Elevate Project Commissions

In 2018, Art Shape has invested in 3 projects delivered by integrated teams of professional artists, with the aims of:

  • Developing new collaborative relationships between disabled and non-disabled artists
  • Supporting the development of new work, artistically enriched through involvement of a diversity of artists / performers
  • Supporting shared learning within those artistic teams, across the projects / productions and organisations in the Arts Inc (Elevate supported) partnership


About the Commissions

Arts in Motion (AIM) – Tea Service Project

At John St Gallery, SVA, 4 John St, Stroud GL5 2HA (click here for venue information)

AIM, a Spike Island (Bristol) based group of artists, have created a tea service incorporating their own artworks. Between Saturday 6 and Saturday 20 October, their work will be displayed in SVA’s John Street Gallery.

Click here to find out more about AIM.

A diversity of other disabled and non-disabled artists, curators, producers and arts curators (including the Elevate partners) are invited to join AIM; to bring and share their own artwork and to engage in conversation, workshops, tea and cake!

Exhibition opening: Saturday 6 October 10am

Tea service sittings: Saturdays 6, 13 & 20 October at 12 noon or 3pm

Exhibition dates: 6 - 21 October (Fridays and Saturdays 10am–3pm)

Workshop information:

6th October: Writing/Spoken word with readings by Betty and Dave
Facilitators: Colin Higginson (Visual Artist) and Amy Spencer (Writer)
Aim artists: Betty Sargent and Dave Pearse

13th October: Plate design, looking at both tradition and modern examples for inspiration
Facilitators: Colin Higginson and Maisie Fortune (Visual Artist/Ceramist)
Aim artists: Jeff Johns and Chris Rose

20th October: Drawing - Alternate ways of making drawings
Facilitators: Colin Higginson and Helen Grant (Visual Artists)
Aim artists: Jonathan Barr, Lindsay and Chris Rose


For further information, to talk about access or book your free place at the table (limited spaces):
E-mail office@sva.org.uk / call Kazz on 01453 751440



Louise Brown – ‘Pitch Up’ production R&D

Louise is a Director, Arts Manager and Producer with extensive experience in inclusive dance and performance (e.g. through work with GDance, The National Star College and Diverse City).

For this commission, Louise is collaborating with disabled artists Jonny Cotsen and Suzie Birchwood.  They are working to create a family-friendly show with accessibility, including audio-description, embedded from the outset of the creation period and in the fabric of the piece.  In the first creation week, the team benefited from feedback from an audience at Milestone School in Gloucester.

To get a flavour for the piece being created, watch a short film: 

About the team:

Performers: Jonny Cotsen & Suzie Birchwood 

Sound design: Jonathan Leith 

Audio-description consultant: Chloe Clarke 

Designer: Sarah Dicks

Mentor: Nickie Wildin

Photographer: Jack Offord

Film Maker: Lee Precious

Palantypist: Shelly Holley 

Producer: Lucy Ellis-Howell

Assistant producer: Michelle Lee 





Hand in Glove – ‘Docking Station’

Hand in Glove, founded in 2009 at the University of Gloucestershire, produce workshops that explore a visual and sonic method of devising performance, and create productions in which collaboration and inter-disciplinary practices are paramount.

The company uses a playful approach using back-stories, fragments of dialogue, set elements, lighting, props and costume to establish the structures through which gestures, motion and choreography emerge. It is an approach that draws on individual performers’ possibilities and improvisation, thereby strongly aligned with good inclusive practice.

Hand in Glove have staged successful theatre productions and street performances in Cheltenham, London, and Stroud where the company are now based.

Click here to find out more about Hand in Glove.


About ‘Docking Station’ (working title)

The collaborators are working on material that will result in a short film, using the concept of the body / bodies as a means of personifying a journey, and exploring use of the cameras themselves in unusual and/or different ways.

The team are creating some new writing from which they’re improvising to create character, situation, plot development, gestural vocabulary and action. They’re also creating some sound material, both to feed improvisation and for the resulting film.

The predominantly professional 15 company members include writers and performers, most of whom have other artistic practices as well (e.g. visual artists, musicians).

In line with Hand in Glove’s usual practice of working in a space that’s evocative and has textures within it, they are workshopping in Springhill Co-housing Community in Stroud (a communal house). 

The collaborators aim to enter the film into competitions and to promote it to curators and film / arts festival producers internationally.


About the team:

Writer / Director: Jim Brook

Writer / Performers: Barbara Bridger, Claire Smith, Scott Peacock

Performers: Caro Tate, Chris Bailey, Jane Garbetts, Janet Smithson, Liz Cowan, Mark Unsworth, Mary Brazil, Megan Cru, Olga Przysuszynska, Paul Munns, Peggy Frois, Stuart Wilding, Uta Baldauf


To find out more about Docking Station and/or Hand in Glove, contact: Dr Jim Brook (01453 298 791 / 07714 720 859)


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