Firstly, just to be nominated for the award was a huge honour and a massive boost to my confidence. To be recognised as an artist making valuable work in an art form that often would only seem to be celebrated for the big and bold, the glitzy and glamorous was amazing.
My work has been developed patiently over long periods, by working within communities, spending time together, listening, developing skills, confidence, and belief that we all have a role to play in telling our most urgent stories. I’m most grateful that the Arts Foundation chose to shine a light on theatre makers who are inspired to work in this way, and I am honoured to have been included among such an incredible cohort.
The money was a huge help, easing the anxiety that is so often there humming away in the background around ‘how am I going to pay my rent next month.’ To be able to live more openly and courageously as ideas are explored.
This past year has been focused mainly on the production ‘Today I Killed My Very First Bird’. The financial support of the award meant that I could work with less anxiety and more focus, building the project carefully with less distraction. The work has now been exposed to an international audience and we are carefully planning the next stages of national and international touring. Exciting developments are also underway to bring more creative practice into probation and prison services, and to continue to empower outsider artists to bring their work to our biggest stages.
Thank you so much Arts Foundation for seeing and celebrating me and the incredible artists I have the privilege to work with.