A mat with words written all over it. In the corner of the mat there is woman witha halo
#MagicCarpet detail. Photo by Dr Kai Syng Tan

Unlimited Visual Arts

Since 2014 Unlimited has funded and supported a whopping 72 commissions- From poetry, photography, live performance, music, film and more, we’ve seen exciting work by disabled artists develop and tour across the UK and internationally. To date, Unlimited has commissioned 24 visual arts projects (with awards totalling just over £945,000) – and we’ve recently seen a flurry of activity from some of these artists-

Unlimited’s Sara Dziadik catches us up on these commission and their must-see exhibitions:

Kai Syng Tan

We sat on a mat and had a chat and made maps! #MagicCarpet is a new work by artist Dr Kai Syng Tan in collaboration with Philip Asherson, Professor of Molecular Psychiatry at King’s College. As part of her commission, Kai has been an Artist in Residence at King’s College’s Department of Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry, participating in seminars and experiments and capturing her observations, questions and interpretations in a drawing/map.

#MagicCarpet celebrates mind wandering, and explores how it relates to visual art and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This work has unfolded through a series of residencies, talks, workshops which, along with Kai’s drawing/maps, have combined together to create her participatory tapestry art installation. During the installation, visitors are invited to sit on the tapestry/mat with Kai, Philip, and/or other artists and scientists to chat about their mind wandering – and have the opportunity to capture their own discussions and discoveries in the form of maps…

a man and a woman sitting on a mat.
Dr Kai Syng Tan with Philip Asherson. Photo by Dr Kai Syng Tan

There are a number of upcoming opportunities to join Kai on the mat- including a Speed date event at South London Gallery (SLG) on 5 June, 6-8pm. Further dates to catch Kai and her #MagicCarpet can be found here.

Kristina Veasey

After exhibiting at DC1 in Eastbourne in March, you can next catch emerging artist Kristina Veasey’s exhibition My Dirty Secret! at Apthorp Gallery, Arts Depot in London from 27 May – 3 June.
Kristina has created a vibrant and immersive installation, filled with kaleidoscopic, colourful patterns covering walls, making curtains and cushions and upholstering armchairs. These patterns have been developed from Kristina’s photographs of everyday dirt, detritus and household mess – and stem from her experiences as a disabled person battling to keep up with the housework.

A living room type decorated room. The art focuses on diamond shapes with vibrant colours
Installation view at DC1. Photo by Kristina Veasey

My Dirty Secret! is an immersive installation that inspires visitors to re-examine their own domestic debris and household mess. Kristina has also recorded other people’s “dirty secrets” about their own home habits, and has combined these with domestic sounds to create a soundscape – creatively building in access by weaving in audio description and BSL.

While you’re waiting for Kristina’s next exhibition to open, you can see more images from her commissioned work here.

Ian Wornast and Thompson Hall

Emerging artists Ian Wornast and Thompson Hall have been busy in the studio at ActionSpace over this past year, making work for their commission My Life in London.

Thompson’s detailed and colourful drawings and paintings are developed from his observational sketches of the urban landscape and objects in galleries and museums. Ian creates bold and bright drawings which show his love of London and the public transport system. Working collaboratively, these two artists created new work about their experiences of living in and traveling around London.

This vivid and dynamic exhibition about London’s history, architecture, transport and vibrant cultures came together in an exhibition at The Koppel Project Hive in March.

Visual art paintings on walls and also centre of the room.
My Life in London at the Koppel Project Hive. Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas and Action Space

Omeima Mudawi-Rowling

March also saw visual artist Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings’ exhibition at Fabrica Gallery in Brighton. Omeima’s commission, River Runs Through, is a collaborative art project with artist Mike Barrett. Based on research with the Sudanese community in Brighton, Omeima also drew on her own cultural identity, and childhood affiliations with the River Nile for this work.

Using a blend of textile printing and innovative glass making techniques to tell the story of migrations from Sudan to Britain, this commission culminated in an installation of new work at Fabrica Gallery. The artworks are constructed from fused, laminated and hot rolled glass forms, capturing inside them organic and glass fibre textiles richly printed with oxides, dyes and clay to share vivid memories of life in Khartoum by the River Nile.

Installation of glass faces hung on metal bars
River Runs Through installation at Fabrica Gallery. Photo by Mike Barrett

With a busy and successful spring for our visual artists, this year will only get better as more commissions are completed and start to tour- If you are particularly interested in Unlimited’s visual artists you can find out more about these exciting projects below:

Watch this space- the following visual arts commissions are currently in development:

Richard Butchins- The Voice of the Unicorn
Rachel Gadsden – It was Paradise
Anna Berry – Breathing Sculptures

New commissions! We’ve just announced these exciting new visual arts commissions:

Felix Peckitt – The Goldilocks Mixer
Amy Rosa – Gallanach
Aidan Moesby – I was naked, smelling of rain

Our previous commissions are still available to tour:

Aidan Moesby – Between Stillness and Storm
Sean Goldthorpe – 11 Million Reasons
Cameron Morgan – TV Classics Part 1
Bekki Perriman – The Doorways Project
Aaron Williamson – Demonstrating the World
Noëmi Lakmaier – Cherophobia
Katherine Araniello – The Dinner Party Revisited
Aidan Moesby – Fragmenting the Code(x)