It’s been awhile since I’ve updated folks on the progress of Unmasked since the previous preview in September 2021. As some of you may know, the studio has been having some building work and equipment upgrades so the soundscapes are still a work in progress (we worked on one last night).
However, I can announce that the visual art side of the exhibition is absolutely good to go. The final version of the masks arrived on Monday and Miel Timtiman has done a spectacular job. I can’t wait for you to see what he’s made. The art work by Nigerian artist Akilo Joseph is being printed and framed as we speak. There’ll also be an appearance of a piece by Accrington’s resident poet-cum-artist Jonny Lindsey aka Paint Yer Brain.
The exhibition has been supported by Graeae Theatre as a participant of the Beyond Programme. As such, we have decided that in the interest of accessibility we will be holding the event on the ground floor. As the ground floor is considered a free house we cannot legally charge people to be in the space, however, we felt that accessibility was the more pressing concern. That said, donations are very much welcome.
Here is the copy for the event which will take place on Wednesday 13th April at The Peer Hat, Faraday Street, Manchester, M1 1BE:
Following on from September’s first preview of Unmasked, we’re back at The Peer Hat on Wednesday 13th April for the final performance ahead of Ushiku submitting his DYCP activity report to Arts Council England.
In Unmasked Ushiku Crisafulli uses hip hop, comedy, soundscapes and theatrical monologues to explore autistic authenticity and autistic enjoyment.
It will also feature an exhibition of masks created in partnership with Filipino artist Miel Timtiman that challenges infantilising language around autistic enjoyment and autistic authenticity while also offering a global south perspective on the importance of creating art from recycled materials and environmentalism that were created using a micro bursary from Graeae as part of the Beyond Programme..
There will also be art commissioned from Accrington based Jonny Lindsey and Nigerian artist Akilo Joseph.
Following on from the initial sharing Ushiku made a conscious decision to include an array of incredible supporting artists whose own experiences include those of dyslexia, dyspraxia, mental health and neurodiversity.
Tom Juniper is an autistic and genderqueer poet based in Sheffield, UK. They have been shouting rhymes at microphones for almost two decades.Tom writes poems about identity, oppression, politics and monsters. They enjoy playing with poetic form, nicking ideas from folklore and making everything a bit gay if at all possible. (They don’t have any merch to promote at the present time but a pint after the show is always appreciated if you want to show your support.)
Sketch is a rapper, producer and poet based in Manchester, England. Since signing with madness records Sketch became 1/5th of ‘The Commission’, the labels own gangster racket posing as a hip hop collective.
Kate Ireland is an artist, writer and performer hailing from Glasgow currently living in London. Her work explores capitalism, empathy, mental health and the mundane.
Anthony Briscoe is a performance poet and socially engaged artist from Blackpool, currently living in Manchester. His poetry ranges from socio-political commentary, space, advertisements replacing love and even clown funerals. Anthony likes to mix the serious and the silly to discuss meaningful issues through an absurdist lens, using his background in theatrics (BA HONS in contemporary theatre – Lancaster university) to add an energetic, engaging and entertaining performance to all his material.
We will also be joined once more by Liverpool’s own Jonny Holland whose computer game inspired metal instrumentals will thrill you while giving you a taste of 90s nerdstalgia.