When Ruth Mackenzie, Director, London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, announced the final commissions in the Unlimited programme she said: ‘Unlimited is about commissioning world-class artists to create brilliant work which will change perceptions of the work of disabled and deaf artists.’
And she was absolutely right. Unlimited is quite simply the largest commissioning fund for disabled and deaf artists the UK has ever seen, and rather than being off in some ghetto – the works are right bang up front within the Cultural Olympiad – the cultural events commissioned to mark the Olympics and Paralympics, and feature prominently in the shortly to be launched London 2012 Festival.
But who is behind Unlimited? How did it come about?
Unlimited is principally funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and is delivered in partnership between London 2012, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council.
One of the key arguments the UK put forward when bidding to host the games was that the cultural programme would stretch throughout the countries of the UK and that diversity would be a central theme. Unlimited was part of making good that promise. And its resulted in twenty-nine stunning Unlimited Commissions being created, such as Paul Cummins – English Garden Flower installation pictured here – a quintessentially English flower garden made up of up to 10,000 individual blooms crafted by hand.
Sadly, within PUSH ME we can only feature 12 of these amazing works – but do keep your eyes out for the others too!