On Being an Artist

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Caroline Bowditch, Candoco’s In Dialogue programme. Still taken from film by Justin Jones.

On Being An Artist brought artists Caroline Bowditch, Marc Brew, Claire Cunningham, Kate Marsh and Vicky Malin together for two days of discussion, interrogation and exchange in September 2014 following Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre.

Facilitated by Candoco Artist Luke Pell, conversation focused on what it is to be a disabled dance artist currently making and performing work in national and international contexts, against the backdrop of London’s 2012 Paralympic games, the Unlimited Festivals and Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity.

The outcome of the two-days is a series of one-to-one conversations between the artists and Luke Pell.

Kate Marsh; Dance Artist/ Researcher

There is a huge lack of any presence by people representing disabled dance artists in higher education. If we follow that to it’s natural conclusion, how can we inspire aspiring disabled dancers if there are no role models easily accessible to them?

 Claire Cunningham; Performing Artist/ Choreographer

I think that this new piece shows a side of my vocabulary, it shows my body in a way that isn’t as pleasing, its not upbeat, its not joyful, it’s quite hard and dark, and I think there’s a shock to people who might have been accustomed to seeing work that is more light hearted, but it feels more true to where I am right now.

Marc Brew; Choreographer and Artistic Director of Marc Brew Company

This is what I have a passion about, you know, and that’s what drives me and it’s a really interesting thing. Sometimes I wish I had, or could live a different life where it could be very separate, but my life is my work.. I love that investigation and I love that exploring and, for me, I’ve always had that thing where there’s so many pieces within me that I want to create but you don’t have enough time to create them all.

Caroline Bowditch; Performance Artist/ Choreographer

This is what I have a passion about, you know, and that’s what drives me and it’s a really interesting thing. Sometimes I wish I had, or could live a different life where it could be very separate, but my life is my work.. I love that investigation and I love that exploring and, for me, I’ve always had that thing where there’s so many pieces within me that I want to create but you don’t have enough time to create them all.

Vicky Malin; Artist

I’m being blatantly honest, when I first started dancing, if I was talking about it to people I didn’t know, I would say I;m a dancer but I;m a disabled dancer. I would try and explain it somehow. I would use that term disabled to almost try and explain because I didn’t really understand all the different possibilities of who a dancer could be.