A Message from our Chief Executive Pat Swell

Pat Swell, CEO
Pat Swell, CEO

After the most amazing Undercover Artist Festival, Queensland’s first disability arts festival in June, the art of artists with disability is out and proud. Now strongly visible, the importance of this work is beginning to be recognised and it is starting to take its rightful place on the cultural map of Australia. How we follow this is our next challenge. Watch this space.

Date-claimers for your 2015 diary:

  • Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 August – Dance Fever. A weekend dance workshop for people with disability, in collaboration with InsideOutside Theatre Company.
  • 8 – 26 September – Perception, Camera Wanderers installation at Brisbane Festival, the Parade Ground, QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Kelvin Grove.
  • Thursday 17 September – Perception. Join us at the private view exhibiting artwork by our Brisbane Outsider Artists and Camera Wanderers, marking Disability Action Week.
  • Friday 2 October – Within Without. Come to the private view of this group exhibition by Brisbane Outsider Artists Alex Crombie-Van Ewyk, Belinda Peel and Tanya Darl. Made possible through our SAFE grants, the exhibition runs from 29 September to 4 October at the Graydon Gallery, New Farm.
  • Wednesday 7 October – Five Elements. Join Tanya Darl at the private view of her first solo exhibition. The artist was highly commended by the judges of last year’s Access Arts Achievement Award. Five Elements marks Mental Health Week and runs at the Graydon Gallery, New Farm from 6 – 11 October.
  • Saturday 28 November – Rhythmic Palette, Access Arts end of year community showcase. More details in our next newsletter.

Be there, see you there.

Pat Swell
Chief Executive

Dance Fever

Dance Fever Launch Weekend

2015-06-24 Dance Integrated Australia 217   2015-06-24 Dance Integrated Australia 234

  • Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 August 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Ashgrove Bowls Club – Yoku Road, Ashgrove
  • $75 for launch weekend, to be paid to InsideOutside Theatre Company
  • Further information Angela or Tim, 07 3254 9585 tim@accessarts.org.au

Access Arts is collaborating with InsideOutside Theatre Company on the launch of Dance Fever, a dance ensemble for young people with disability. InsideOutside has received a grant from the Australia Council for the Arts to work with Brisbane based emerging dancers with disability over the weekend of 15 and 16 August. New South Wales based choreographer Lea-Anne Litton will be leading the group to share her experience and knowledge with participants who will also be mentored by established dance artists.
Taking place in Ashgrove, the two day workshop is open to young people over the age of 18 who have dance experience and want to take it to the next level. The ensemble will then meet weekly in a central Brisbane location to develop a short performance piece that will be shown at the Access Arts end of year event Rhythmic Palette on Saturday 28 November.
Dancers, mentors and volunteers are all welcome. The Ensemble will be seeking sponsorship and funding to continue exploring, investigating and developing new work from 2016.

Perception: An Exhibition with KPMG

Peter Hughes Beach.
Peter Hughes Beach.

For the third year running, Access Arts is partnering with KPMG to hold our annual art exhibition where the Brisbane Outsider Artists and Camera Wanderers are given the opportunity to showcase their artwork to a prestigious audience and Brisbane community.
This year artists explore the theme Perception through an eclectic range of mediums such as acrylic and oil painting, drawing, photography and collage. Each artist responds in a unique way as they reflect on how internal and external perceptions have shaped their life experiences.
One artist explores how easily perceptions are formed and in particular how readily we label others upon first impressions. Another artist depicts how being deaf has impacted her perceptions of the world. Others have created surreal and abstract imagery to break away from traditional representation and encourage alternate modes of visual perception.

Perception Exhibition

  • Thursday 17 September, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
  • KPMG’s Brisbane office in Riparian Plaza, 71 Eagle Street, Brisbane
  • Come along and meet our Patron, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC Governor of Queensland, and the Hon. Coralee O’Rourke MP, Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, at this prestigious exhibition at KPMG that marks Disability Action Week. The Access Art Achievement Award winner is also announced on the night.

Camera Wanderers starring at Brisbane Festival

Perception – Camera Wanderers Installation

FEATURE IMAGE Photograph by Levi Diball
Photograph by Levi Diball
  • Tuesday 8 September – Saturday 26 September 2015
    Tuesday to Saturday, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Official Opening: 9 September 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Parade Ground, QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Kelvin Grove
  • Free

Access Arts Camera Wanderers unpack the concept of Perception through the visual language of photography. Coming from a background of disability and disadvantage, artists reflect on how internal and external perceptions have shaped their life experiences. Forming part of the Brisbane Festival program, this body of work will be projected onto a large outdoor screen at the Parade Ground, QUT Creative Industries.
In the lead up to this exhibition the Camera Wanderers have been exploring Brisbane city through the camera lens: from Wynnum Beach to New Farm Park, Brisbane Powerhouse to the Brisbane City Cat. Participants have also begun exploring the relationship between their photographs and the written word: adding text to their photographs digitally and by hand, to explore new layers of meaning.

Creating Theatre at Any Age

theatre workshops

Access Arts is launching a theatre workshop program for residents of Trinder Park, a residential care facility managed by Lutheran Community Care.
Facilitator Angela Witcher, who is also the artistic director of InsideOutside Theatre Company, will be working with residents using a combination of theatre skills and dramatherapy techniques to tap into their individual and collective creativity.
Staff and volunteers will also be encouraged to participate in the workshops which will culminate in a showing for fellow residents, family and friends on 21 November 2015.

The Effect of $10,000

Doug is at it again!

Doug Robins and Peter Vance
Doug Robins and Peter Vance

Winning the inaugural Access Arts Achievement Award in 2014 allowed Far North Queensland actor Doug Robins to take exciting steps on his artistic journey towards developing his next play Doug is Hamlet. The showing of the work at JUTE Theatre in Cairns in March met critical acclaim.
It was a delight recently to hear that JUTE Theatre has been successful in gaining the Arts Qld Grant for Doug is Hamlet to commission the script and to undertake the creative development in August 2016. The Access Arts Achievement Award made part one of his Doug is Hamlet project possible. We are absolutely ecstatic part two can now happen!

Tanya Darl’s First Solo Exhibition

Brisbane-based visual artist Tanya Darl’s Access Arts Achievement Award submission in 2014 was highly commended. She used this opportunity to undertake an artist residency, resulting in her first solo exhibition, Five Elements. Tanya has also received exhibition support through Brisbane Outsider Artists studio and Access Arts mentoring program.
The Access Arts Achievement Award has greatly enhanced Tanya Darl’s artistic career and made significant milestones possible which would have been otherwise unobtainable without financial assistance.

Five Elements

  • Tuesday 6 October – Sunday 11 October 2015
  • Tues – Sat 10 am – 6 pm, Sun 10 am – 4 pm
  • Exhibition Opening: Wednesday 7 October 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Road, New Farm

A series of work surrounding the concept of visually exploring five elements of: wind, water, fire, plants and earth, Five Elements. Tanya has worked across a range of environments to respond directly to the experience of the terrains and capture these elements in large scale.

Member Exhibition Made Possible by SAFE Grant

Within Without

  • 29 September – 4 October 2015
  • Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm
  • Exhibition Opening: Friday 2 October 6 pm – 8 pm
  • Graydon Gallery, 29 Merthyr Road, New Farm

Within Without is a group exhibition with three artists, Tanya Darl, Alex Crombie-Van Ewyk and Belinda Peel, from our Brisbane Outsider Artists studio. The artists are upskilling in curatorial skills through the support of Access Arts mentorship program. Belinda Peel was recipient of one of our 2015 SAFE Grants for developing her works for this exhibition.

“I will explore the concept of ‘within’ by subjects like painting  dreams, hopes, passions and uncertainties that come with having a disability. The concept of ‘without’ in my painting relates to positive achievement by sporting heroes, flying, with animals and travelling on public transport.” – Belinda Peel


Member Moments

Access Arts Singers perform at New Farm

On Sunday, the Access Arts Singers delighted the audience with a mix of traditional and contemporary songs. Not only is it fun to sing and dance but you never know who you’ll meet! The group didn’t miss a photo opportunity with roving Star Wars Storm Troopers on the day. A quote from member David Truong “We’re all big kids at heart!”
Facilitator Annie Peterson says that “It was a truly joyful performance” with a special mention to Varinia Street, Anne Berridge and Julia Listopad for the dance moves. What a great way to embrace a performance.

“a truly joyful performance”

One of the great things the community arts program offers is the opportunity to perform songs rehearsed each Thursday as part of the programming of this workshop. With a diverse level of musical abilities, each member contributes their own unique skills to the performance. It is not only about learning songs, but working together to use voice and sound, to overcome performance anxiety and to go out and sing.

If you’d like to join, please refer to the Term 4 Workshop guide below for more information on Access Arts Singers workshop program for the rest of the year.


Dance Integrated Australia Residency

Dance Integrated Australia Creative Director Philip Channells led 15 dancers with disability through six full days of creative development in the lead-up to our Undercover Artist Festival. Philip, supported by emerging dancer Sam Leahy from Brisbane, worked with the artists in Moreton Bay and Brisbane.

“There is a need for this in the community. We have some of the best next generation dancers in the country.”
– Philip Channells


“Working this close with Philip was a once in a life time experience, I enjoyed it so much and I would not be where I am without the help of Philip Channells.”
– Sam Leahy, Co-Facilitator


Back to Back Theatre Workshop

The Back To Back Theatre workshop was well attended with 25 people and several support workers facilitated by Artistic Associate Tamara Searle and support facilitator Romany Latham.
Tamara and Romany brought together the enthusiastic workshop participants in portraiture, creating images in space and short text based phrases on the Festival theme of ‘undercover’ that was spun together to create a short yet beautifully crafted theatrical showing.

Back to Back Theatre also participated in a panel discussion moderated by Chris Kohn titled Breaking Into the Arts. Topics were discussed around creating an ecology for communities working together and the practice of good language for inclusion, and the exploration of ‘identity with a difference’ on the Australian stage.

Undercover Artist Festival - Wrap Up

The inaugural Undercover Artist Festival certainly lit up Queensland Theatre Company’s venue on 26 and 27 June with over 150 participating artists with disability.
Hailing from as far and wide as Cairns, Hobart, Dunedin, Christchurch and Perth, and ranging in age from 18 to 70 years old, they treated the audience to a real feast for the senses with comedy, dance, cabaret, theatre, music, visual art and everything in between.

“This experience has been life changing”

Highlights included the launch of singer/songwriter Emma Bennison’s new album Fine Lines, a highly irreverent take on life from comedian Thane Pullan, and a beautiful interpretation of The Rites of Spring by Tasmanian based Second Echo Ensemble.
Over 500 visitors attended the two day festival from across Queensland, NSW, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.

“The festival has been run with extreme professionalism and the talent had been phenomenal.”

“Truly beautiful”

“Life changing experiences. Do more of it! Open minds.”

“Thank you for making me feel, think and be inspired.”

Have thoughts on accessibility for #UAF15? If you attended the Festival we would love your feedback too, so please visit http://bit.ly/UnderFeedback. The more input we receive, the better we can make the next festival.
Visit www.undercoverartistfest.com for photo coverage of the performances.