Shadowlight Artists, an Oxfordshire collective of artists with learning disabilities, has announced it is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with an Arts Council England funded project and series of exhibitions.

The group, which includes painters, performance and installation artists, animators, photographers and a playwright, was founded in 2009 by local arts and education charity Film Oxford. Its members have Down’s syndrome, autism and other learning and physical disabilities.

The full list of artists in the group are: Tom Breach, Mark Hemsworth, Wendy Belcher, Chris Oakley, Russell Highsmith, Danny Smith, Richard Hunt and Lucy Skuce.

The new project, which is provisionally entitled LUMINOUS, will be 90% funded by ACE, with the group seeking match funding or sponsorship for the remainder of the budget. It will involve each of the group’s individual members creating new work over the next 12 months to be exhibited at Modern Art Oxford, the Old Fire Station and other venues across Oxford and London in autumn 2020.

Performance, photography and film artist Danny Smith, whose work is currently being screened as part of Oska Bright, the largest learning disability film festival in the world, explaining the importance of Shadowlight Artists: “It shows that people with learning disabilities are talented. My favourite thing is teaching new people with learning disabilities about art. I can pass on my skills to them and help them be artists too.”

Landscape, photography and film artist Mark Hemsworth, whose documentary about his practice is also showing at Oska Bright, said: “It is amazing that the Shadowlight Artists have been going for 10 years, I hope it continues. I love going out to see my work in galleries and festivals, to see what people think. The group means a lot to me, I have made friends. I am really looking forward to my next project.”

Explaining her hopes for the next 12 months, video and installation artist Lucy Skuce added: “Shadowlight Artists are fantastic. I love making installations and films and I can’t wait to start my new project.”

Over the last decade the group has had various critical success in the UK and internationally. Smith’s dance film Time to Leave was screened as part of Agite Y Sirva (Shake & Serve), a ‘videodance’ festival in Mexico, which will also tour in North, Central and South America later in 2019-20.

In addition, Richard Hunt, a painter and mixed media artist, has a film screening in three major Brazilian cities – Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo and Brasilia – this autumn as part of Assim Vivemos (Living This Way), an international disability film festival.

For more information on Shadowlight Artists visit:

1. Tom Breach, illustrator and animator, Greater Leys, Oxford; Mark Hemsworth, photographer and filmmaker, Wallingford; Wendy Belcher, filmmaker and performer, Wood Farm, Oxford; Chris Oakley, Creative Advisor; Russell Highsmith, playwright, Abingdon; Danny Smith, performer and painter, Littlemore, Oxford; Richard Hunt, painter and mixed media artist, Rose Hill, Oxford; and Lucy Skuce, installation artist and filmmaker, Didcot
2. Danny Smith, On location
3. Mark at Turville
4. Lucy Skuce, Blue Sash Window
5. Danny Smith, Time To Leave

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