A pioneering partnership has been awarded funding to make the arts available to people whose physical disabilities may have prevented them from engaging with it in the past.
360 Degrees – A New Angle on Access is the latest initiative from artist Sue Austin and aims to use innovative digital technology to take art into community venues, and even people’s homes.
The collaboration will see the Plymouth University Fine Art graduate working alongside University organisations SERIO and ICCI, as well as Eye Mirror and Living Options Devon, and has now secured almost £125,000 in funding from The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.
Run by Nesta, Arts Council England and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the £7million fund supports research and development projects that use digital technology to enhance arts audience reach and/or explore new business models.
Sue Austin is best known for her performances in a powered underwater wheelchair, which have been seen by an estimated 150million people worldwide. Through her organisation Freewheeling, she will be the director and lead artist for the project, and said:
“It is a great thrill and privilege that '360 Degrees – A New Angle on Access' has been selected for funding by The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, and we are excited to be continuing our ten-year association with Plymouth University. Through that partnership, and our link-up with Living Options Devon and Eye Mirror, we hope to make the joys of immersive 360° imagery available to the wider arts sector and beyond and develop a new agenda for Access to the Arts in the South West.”