October 31 sees the launch of a new book documenting and exploring the legacy of Project Art Works, arthritis the South East-based organisation that uses visual arts to create innovative collaborations involving artists, generic people who have profound intellectual impairment and those that support them.
Anthology Project Art Works 1997-2012 marks 15 years of the project’s activities, highlighting its work with and alongside people who have multiple impairments. The book is edited by Kate Adams, the project’s co-founder and Director, and Phyllida Shaw and provides an insight into the breadth of the organisation’s pioneering methods addressing the social, political and cultural issues that affect people with neurological impairment.
As Caroline Collier, Chair of the south east regional Arts Council and Director, Tate National says, “The visual arts sector can and does learn a huge amount from the work carried out by Kate and her team, and the Anthology publication will prove an invaluable resource for everyone with an interest in driving forward excellence and inclusivity in the visual arts.” In a series of essays by writers, academics and critics, the book also explores a wide range of ideas around art, social care, video art and the experience of living with impairment.
Project India by Project Art Works ran between 2000 and 2003, working with pupils of secondary school age
Earlier this year artist and Project Art Works Director Kate Adams received an MBE for services to art and disability. Adams is the mother of a man who has severe and complex support needs. Her experience as a politically engaged carer and advocate informs the cultural and social connectedness of Project Art Works and its activities.
The Anthology will be launched with a film screening and celebration at Tate Britain on 31 October. Among those who will be there to take part will be Andrew Kötting, artist and filmmaker and daughter Eden. Discussing their experience working with Project Art Works, Kötting says, “Something is happening down there. The place rumbles with relationships. A locus and conglomeration of incongruous thoughts and outcomes. It’s alive with happening.”
Project Art Works’ HQ in Hastings features an experimental investigative research space, Tuesday Studios, where individuals with complex needs can take part in challenging weekly, day-long workshops with their support teams.
As Adams says, “The people who have shaped the organisation share a purpose, which is not to do ‘good works’ but to pursue a vital enquiry; to find out what someone is capable of and explore with them the possiblities of art through collaborations that foster choice, intuition and non-verbal interaction.”
Anthology Project Art Works 1997-2012 costs £25 and is available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Main image: Paul Colley & Michael Bounds Untitled 2011