Unlimited Award For Artist Sinead O'Donnell

£70,000 award will help showcase work by disabled artists as part of the Cultural Olympiad

Northern Ireland performance artist Sinead O’Donnell has received an award of £70,000 from Unlimited, the ground-breaking programme that celebrates arts and culture by disabled and deaf artists. O'Donnell is the second artist from Northern Ireland to have been awarded an Unlimited commission, joining Ballymena artist Maurice Orr, who was awarded a first round commission in 2010.

London 2012, the UK Arts Councils and the British Council want to commission high quality, ambitious work by disabled and Deaf artists that can be experienced in a wide range of spaces, to help celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

O'Donnell's project CAUTION will bring together some of the world’s leading performance artists – Sylvette Babin, Mariel Carranza, Paul Couillard, Poshya Kakl and Shiro Masuyama – to collaborate on a major international project exploring ‘invisible’ disability. The resulting performance and exhibition will showcase work by disabled and deaf artists at Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast during the Paralympic Games in 2012.

Delighted at receiving a commission, O’Donnell said: 'I am so excited to be bringing together some of the world’s leading artists and showcasing new work to audiences in Northern Ireland. I am also very excited to be working with Artsadmin and the Golden Thread Gallery. I see this as a huge step in highlighting the many levels of practice that artists are involved in. I would not be able to accomplish a massive project like CAUTION without the support of Unlimited.’

Cian Smyth, London 2012 Creative Programmer for Northern Ireland, said: 'It’s fantastic to see another Northern Ireland artist receive a commission for Unlimited. These commissions involve the best disabled and deaf artists the UK has to offer and provide an important platform to showcase their work to the world.'

Lorraine McDowell, Director of Operations at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland said: 'Unlimited offers significant prospects for our artists, enabling them to showcase their talents on an international stage. We wish Sinead every success with the commission and hope that other Northern Ireland artists will be encouraged to apply to the next and final funding round.'

Applications for the third and final round of commissions are now welcomed from disabled and deaf artists or disability arts groups. Further information on the application process can be found at www.london2012.com/unlimited.