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June 23, 2016

Sancha Donald’s Quarterly

In thinking about what to highlight in this occasional column I cannot go past the the strengthening of arts and disability in Australia as seen through the reception of both Scottish choreographer and dancer, Clair Cunningham and Australian-born but now Glasgow-based performance artist and choreographer, Caroline Bowditch.

The commitment of the Perth Festival to showcase work in a mainstream environment and the readiness of audiences in Sydney and elsewhere is a demonstration of the professional, original and creative work performed by artists with disability.

These performances have been followed by the inclusion of Studio A artists in Art Month Sydney, the programming of films featuring disability issues and/or actors with disability (On Richard’s Side, Down Under, Life Animated and Notes on Blindness) as part of the Sydney Film Festival and the Northern NSW electronic music five-piece band, Tralala Blip, performing at the opening of TEDxSydney at the Sydney Opera House.

black and white headshot of Sancha Donald CEO

This cluster of programmed artists with disability in major mainstream events is long overdue.

However, the events and venues that are beginning to include artists who may provide an alternative view point, come from an altered vantage point or offer a different aesthetic, will give both the audience and the artist a truly diverse, challenging and current artistic experience.