Enabling the disabled


PIAF artist-in-residence Claire Cunningham with dancer Laura Boynes. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au   d449973
PIAF artist-in-residence Claire Cunningham with dancer Laura Boynes. Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au d449973

A UNIQUE chance to find new and interesting ways to work alongside artists with disabilities was too good to pass up for Dianella performer Laura Boynes.

Ms Boynes was one of just 16 performers from around Australia selected to participate in an intensive weeklong masterclass with Scottish artist Claire Cunningham at the Fremantle Town Hall last month.

Ms Cunningham used the event to share her creative ideas and unique choreographic approach. A self-identified artist with a disability, she incorporates her crutches into her choreography and was in Fremantle as part of an artist-in-residence stint with the Perth International Arts Festival.

Ms Boynes, who works with disabled artists in the DADAA stARTSPEAK program, said as soon as she found out about the masterclass she knew she had to apply.

“Claire is very renowned and we’re all very inspired by her so I think everyone can say that they’re quite honoured to be here,” she said. “I would like to find new methods and ways of creating work with the artists I work with through DADAA and I’d also like to find ways of making my other work, my own choreographic work outside of that, more accessible to all.”

Ms Cunningham said she was working on raising the profile of disabled artists and increasing access to the arts for disabled audiences during her visit.

“We’re looking to address support and the development of skills for artists with disabilities which in Australia I think is still something that is looking for a lot more support and development,” she said.