See JOURNEYS online gallery below
JOURNEYS is a body of new work by learning-disabled and autistic artists Wendy Belcher, Richard Hunt, Tom Breach and Danny Smith, which brings their creative journeys to broader audiences.
It originally opened on Friday, 10th November 2023, at Old Fire Station Gallery Oxford and ran until 23rd December 2023.
Danny Smith plays with different aspects of his personality through his drag alter ego Trixie Pixie Lox in a new dance-for-camera piece, whilst Wendy Belcher explores the deep relationship and intensely felt loss of her dog through a digital collage video. Richard Hunt’s new works on paper and canvas extend his practice of weaving diverse popular cultures into new mythologies. Tom Breach leverages his talent for creating darkly humorous cartoons to produce a video documenting his struggles to achieve greater independence as an adult with autism.
In addition, Dany Smith exhibited two new framed works on paper related to his film, along with a display of his costume and the props he used in his production. Tom Breach exhibited six framed works on paper, putting himself in fantastical situations. Wendy Belcher displayed two large photo collage prints related to her My Dogs film, and there was a short documentary following Richard creating around 40 works of art on paper and canvas for JOURNEYS.
Since 2009, the Shadowlight Artists have been supported by Film Oxford to create new work championing learning-disabled and autistic artists, alongside offering engagement opportunities to disabled and non-disabled audiences.
The Arts Council of England, Oxford City Council, The Stanton Ballard Charitable Trust, Jerico Community Association and others funded the project.
Danny SmithDanny has clear artistic intentions to show independence and demonstrate emotions associated with change and personal empowerment. Danny identifies pride in being a role model for other disabled people seeking an independent life. He has broad artistic interests and has worked in a wide range of media, from painting and photography to performance, animation and documentary.He won the best dance film at Oska Bright 2019 for ‘Time to Leave’, which was also chosen by ‘Agite y Sirva’, an international touring dance festival based in Mexico that exhibits in North, South and Central America. He also won the best dance film at Together! 2020 Film Festival for ‘Flashback’.
Wendy BelcherAutistic artists and filmmaker Wendy Belcher firts solo film was called ‘Things That Annoy Me’, is a live-action/animated humorous documentary about her everyday life. It was chosen for the ArtWorks Together International Art Competition 2021 for an online and gallery exhibition in Rotherham, for which she also won a prize. Wendy was nominated for the best woman filmmaker award at the 2022 Oska Bright Film Festival and reached the top three. Oska Bright have toured the film around the country as part of their “Best of the Fest” including at the Barbican. She was also selected for the Shape Open 2022.
Tom BreachTom’s primary focus is on drawing and animation, which have elements of autobiography. His drawings create strange scenarios where morality and social norms are suspended. His previous animation films, ‘Shoebox Bay’ and ‘Revenge of the Penguin’ were exhibited at Modern Art Oxford . broadcast on UK TV and shown at film Festivals.
Richard HuntRichard is a prolific painter who in 2017, won the Shape Open Award with work produced during the Creative Bridges project. After winning the Shape Open, Richard decided to expand his practice to embrace elements of sculpture and textured surfaces which were exhibited at Modern Art Oxford. His film work has been shown at Festivals in the UK and internationally, including in Brazil and Canada. He also exhibited work at Compton Verney gallery in Warwickshire.
The Shadowlight Artists are a group of learning-disabled and autistic professional artists supported by Film Oxford.