16 Jul 2020

DaDaFest Commissions Throwback


Photo: Amina Atiq and Helen Cherry discuss their commissions at DaDaFest Scratch 2020

As we're in the midst of a brand new commissioning round, let’s have a look back at work we’ve supported in the past. There’s a lot of it, but here’s a few from our recent – and not so recent – history.

Super-crip – Laurence Clarke and Andrew Tunney (aka 2hands)
For our 2012 'Niet Normaal' exhibition at the Bluecoat we commissioned this series imagining a disabled super-hero from comedian Laurence Clarke and Manchester illustrator, Andrew Tunney (aka 2hands). You’d usually see copies in prime position in the DaDaFest office, but they’ll have been a bit lonely during lockdown!

Posters in the style of a super-hero comic front-page depicting 'Super Crip', a disabled super-hero in a red outfit and black mask.


Skin Armour – Faith Bebbington
As well as exhibiting Bebbington’s eye-catching sculptures at DaDaFest International 2016, we also commissioned this renowned Liverpool sculptor to run ‘Skin Armour’ at the Tate Liverpool. Throughout the day, participants used reclaimed packaging materials and simple art techniques to create a ‘Sculpture Skin’ which was eventually large enough to wear!

Sculptor, Faith Bebbington, on her knees working on a black piece of fabric with a large stapler.


DaDaLesque – The Martini Lounge
In keeping with DaDaFest’s long tradition of including cabaret, burlesque and drag artists in our festival, for DaDaFest International 2016 we invited Liverpool's Burlesque collective, The Martini Lounge,  to put together a night which involved acrobatics, some impressive unicycling and plenty more!

Two people onstage dressed glamorously, one as a showgirl and the other in a blue sequined-dress and large red-haired wig.


The Viewing - Martin O'Brien and Sheree Rose
2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of radical performance artist, Bob Flanagan, and ‘The Viewing’ was a way of enacting an idea Flanagan had once had of broadcasting footage of his body as it decayed. In this piece for DaDaFest, however, it was the live body of Martin O’Brien that stood in for his late collaborator’s in a 24 hour durational performance available to visit and watch live-streamed.

Peopl in a dark room watching a screen which displays footage of a coffin.

Gold Lamé – Tony Heaton
This commission from 2018 reclaimed the word ‘lame’ and the ‘Invacar’ vehicles created for disabled people in the 1960s in order to create a more positive and luxurious image. This striking work was placed in various iconic locations around Liverpool before being displayed in the Bluecoat.

A gold 'Invacar' vehicle suspended from a beam in a high-ceilinged room. The numberplate on the car read 'GOLD LAMÉ'


Raw. – Tammy Reynolds & guests
To go along with our 2019 Edward Rushton day of events, we commissioned live artist, Tammy Reynolds, to put together a cabaret night celebrating disabled women in the arts. Reynolds compèred the night as her legendary drag character, ‘Midgitte Bardot’ and performers included, Elliss Lewin-Turner, Marilyn Misandry and the legendary Jackie Hagan.

An image split into three panels displaying Elliss Lewin-Turner, Tammy Reynolds and Jackie Hagan.


'I Can' - Helen Cherry
Helen Cherry captivated our audiences at Unity Theatre this year with a beautiful dance piece exploring isolation. The soundtrack ranged between upbeat pop music and haunting, original sound design over which we heard Cherry’s voice affirming “I Can”. Read an overview of the whole night here: https://www.dadafest.co.uk/article/advisor-unity-scratch-review

Dancer, Helen Cherry, sat cross-legged on the floor with both her arms outstretched gracefully.


Broken Biscuits - Amina Atiq
A recent commission from Yemeni-Scouse poet, Amina Atiq, 'Broken Biscuits' explores what it means to belong in Liverpool. Through song and spoken word the piece follows the experiences of a Yemeni-British household starting from the 1970s through to today. You can now experience it adapted as an audio-play here: https://youtu.be/9EmqYO3R8FA

Amina Atiq wearing a black outfit and red hijab addressing an audience earnestly.

It's been a pleasure to support all these artists, and many, many more!

Don’t forget you can still become a DaDaFest commissioned artist yourself, but the deadlines are soon! Apply by 20 July for our Festival and Micro-commissions, with our additional Library Commission closing on 31 July! More information here: https://www.dadafest.co.uk/artist-call-out/

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