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The Space: Push Me Collection

  • Date: 25 July 2013
  • Artform: None
  • Area: National
Girl in wheelchair under water next to coral and orange fish 'Creating the Spectacle!', Sue Austin. Copyright: Freewheeling, photographer: Norman Lomax.

Push Me Collection: The Journey is the next set of 90-second films about 12 UK disabled artists, who push themselves to reach previously unattained heights through their Unlimited commissions, realised as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Filmed in September 2012, Total Permission is a 30-minute documentary that captures the Unlimited Festival held at the Southbank Centre during the Paralympic Games.

Jo Verrent, Co-curator of Push Me, said: "Our vision is audaciously ambitious. We want ... to change the way in which disability and creativity are viewed."

Key challenges and learnings

Key challenges and learnings for Watershed and/or the curators were:

  • Building relationships and shared objectives with the artists to take them on a new creative journey
  • Managing a different timescale to produce and deliver the films for The Space
  • Scheduling and timetabling skills - for example, planning filming to ensure all the short shoots happened within a finite timescale
  • Learning how to make subtitles and audio description to enhance accessibility
  • Managing rights clearance
  • Copywriting for specific audiences
  • Web development and content management of the site


The Push Me series and Total Permission documentary:

  • Heightened awareness of disability through an online platform
  • Raised awareness of the importance of exploring different ways to make film and digital content more accessible
  • Allowed for a diversification of product and a focus on disabled perspectives and art made by disabled practitioners specifically


Successes of the project include:

  • Producing a range and quality of work beyond the usual output
  • Working collaboratively with new partners and delivering on our artistic objectives
  • Presenting work that can often be marginalized alongside 'mainstream' arts and culture
  • Helping to promote the values of artists who are deaf and disabled
  • Focusing on disabled artists to capture their perspectives and outputs in different ways


According to Dick Penny, Managing Director of Watershed: "The project has reinforced our long term commitment to arts media online. It has rejuvenated our desire to play and to experiment with artists and audiences".

Jo Verrent said: "The quality of the films...has raised the bar."