We are delighted to announce that we have appointed three Artists in Residence as part of The DM Collective, a new three-year Artist Development Programme that is run by, created for and developed with, Disabled musicians.
Gareth Cutter, Elinor Rowlands and Sonia Allori have joined the DM team in new part-time roles where they will expand their individual creative practice and influence the work of our organisation.
Our Artists in Residence will be working closely with the rest of the DM team, being set creative challenges and challenging us in return. This is a new way of working where we hope to establish a mutually beneficial relationship, where we learn together, share expertise and benefit from new ways of thinking.
The AiR’s will work together, collaborating on projects, sharing learning and expertise and supporting each other. This will be both remote and in-person, when the Coronavirus situation allows.
Welcome to the team, Sonia, Elinor and Gareth!
The Artist in Residence programme is kindly supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Introducing the Artists in Residence
Gareth Cutter is a 32 year old cis man, born in Shropshire and based in London. He has been making work professionally as an artist since 2012.
Cutter translates the voice and body’s textures and sensations through sound; writing lyrics and narratives that challenge squeamish and censorious attitudes towards the body. He approaches it in a casual, conversational way as part of his everyday existence, finding this honesty and transparency conducive to building stronger relationships both personally and professionally.
His work is seen in many different contexts: music, cabaret, contemporary theatre, live art and dance and has been supported by many different organisations including Pacitti Company, Metal, Unlimited, British Council and Arts Council England.
“My work is sensuous, erotic and casual. I like to imagine it functioning as a kind of ‘poppers’ (a slang term given broadly to alkyl nitrites that are inhaled in the gay / clubbing communities); stimulating blood flow, relaxing muscles, easing difficult ideas into constricted spaces.
As an artist living with HIV, a chronic and stigmatised illness, I’m concerned with challenging the blind spots and aversions mainstream society has around our bodies, and the way it imposes certain ‘acceptable’ norms on bodies that don’t conform to the status quo.”
Elinor Rowlands is a disabled/neurodivergent artist who uses dreamy world-building in her film and soundscapes to disseminate timely truths about invisible challenges from an unflinchingly feminine gaze.
When rendered bedbound and isolated due to sensory overload, exhaustion and chronic fatigue/vertigo, the bed becomes a thinking place, an accessible environment and a place where her conjuring of new worlds comes alive.
Using new technologies, Rowlands brings people together, creating empowering and accessible spaces to nurture her, and others’, art practice. Collaboration in these environments can transform our relationships with the very tools and materials we use day to day, awakening the experimentation, exploration and persistence usually primarily seen in artists who meet barriers on a daily basis and are forced to find other ways of being and surviving.
She says: “Using the collective unconscious can navigate a restorative connection that is not always present when tending to our art practice alone. There is a flow when we collaborate with others that never waivers.”
Rowlands’ work has been supported and presented by organisations including Arts Council England, Live Art Development Agency, Shape Arts, Unlimited, Tate Modern, Disability Arts Online, The Minories Gallery Colchester, Modern Panic (James Elphick), Camden People’s Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, Unfamiliars (Gemma Abbott), Scratch hub @ BAC, Hammersmith Lyric Theatre and Turtle Key Arts. Abroad, platforms include SXRXVE, NYC and European Investment Bank, Luxembourg.
Sonia Allori is a composer, performer, researcher and community music therapist on wheels based in the Scottish Highlands.
She completed a PhD in composition which explored interactions between music and text at Edinburgh Napier University and was a Music Fellow in Learning & Participation at Trinity Laban in 2019 through to early 2020.
Following on from PhD study Sonia has continued developing new works that combine sound and words and through collaboration with other musicians and across art forms. After experiencing significant hearing loss and tinnitus, Sonia was driven to expand her sound palette into writing electroacoustic music, discovering a diverse sound world within which to experiment and create and finding a new voice in the combination of acoustic and electronic sounds.
Allori’s work has been supported and commissioned by PRS, Scottish Music Centre, Hatton Gallery, DaDaFest, Drake Music, Drake Music Scotland, Sound Festival and more. She is Development Artist at Sonic Bothy, an inclusive new music ensemble based in Glasgow, where she composes and performs with the ensemble, and curates the Open Session Series which explores experimental music with people who have an additional learning support need. She recently performed in The Lost Thing for Royal Opera House/Candoco in winter 2019 and in Ellie Griffith’s Sound Symphony (Independent Arts Projects/ Oily Cart) which toured Scotland in Spring 2019 and will tour again in 2021. Sonia is currently researching D/deaf performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.