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Caroline Cardus wins Shape's Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary

Wednesday 8th December, 2010

Image from Caroline Cardus: the word special treated like a swear word with the vowels made into stars.

Caroline Cardus has been announced as the recipient of the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary 2010 -11. Caroline’s work explores the themes of language and identity, and the juxtaposition of popular culture and sub-cultures. The annual bursary was set up in memory of sculptor Adam Reynolds, to support a disabled artist working in the visual arts.

Caroline will receive £5,000 and enjoy a three-month residency at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead from March to June 2011. She is “delighted” about the prospect of exhibiting at the world-renowned arts hub, and commented:

The Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary at BALTIC will give me valuable time to explore and develop ongoing themes in my work, and to further investigate where my work sits with regard to disability art and mainstream art practice.

I’m fascinated with language and its place in visual art, notions of power and authority, and my experiences as a disabled person. I plan to use the residency to explore the way online culture is changing the way people communicate, and what I believe is a natural link between using language subversively and the potential to use it creatively to explore, subvert and reveal the unspoken dynamics surrounding it.

Caroline was chosen from an all female shortlist of artists. Applications for this year’s bursary were stronger and more numerous than ever before, and the broad spectrum of work by disabled artists from across the country cements the bursary as one of the most significant commissioning opportunities for disabled artists in the UK.

The selection panel for the bursary included Emma Thomas, BALTIC’s Head of Learning and Engagement, Baltic curator Alessandro Vincentelli and Tony Heaton, CEO of Shape who co-ordinate the bursary.

Emma Thomas, BALTIC’s Head of Learning and Engagement says: "BALTIC is delighted that the Adam Reynolds Bursary has enabled us to offer this fantastic opportunity to Caroline Cardus. Myself and Alessandro Vincentelli, BALTIC Curator of Exhibitions & Research, were particularly impressed with Caroline. Her work, which often starts with text, introduces humour and wit to deal with some very powerful and emotive issues. Some of her work is about the experience of being disabled and she is hoping through this residency to connect with a wider audience at BALTIC and to develop new work. We are looking forward to working with her throughout 2011 and hope that this opportunity proves not only beneficial to her career but also BALTIC's understanding and commitment to working with disabled artists."

The bursary, now in its fourth year continues to grow from strength to strength. Previous winners have exhibited at Spike Island in Bristol, The Camden Arts Centre in London and the Bluecoat in Liverpool. Shape, co-ordinators of the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary, are thrilled to be working with Caroline Cardus and the BALTIC to showcase disability arts in the North-East.