Unlimited Activity: An Autumn Update on Where the Art is At

Antardrishti InnerVision by Baluji Shrivastav, performed in Goa, image has red lighting with four performers in the image wearing traditional clothing and holding candles

Last March we awarded just over £945,000 to 24 artists and companies from our 60 strong shortlist, funding and supporting them to create and develop ambitious new works across all art forms. Where are those artists at in developing their work – and just when will people get to experience it? Jo Verrent, Unlimited’s Senior Producer, gives us the autumn lowdown…

We had a great lead in through the summer, with the extensive touring of our additional pieces, co-commissioned with Northern Festival Network – Aidan Moesby’s Between Stillness and Storm and Caroline Bowditch’s The Adventures of Snigel, and with much of our previously commissioned work still touring through this autumn – such as Noëmi Lakmaier’s Cherophobia at Sydney Opera House, Australia, Cameron Morgan’s TV Classics: Part 1 at MacRobert Centre, Stirling, Scotland, Aaron Williamson’s Demonstrating the World at Fierce Festival, Birmingham, and Nye Russell-Thompson’s Just a Few Words at Quay Arts, Isle of Wight.

From our current main commissions, Owen Lowery has begun readings of his poetry collection Transitions at The Nairn Book and Art Festival, Scotland, and has plenty more booked; Bounce Festival, Belfast saw two sell-out performances for Helen Hall’s Inside the Speaker (formerly Reflective Moves), one from our emerging artists portfolio, gaining BBC coverage on The Arts Show and great feedback: “There’s a pace & stillness in its beauty. It will stir you to feel. It must tour.”

I’ll be in Liverpool on the 21 of October to see Unlimited: House of Krip take to the stage as part of House of Suarez Vogue Ball and have just booked my ticket to see Jackie Hagan’s This is not a Safe Space (formerly Jumble Soul) at Contact, Manchester the following weekend – 27 and 28 October.

Some Research and Development work has already bloomed – like Jack Dean’s Jeremiah, which had a sharing in Exeter at the end of September – and we have loads to catch this autumn: Kai Syng Tan’s Mind Wandering event at Kings College London on 24 October, The British Paraorchestra’s Velocity and Juliet Robson’s Hertz both on 2 Nov in Bristol and Oxfordshire respectively, Raquel Meseguer’s A Crash Course in Cloudspotting (you can join in with research online), back to Bristol for an early sharing of thoughts on Jo Bannon’s We are Fucked, and then a sharing of Chloe Clark’s The Importance of Being Described… Earnestly? at the Wales Millennium Centre on 7 Dec.

We’re also just over halfway through the sharings for our International Research and Development awards – Billy Read shared Somebody’s Watching Me at mac, Birmingham: street dance fusion with Ariel Fung from Hong Kong, which was also shared online, Richard Butchins shared elements from Voice of the Unicorn, a video installation with artists from Atelier Corners (Japan) in London, Kaite O’Reilly and a host of collaborators shared And Suddenly I Disappear: The Singapore ‘d’ Monologues in the heart of Singapore, and a team of artists have just finished development work with Baluji Shrivastav OBE in Goa, culminating in an early performance of Antardrishti – InnerVision. Rachel Gadsden’s R&D for It was Paradise culminates in an exhibition on 13 – 23 October in Wimbledon Village, London and Viva Carnival end their R&D period on the Isle of Wight, 18 October, having been to Rio earlier in the Summer. All these great projects have exciting potential so it will mean tough choices at the end of the month, when we decide which can go forward to full development.

It’s not only our international work that gets to travel; we helped Delson Weekes and BLINK Dance Theatre tour to Romania and Bucharest, supporting the development of Delson’s music practice. On top of all that, Aby Watson, Rinko Barpaga, Anna Berry, Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings, Kristina Veasey and Thompson Hall & Ian Wornast are all still to set dates to share their work in the spring so plenty more to come!

Talking of more to come – next March we’ll announce the new raft of award winners who’ll begin making their work and running their projects. Want to be amongst them? The call out for Main Research and Development Awards and Emerging Awards is open now – deadline 6 November.

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