A group of ten young creative adults who all identify as disabled are taking part in business development sessions across one year. During this programme the group will focus on five key areas: time, space, money, skills and confidence.
Our steering group for this programme is 50% disability-led with experienced industry professionals who have assisted planning and given useful advice, in addition to also providing mentoring sessions for those group members who have opted for this type of support.
The group sessions have also provided mutual peer-to-peer support and the majority of the group took part in a successful selling exhibition at Walford Mill Crafts in December 2019.
Meet the participants
Stephen Cooper is a 21-year-old emerging artist. He first exhibited at the age of 14 and has won various awards including being a finalist in a national competition.
Stephen has attended college and achieved a diploma in Art & Design and Design photography. However, he is largely self-taught in the area he enjoys most which is drawing. He is particularly interested in modern and historic architecture calling upon his observations of their structure and patterns to add detail to his work.
I am an artist and maker of unique and original mixed media pieces. I am inspired by the natural world, particularly its darker aspects and I create decorative pieces incorporating typography and imagery.
Through painting and drawing I explore the use of grids as a way of building abstract compositions – where the interplay between loose and gestural marks clash with the strict mathematical logic of the grid and edges of the picture plane. My use of colour is derived from an eclectic mix of observations from cult sci-fi, pop culture, home inspiration catalogues and instruction manuals.
I am autistic with selective mutism which gives me a unique perspective and informs the creations I produce. Through The versatile medium of clay I can communicate my perceptions of the world using details and texture embedded in the design process to completion of practical products. The visual impact and tactile nature of ceramics enables others to gain an insight into my world, to smile and enjoy my work.
Cassie prefers to retain her anonymity at this stage as an emerging creative. Her inspirations include song lyrics and the darker aspects of the natural world. This is reflected in her assemblage work that feature skulls – something she collects and preserves.