Ah, the freedom of creativity. My tale is not one of the tortured artist.
Doubtless I have carved statues from my pain, Obliquely however, as it doesn’t fuel me. Instead, it was merely a dark cloud that followed me. Now, I reside on a plateau that the clouds cannot reach. Gratitude is a seed that’s nourished roots of abundance.
My creativity freed me from the shackles of the black dog, Undeterred, I use its collar as a crown. Could that my younger self could feel the reverberating ripples of hope. How he would smile for me now.
Boldly, I encourage others to follow their passions…. Eternally grateful for the gifts mine bestowed upon me. Torrid times are no more. Today I smile where once I shuddered. Eventually, hard work met opportunity. Right… on… time.
It has to rhyme, says the guy with the pie and be sure to add some flourishing lines. Check on the metre like emergency credit and if you tell me the rules I’ll say “nah mate, for forget it.” A template is a shell in place of a seed, so grow your own writing and at your own speed.
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-artistJonny 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 toArts 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.
Ushiku Crisafulli and The Peer Hat presents: Unmasked – a journey through the autistic mind via hip hop, comedy and theatre.
On Tuesday 21st September I’ll be doing a scratch performance of my piece Unmasked which exams concepts around autistic authenticity through comedy, theatrical monologues and hip hop at The Peer Hat.
As it is an early scratch performance ahead of the full preview at Old Bank Studios in April 2022 I’ll be supported by a group of fantastic performers.
In hour 1 we’ll be joined by Loll a passionate poet and excellent barber whose spoken word is just a cut above; and Tonkabell Manchester’s favourite non-binary fairy whose words capture a range of emotions from the importance of sharing to the weirdest of love.
In hour 2 we’ll have comedy from a comic that might just be too cool in Kieran “Keesh” Grey and a fantastic comic storyteller and Camden Town Brewery New Act Comedy finalist in Justina Sesel; followed by a trip through childhood via the musical musings of Jonny Holland who first came to my attention when I saw him doing sick metal riffs to Sonic the Hedgehog