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Deaf and disabled artists chosen to Go Public for 2012

  • Date: 4 June 2010
  • Area: National, South East
Sarah Scott, 2010

Sarah Scott, 2010. Credit: Photo courtesy of Sarah Scott

Three south east Deaf and disabled artists have been awarded £55,000 to take their work into the public realm.

Sarah Scott, Lorna Giezot, and Zoe Partington-Sollinger were chosen for the Go Public art commissions by two Arts Council England regularly funded organisations, arts agencies Dada-South and Artpoint.  

Go Public, launched in 2009, is a two-year initiative that aims to raise the profile of the unique and inspiring contribution Deaf and disabled artists make to contemporary society.

The initiative is part of Accentuate, a transformational programme of 15 projects that seeks to change perceptions and offer a wide range of opportunities across the south east to showcase the talents of disabled people.

Accentuate is funded by Legacy Trust UK, SEEDA and regional cultural agencies, including Arts Council England.

All of the chosen artists will exhibit their commissions across the south east, ahead of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The winning commissions include plans for a project that creatively documents the impact of yoga on disabled participants; a scientifically mapped and transmitted journey through urban space; and a tactile glowing resin door sculpture.

The commissions present an opportunity for artists to showcase their work in new and innovative ways, sometimes for the first time.

For multimedia visual artist and designer Lorna Giezot, Go Public will support her to create her first large-scale public work.

Lorna says her resin doorway represents the unknown, but also the possible: 'The ability to look through the sculpture to see what is on the other side breaks down that fear of the unknown associated with many metaphors, including disability and disabled people.'

Conceptual artist Zoe Partington-Sollinger, also an Arts Council England West Midlands Regional Council member, hopes that her Go Public project will influence urban planners to consider the needs of Deaf and disabled people.

Zoe said: 'My idea puts Deaf and disabled people at the centre of the creative process, and by capturing scientific data, informs that process in a useful and groundbreaking way.'

'We are delighted that these exceptional artists have been selected,' says Stevie Rice, Director of Dada-South, the development agency for Deaf and disabled artists in the south east.  'I have no doubt that the work will seek to engage and challenge audiences' perceptions and will give a much needed opportunity for disabled and Deaf artists to present their work in the public realm.'

‘Go Public has enabled Artpoint to further understand the needs of disabled artists in the south east,’ says Kevin Wilson, Director of Artpoint, the public art agency for the south east. ‘It continues to be a very rewarding process to support disabled artists in all stages of their development.’

In addition to the three large awards, Greek installation artist Vicky Vergou also won a smaller research and development award.

Applications for the Go Public public art commissions were accepted from emerging and established artists living or working in the south east. Applicants then underwent a rigorous and competitive commissioning process.

Go Public offers further opportunities for disabled and Deaf artists this year including workshops on the development and delivery of public realm initiatives.

For further information about Go Public or Accentuate, see their website