

Ju Gosling aka ju90 is an artist who works mainly with digital lens-based media, as well as performance, text and sound. Ju situates her work largely within the theories and traditions of the international Disability Arts movement, and has gained an international reputation. In this Blog ju90 will focus on the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People as it relates to art, culture and sport.

Ems Coombes

Ems Coombes is the founder and project manager of Strictly Collaborative - an inclusive theatre company, based in Plymouth. Her blog documents her journey as an emerging disabled artist; includes interviews with a series of artist/ performers; and sets about inventing a treasure hunt for those key inspirational moments in a disabled artists' life.

The Art House

Elinor Unwin, Project Manager for Artists in Wakefield blogs about language with some thoughts on how words, spoken or written, can create unintentional barriers for the individual.

Monika Akila-Richards

I am Monika, call me Mon and I have various names, like most of us have complex identities of which some are visible, declared or stay hidden. I am honoured to be part of New Voices. I will give you my opinion on a series of arts events and very much welcome your replies...

Lung Ha's Blog

Lung Ha’s Theatre Company are taking Around The World in 80 Days to theatres in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Actor Stephan Tait blogs about his role as Phileas Fogg

Aidan Moesby' blog

As a socially engaged Text Based Artist and Writer I am interested in the schisms and conflicts that exist between the personal and cultural agendas. I am fascinated by the way in which we both create and try to make sense of the worlds which we live in. I am interested in the experience of attempting to mediate diverse worlds, attempting to maintain an arts practice and navigate through the increasing complexities of the everyday.

Pauline Alexander Blog
Signdance at the PAH Festival
Signdance Collective send greetings from the PAH Festival, Philadelphia November 2007
Tanya Raabe's Blog

Visual Artist Tanya Raabe makes work around the theme of body image. Her blog concentrates on 'Revealing Culture: HeadOn' - an artwork and piece of research exploring identity, disability culture, in contemporary portraiture and the nude.

Benedict Phillips Blog

Artist Benedict Phillips is blogging about his creative life using video

Aaron Williamson's Blog

Aaron Williamson is the recipient of the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary for 2010. He began a residency at Spike Island, Bristol on 3 February 2010. His blog covers his work-in-progress over the 12 week residency.

Candoco Dance blog

Candoco Dance Company are a leading company of disabled and non disabled dancers who will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary next year. They are currently touring with their triple bill titled Renditions with works choreographed by Sarah Michelson, Emanuel Gat and Wendy Houstoun. Follow what the company and the dancers are up to with their weekly blog.

Sam Jacobs

Sam Jacobs is an award winning Scenographer/ Choreographer/ Director/ Writer and Consultant with over 50 years experience. At 65, after becoming physically disabled, he retrained as a Choreographer. He is also Artistic Director of Found Reality Dance Theatre Company - an integrated, disabled and non-disabled performance company which specializes in training for performance by making performance.

Pádraig Naughton's blog

Pádraig Naughton, Director of Arts & Disability Ireland, is attending the VSA International Festival and Conference in Washington DC. Over the coming week or so, Pádraig will reflect on ADI's involvement in the Festival as well as share his impressions of a week that will see over 2,000 people from 54 countries gather to experience performances, exhibitions, screenings and debates across the city.

Accentuate blog

Accentuate is the 2012 Legacy Programme for the South East. Accentuate consists of 15 ambitious projects which represent the arts, film, tourism, business, sport and heritage. The aim is to promote the talent of deaf and disabled people in whatever area they work in. This blog is from Our View - a group of talented deaf and disabled people who act as an internal steering group as well as have direct relationships with the individual projects. Accentuate is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity whose mission is to support a wide range of innovative cultural and sporting activities, which celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) has also invested significant financial support in Accentuate, as have the regional cultural agencies.

The Philosophical Ramblers Club

Neal Pearce is a writer, poet, artist, Mouth of Open Doors/Universal locksmith/Cosmic Emissary, prophet (self-proclaimed!)... and obviously slightly mad too!

Jon Adams' blog

Jon Adams fine art practice draws upon a wide range of materials and processes which include photography, video, sound recording and digital sound and visual manipulation, 3D installations, traditional sculpture and illustration. Jon is a Research Fellow in Disability Arts within the Faculty of CCi at the University of Portsmouth. His work includes themes of hidden disability and positive dyslexia and Aspergers awareness combined with a subversive or geological context.

Simon Cooper blog

Colour is the secret key to my work. I am an abstract artist and I break up images. I specialise in traditional and digital printmaking including painting. I am working on my latest image about my deafness.

Cirque Nova Blog

Jean-Marie Akkermann gives an account of Cirque Nova's circus skills training programme for disabled people

Anne Teahan: Sharing Cultures: Disability and Visibility

‘Sharing Cultures: Disability and Visibility’ is a project by Anne Teahan, researching disability arts in reference to an exhibition inspired by participation in VSA's 'Revealing Culture' - an international disability arts exhibition of 55 artists, which was on show at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington from 8 June - 29 August 2010. Her blog is a reflection on each day of a week spent in Washington and is the starting point for the research.


Rockinpaddy (John Kelly) introduces himself to DAO readers. A musician, facilitator and vocalist who will be singing in Graeae’s latest production Reasons To Be Cheerful.

Caroline Cardus' blog

Visual Artist Caroline Cardus believes the hoops disabled people have to jump through in life are often inexplicable, unintentionally comical, or possess a weird logic only the person themselves is privy to. Caroline blogs about experiences in life that make her want to make Disability Art, and discusses the collaborative projects she is currently involved in.

Wendy McGowan's blog

Wendy McGowan is currently doing a journalism course in Brighton. Her blog reports on the Fabrica Photographic Biennal exhibition of vernacular photography, selected by Martin Parr, on show at Fabrica Gallery, Brighton until 30 November 2010