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Crown by Vera Klute, Oil on Linen, 160 x 120cm, 2022, photo by Vera Klute.

Painted delicately and in beautiful detail, Crown features a colourful landscape of plants and woodland including vast multicolour vines and ferns.

Arts and Disability Connect Funding announcement for Opportunity Two 2023

Posted: 20 December, 2023

The Arts Council and Arts & Disability Ireland announce the awarded artists for
Opportunity Two of the Arts and Disability Connect scheme 2023.

The Arts and Disability Connect scheme is designed to support artists with
disabilities to be ambitious, to develop their practice and to connect with arts
organisations and arts professionals in Ireland.

The Arts Council and Arts & Disability Ireland are delighted to announce that
€83,250 has been awarded to 11 artists through New Work awards and
Research and Reflection awards as part of Opportunity Two in 2023

Artists continue to ‘dream big’ and establish new partnerships through their
2023 Arts and Disability Connect awards. In the year ahead, we look forward
to seeing them realise their ambitious new work and innovative research.
-Pádraig Naughton, Executive Director of Arts & Disability Ireland.

New Work Award
New Work awards give artists the resources and time to develop and present
new and ambitious work. Artists work with an arts partner to support them to
get this new work seen by audiences. In this Opportunity, three artists received
New Work awards.

HK Ní Shioradáin is a Dublin based theatre-maker. In partnership with Smock
Alley Theatre and with the support of Rough Magic, HK will present the new
comedy musical ‘Beards’. This performance tells the farcical tale of hope and
resilience about a brother and sister who are both gay in the Middle Ages.

Seán Hillen is a visual artist based in Dublin. His project ‘The Cloud Machine’,
looks to explore the role of neurodiversity in human society and is a metaphor
for humanity’s universal struggle for truth, understanding and meaning. The
‘machine’ will attempt to create a perfectly square cloud. This process will be
documented and described in an artist book produced and launched in
partnership with Photo Museum Ireland.

Tadhg Kinsella is a percussionist and electronic sound artist based in Dublin. In
partnership with The Complex, Tadhg will present ‘Continue reading’, an
exhibition consisting of an interactive sound and touch sensitive image
installation. To reach a new audience, Tadgh will collaborate with dancer Nick
Nikolaou, developing a kinaesthetic empathy through sound and dance.

Research and Reflection Award
Research and Reflection awards give artists time to think, research, reflect and
critically engage with their practice. In this Opportunity, eight artists received
Research and Reflection awards.

Kathryn Kelly is a Cork-based visual artist. Kathryn plans to research the history
of women and folk religion in Celtic and Pre-Christian Europe, investigating the
lost and repressed knowledge of women healers. This will lead to the
development of a new body of work.

Katie Martin is a poet based in Dublin. Katie will take time to reflect on her
practice. The research will focus on investigating herself as an artist, she will
delve into her artistry, sensibility and voice as a writer, along with exploring
poetry and work written by other artists.

Lauren Kelly is a visual artist based in Dublin who specialises in performance
art. Her research aims to explore the intersections of Chinese and Irish
cultures, with a particular focus on feminism and gender roles.

Melanie Whelan is an illustrator, writer, and comic book maker based in
County Mayo. Her work is influenced by the landscapes around her and rural
life, including themes of nature, the environment, and Irish history. Melanie’s
research project will explore a more accessible process and alternative ways of
making comics.

Richie McCourt is a Dublin-based musician. His work is deeply personal and
rooted in the local sounds of Fingal, Dublin. Richie’s project will focus on
pushing the boundaries of ambient music and will develop his skills as an ambient artist by exploring sounds, audio processing techniques, synthesis and

Tia Vellani is a Kilkenny-based artist who explores the relationship between
music and visual art. Tia’s work has a particular emphasis on emotional impacts
and creative origins. Through this award Tia will; study the works of artists and
composers who combine music and visual art; research the science of the
connections between music and art; and use this research to develop ideas for
future work.

Trudie Gorman is a writer based in Dublin. Through this award, Trudie will
develop her practice of nonfiction and experimental memoir writing. She will
delve into topics such as the sick body, gender, class, and displacement, with
the goal of developing a larger body of nonfiction work in the future.

Vera Klute is a Kilkenny-based visual artist. Vera will explore more
experimental ways of working and conduct preliminary development through
sculpture and kinetics. She will use this award as an extended period of
practical research, experimentation and exploration of materials with the aim
to develop new work in the future.

Congratulations to all of the awarded artists!
You can find more information about the Arts and Disability Connect Scheme here.

Crown by Vera Klute, Oil on Linen, 160 x 120cm, 2022, photo by Vera Klute.

Image description: Painted delicately and in minute detail, Crown by Vera Klute features a colourful landscape of plants and woodland including vast multicolour vines and ferns. The top of the painting features tall trees up to the skyline, with the greenery getting densest towards the centre of the canvas. A tall fern stands in the centre, light reflecting off its leaves, with an immense spread of plantlife below it.


Accessible Art
Arts and Disability Connect
Arts Council
Arts Funding
New Work Award
Research & Reflection Award

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