News

Anna Berry appointed as first resident curator on DASH's groundbreaking commissions programme

Tue 2 April 2019

First Appointment Made In DASH’s GroundBreaking Programme For Deaf & Disabled Curators

The DASH Curatorial Commissions Programme launches this month with the appointment of renowned visual artist Anna Berry to Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) as the project’s first Resident Curator. 

Berry, who is best known as an installation artist, takes up the position on 13 April and will spend over a year under the mentorship of MAC’s Visual Arts Producer Jessica Litherland, learning the craft and business of curating artistic programmes in a large organisation before finishing her Residency by curating a major exhibition.

"I’m so excited to be selected for this programme,” commented Berry, “I can’t wait to learn from Jessica and be part of MAC. It’s really the most amazing opportunity that I will strive to make the most of.

Image: Anna Berry

The project, the first of its kind in the UK, marks the start of a unique collaboration between leading Disability Arts organisation DASH and major UK galleries, supported by Arts Council England, to create the fundamental changes so that Deaf & Disabled artists can become curators and stewards of the visual arts in the future.

DASH has worked for over a decade helping to advance the careers of Deaf & Disabled artists while altering the perception of key figures in galleries. Now, for the first time, DASH and the programme partners will place Deaf & Disabled artists and curators in key positions of influence to effect real leadership change. 

Mike Layward, Artistic Director of DASH thinks the Curatorial Commissions Programme marks a significant shift in attitude toward Deaf & Disabled arts practitioners working within mainstream settings and has the potential to make significant change across the arts:

“I am so excited that DASH and MAC have been able to commission an artist of Anna’s calibre and standing for the residency. Anna will be part of creating the deep impact that this programme will have on the visual arts sector.”

Image: Breathing Room, Anna Berry

The programme opens this Spring at MAC after an exhaustive selection process led to the engagement of Anna Berry, an artist whose work has spanned commercial photography, poetry and internationally commissioned work.

Jessica Litherland, MAC’s Visual Arts Producer, said: “MAC is thrilled to host the first residency for the Curatorial Commissions Programme. Anna demonstrated a real understanding and connection to MAC and its programmes. She has great ideas which resonate with our aims and her enthusiasm and desire to really learn and change her direction towards curating was very inspiring.”

The roll-out of the Curatorial Commissions Programme continues through the Summer of 2019 with the next curatorial selection process at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art – MIMA.

Click here for further information about the Curatorial Commissions Programme, background information on DASH and MAC and rights free images

Media Contact: David Reeve | 07751 331017