Local artist recognised at iDA award ceremony

Local artist recognised at iDA award ceremony

8 August 2018

A DOWNPATRICK based artist has been recognised by The University of Atypical — formerly known as the Arts and Disability Forum.

Una Walker a visual artist from Downpatrick has exhibited in Ireland and internationally for more than 30 years.

She is one 13 of Northern Ireland’s leading disabled artists who have received individual Disabled/Deaf Artists Awards (iDA) awards totalling £17,000 to develop their work. 

The high quality work of disabled and deaf artists and of arts venues working to improve disabled and deaf access was also celebrated and recognised at a University of Atypical ceremony in Belfast.

The majority of those artists were part of the celebration, with playwright Shannon Yee speaking about her experience of iDA and poet, Alice McCullough performing a poem to illustrate the effect of her iDA award.

As well as focusing on artistic talent, the event also presented Arts and Disability Equality Charter awards to venues that have worked to improve access and facilities for disabled and deaf people in all areas of their work.

Funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the University of Atypical specialises in developing and promoting the work of artists who are disabled and deaf and in reaching disabled and deaf audiences.

Chief Executive Chris Ledger said Northern Ireland’s Arts and Disability work is respected and admired not just in the UK and Ireland but on an international level. 

“The University of Atypical is run by disabled people, whose dedication to promoting artistic excellence and working towards cultural equity contributes to the growing reputation of the work carried out here,” he added.

Damian Smyth, Head of Literature at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “Congratulations to all of today’s award recipients. 

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to have been able to support both the iDA Awards and the Arts and Disability Equality Charter Awards over the years and we look forward to continuing to work with the University of Atypical to encourage the involvement of disabled and deaf artists in the arts.”