The Collaborative Touring Network has partnered with arts commissioning body Unlimited, to commission 8 disabled artists nationally, in association with Touretteshero.
Unlimited commission extraordinary work from disabled artists that will change and challenge the world.
Through these micro commissions, artists based in the towns and cities across our network will be supported to develop high-quality, ambitious, original work from across a range of artforms.
The work created will connect to the broad themes and ideas explored in Touretteshero’s new live and digital performance ‘Burnt Out in Biscuit Land’ which tours the network from April-July 2023. Themes of invisibility, isolation, joy, and resistance.
These micro-commissions will result in eight original small scale works that will be premiered in their partner venue as part of the national tour of Burnt Out In Biscuit Land.
Our disabled-led panel chose these artists from a shortlist of 31 artists. We received 59 eligible applications for these micro commissions.
Find out more about the artists and their ideas below!
Ruby is a musician and textile artist! Her work as a musician is often based upon how she’s feeling and the lyrics tend to be poetic. Ruby’s textile art is usually based around the texture and feel of what she’s working with. Ruby plans on bringing those concepts together and making a large crocheted textural wall hanging, depicting disabled resistance and the joy of being neurodivergent, as well as writing music about her experience of being disabled alongside handmade collage pieces.
Jade is an award-winning portrait and fashion photographer based in the South-West of England.
Jade’s photographic studies focuses on creating conversations around diversity and inclusion. She is interested in celebrating untold stories while exploring visual representations of gender and disability. More recently Jade has been exploring the representation of disabled people. She wants to use her photography to raise awareness and give individuals a platform to tell their story.
Mind The Gap (Bradford)
Maddie Morris is an artist who strives to make a difference in the world. Bold, insightful and refreshingly unique, she takes traditional song in new directions to shine a light on contemporary issues, offering new perspectives about the world we live in today.
For this commission, Maddie will be exploring the experiences of queerness and disability, through songwriting and interpretations of traditional song. Using tunes collected in West Yorkshire, as well as participatory workshops and research, Maddie hopes to create a work exploring the complexities of being both disabled/neurodivergent and part of the LGBTQIA community.
Looping the Loop (Thanet)
Tivoli is a very tired drag queen who can’t dance.
They’ve been using their micro commission time to produce a new performance – ‘Stop Relying on that Body’ – a show that brings together music, movement and comedy to tell the story of what it’s like to inhabit a very wonky body, how to navigate nightlife when you can’t stand up properly and why crocs are the shoes of champions.
The show explores themes of chronic illness, queer community and medical trauma through a hopeful lens. Through developing the show, Tivoli has been digging deep into the big stuff with joy, finding the surreal in the serious and bringing it together into something beautiful.
Jumped Up (Peterborough)
Jenna is a self-identifying neurodiverse dance and theatre artist based in rural East of England. She is a trained Contemporary dancer with dyspraxia; a neurotype which affects memory, coordination, cognitive processing and movements.
For this micro-commission, Jenna is exploring identity, isolation, feminism, failure and triumph, through self-reflection and connecting with others. She is interviewing local people about life experiences that have tested them, changed them and helped form them. Jenna is creatively telling these stories through movement, text, choreography and film, in a truly dyspraxic fashion. A collection of voices told through one body. An extreme metamorphosis.
Doorstep Arts (Torbay)
Charlie is a Devon based sick and disabled artist, writer and medical humanities researcher. Their art is rooted in storytelling and draws on their lived experiences. Working with tactile materials, such as paint, textiles and clay, as well as performance and in the digital realm with collage, photography and film.
For this commission Charlie will be adapting one of their own short stories into a modern folktale film piece. Exploring isolation, resilience and disability pride, the piece tells the story of a shielder who decides to create a companion out of everyday objects.
Charlie lives and writes in Staffordshire, where she works in community mental health. Her writing draws on lived experience to voice the things we struggle to talk about: mental health, disability and trauma.
Kayleigh is a freelance dance artist, having trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Kayleigh creates autobiographical work using lived experience. Company K aims to create a safe practice and space for all creatives working on any project.
This new collaboration seeks to make visible the invisible. Through creative writing and dance, ‘Letters From Bed’ illuminates life with chronic pain, drawing on lived experience. We invite you to experience rest and renewal through creative storytelling.
The Old Courts (Wigan)
Ash Cox is a sparkly, sleepy, northern, queer, chronically ill, neurodivergent, creative being.
A storyteller and theatre maker, Ash will be exploring their lived experience of invisible illness and internalised ableism through space science and science fiction.
Ash is interested in the intersection of live performance, science and access and how provisions can be integrated creatively from the beginning processes to enrich how disabled, deaf and neurodiverse people experience making and interacting with art.
Delayed by societal and personal barriers, Ash is over the moon to finally be launching herself as a commissioned artist.