Inclusive arts at Wandsworth Fringe

Published: Thursday 25th April 19

Wandsworth Council’s Wandsworth Arts Fringe (WAF) returns from May 3-19, and this year promises to be more accessible than ever.

For its tenth anniversary, Wandsworth Arts Fringe is hosting an impressive range of events that are widely accessible, including several that showcase the work of disabled artists.

Action Space is showcasing 6 artists with learning disabilities: Assembled Lines, between 3–5 May at Studio RCA, will present a collection of textiles, drawings, paintings and projections by Lasmin Salmon, Chandrakant Patel, Roland Young and Robin Smith. London I am Still in Love with You, on 12 May at The Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park, is a live drawing event featuring art work by Claudia Williams creating a series of unpredictable mash-ups. Clever the Way its’s Moving, on 17 May at The Royal Academy of Dance, will display experimental film projections to explore movement, materials and shadows by artist Mark Lawrence.

Louis Morel, a 21-year-old artist with severe sensory processing problems, will show his colourful artwork at The Exhibit Cinema between 3-19 May.

Drag Syndrome

Drag Syndrome
is the world’s first drag troop with down syndrome bringing their critically acclaimed show to The Arches at St Mary’s Church on 3, 4, 5 May.

Art Hut is an exhibition taking place on 4, 5 and 12 May at their hut in Battersea Park, run by Thrive, who work within Battersea Park to change the lives of disabled people through gardening. Participants will also have the option to create visual responses which may be considered for selection by the Art Hut curator.

Stealth Aspies, Britain’s entirely autistic theatre company will bring their show Aspies Anonymous to WAF exploring autism in a light-hearted truthful way combining verbatim testimonies with poetry from those diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. The two performances will take place at The Arches, St Mary's Church on 5 and 6 May.  

Sound Minds, a charity bringing arts to people suffering with mental health problems, are bringing artists together through a photographic journey capturing the passage of time with their exhibition Time Travellers, running between 9-12 May at Battersea Central Mission.

Caroline Mawer’s Deathbed Skiing, on 10 May at Tara Theatre, will be an intimate performance about the cycle of life, with a chance to immerse yourself in her performance.

Writer, director and filmmaker Gary Thomas presents his one-man play Hidden at The Cat’s Back on 17 and 18 May. The play is about growing up in the 80’s and feature themes of mental health, life priorities and how to find your voice.

Spread across two weeks in May, WAF offers over 150 events that are be widely accessible. Thanks to a grant from Arts Council England last year, the Wandsworth Arts Fringe website is now easier to navigate and filter shows based upon the different accessibility filters. Check it out on https://www.wandsworthfringe.com/whats-on-2019! Shows that are particularly accessible include:

Award-winning Oily Cart theatre company will host two events as part of the #WAF10 programme on 11 May Inclusive Play Space and Inclusive Hang Out. These will create a tactile and sensory wonderland for children with complex needs as well as their families and friends. 

My Heart, My Heart

My Heart, My Heart: Live Poetry Jukebox
is an intimate live poetry and visual art experience at Nine Elms Pavilion  on May 4. This event can be captioned for deaf audiences.

Reflections on Home is a new audio-described project by Alton Estate artists, who have developed an interactive sound installation that will celebrate Alton Estate’s rich history on 4-6 and 10-11 May.

The Antique Breadboard Museum are having hands on curated tours of their collection of over 200 boards between 4-17 May followed by a cream tea. There will be the option of having touch tours and audio description across all the days.

Ridiculismus’ performance of Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! is a funny and fragile study of ageing, death and the forgotten art of grieving. Performances will take place at Battersea Arts Centre between 8-18 May, with a BSL interpreted performance on 16 May. Battersea Arts Centre is a fully accessible venue that thrives to make all its performances relaxed.

Wandsworth Society will be hosting Music for Minds at Westside Church on 9 May, demonstrating how a high-quality musical experience can enrich lives and support people with dementia.

Big Art Picnic, as part of Hidden Heathbrook at the eponymous park on 11 May, is a creative and collaborative project looking to bring families together to creating art in the outdoors in a relaxed environment. Accessible toilets will be brought on site for the event.

Rogue Opera will present Mozart’s Don Giovanni opera at The Omnibus between 16-19 May. Set during fashion week in Milan, the show will be wheelchair accessible with captioning, audio loop and a touch tour.

Hazelfest

Hazelfest
is a free community green festival, bringing together music, performance, arts and craft. This event offers a relaxed environment and features local artist Jason Singh’s beautiful tailor-made accessibility ramp. The festival will take place on 19 May at The Work and Play Scrapstore (Tooting).

This year, WAF is experimenting a new, more flexible approach to accessibility, allowing audiences to book the show of their choice according to their specific needs. Should you wish to request BSL interpretation, captioning or audio-description, please email arts@enablelc.org with the title WAF ACCESS, specifying your chosen event and access need, and the festival team will get back to you within 2 working days.

Those who are house-bound can enjoy WAF from their Front Room by tuning in to Riverside Radio, who will broadcast live from two events: performance poetry from Fresh Ground in Battersea on 10 May and stand-up comedy with a live music gig from Dash Arts Cafe at The Bedford in Balham on 19 May.

Wandsworth Arts Fringe is brought to you by Enable Leisure and Culture on behalf of Wandsworth Council. Find out more at www.wandsworthfringe.com