Sync logo

Sync: e-bulletin Feb 2012


Difficult territory

She believed you had to get there to report. She believed in eye witness accounts: she had to see with her own eyes and thought this was graphic and powerful. It was one of her traits, she didn't only cover the main wars, she believed in covering wars that were under reported. (John Witherow paying tribute to Marie Colvin on BBC4 Radio, Media Show, 22 February 2012)

a photograph of Marie Colvin

Marie Colvin was an extraordinary, determined and purposeful force in journalism. There is much to inspire us from her life as we consider our own professional lives: the routes we've taken and the roads less travelled.

In the last few days friends and colleagues have talked incessantly about her. They admire her compassionate reporting, her commitment to ordinary people and the way she acknowledged the importance of bearing witness. All this was despite losing her sight in the conflict in Sri Lanka. She apparently learnt to adapt to this by taking up ocean sailing, before moving back into new war zones where she finally lost her life.

With her memory in mind, our focus this month is on resilience and using personal traits and inclinations in realising our goals.

We'll be sharing this month's platform with three more of our Sync Intensive cohort: a case study from artist Sally Booth looking at resilience and recognition, an article about leadership, influence and epilepsy from choreographer and Artistic Director of Instant Dissidence, Rita Marcalo and the importance of creativity at the heart of the leadership process from the Artistic Director of Zinc Arts, Anna Wallbank.

We are also delighted to announce a new trajectory for Sync at the end of this bulletin - watch this space!

Natural resilience

Exploring my vision and celebrating its uniqueness has now become part of my creative practice. The sense of precariousness has never quite left me. The continuing fragility of my vision has given me a sense of drive and urgency and an energy which, I hope, comes through in the work itself. (Sally Booth)

Lemon Curd and two cups, oil on board

Artist Sally Booth has much in common with Marie Colvin. They share a similar degree of ambition and have both developed traits along the way, through the desire to make people see things differently.

Sally's case study charts her journey from her early school day traits of bluffing. Her journey in all its light and shade, takes us up close and personal so we too can taste the "delicious light coming through a jar of lemon curd".

Sally's natural response to inaccessibility has always been to sort it: not just for herself, but for everyone. She is known for having one of the most desirable, engaging and accessible websites for which she received a prestigious Jodi Award for online digital access in 2009.

Read Sally's case study: Light, Lemon Curd and Making a Living

Involuntary dances?

I don't see the point in presenting a positon on power and disabilty which is fixed. I am a peformance artist and I am interested in opening up a space where something can happen... I am interested in exploring the idea that power sometimes comes from giving away. (Rita Marcalo)

a photograph of Rita Marcalo

Over the last few years, Rita Marcalo has been exploring her relationship with epilepsy, in particular asking the question through a trilogy of dance works entitled Whose body is it?

As a woman, a lesbian and a disabled person, Rita is not so sure that reclaiming power is desirable, as it "lacks motion".

"I am more interested in dancing power than in taking it. I am interested in exploring all its possibilities, in placing myself at different points in the continuum between taking it and giving it away."

Read the full article Influencing, Power and Epilepsy here

The yellow brick road to leadership

My own relationship with creativity has been taking my attention lately and has been the focus of Sync Coaching. It has been neglected as the Yellow Brick Road steepened as it neared Oz. (Anna Wallbank)

anna's leadership map plan from a Sync Intensives meet up

Anna Walbank is Creative Director of Zinc Arts in Essex

In her case study Anna tells us about her organisation's work with "people whose chances to be creative, to unfurl, imagine, explore, give voice and realise that the most beautiful part of what it is to be human, have been denied".

In developing a new state of the art venue to extend and house this vision, she realises that she's been denying herself the very same thing, creativity, as an intrinsic part of her leadership role.

"Sync has given me the chance to listen to myself and I find it rather interesting."

Read more from Anna here

Watch this space

Unlimited has the power to change the way in which disability and creativity are viewed. We want to use The Space to amplify these syncopated rhythms throughout the cultural sector, changing the way in which the ambitions of disabled and Deaf artists are met and the ways in which future work is realised and enjoyed. (Out of the Box)

Finally a boost for the Sync team. This month has seen a big thumbs up for our Out of the Box which has been chosen to go forward into The Space, a project resourced by the BBC and ACE, with some additional investment from Creative Scotland.

It's a slightly intrepid and unknown process at the moment but one we are delighted to be part of.

Between now and October, Out of the Box will journey with a number of disabled artists who are delivering projects as part of Unlimited, a Cultural Olympiad programme.

Working collaboratively with Watershed Media in Bristol and Director John Durrant of BDH, the Sync team see it as an opportunity to simultaneously build and broaden audiences for outstanding work by disabled artists whilst deepening relationships with context, process and impact.

Through short films, a documentary and a rich media interactive blog, the project will build momentum, leave legacy and showcase artistic leadership as it happens, live, in this very public year. Leadership is what Sync is all about.

Watch The Space!

More from us next month.

All the best,

Sarah Pickthall


Find out more about The Space and InSync - Out of the Box project

ADA inc logo    CUSP inc logo    People Create logo
Cultural Leadership logo

If you want to be removed from the mailing list please
email and put the word 'remove' in the subject line