Katherine Araniello Bursary Awards: recipients announced

LADA is delighted to announce that the recipients of the Katherine Araniello Bursary awards are Katayoun Jalilipour and Tammy Reynolds.

Launched in March 2020, the bursaries honour the memory and influence of Katherine Araniello by offering two awards of £5,000 each to unapologetically radical and politicised artists who work in Live Art and identify as disabled people.

Background and context

The brilliant artist Katherine Araniello died in February 2019. Katherine was an extraordinary human being, a tireless and audacious activist, and an accomplished and ground-breaking artist, as well as being a great friend of LADA and member of our Board of Trustees.

Katherine made essential and challenging work engaging with disability, agency and the aesthetics of the body. Her film, performance and digital art was politically fearless and infused with subversive humour. She was also heavily invested in collaboration, working with Aaron Williamson as The Disabled Avant-Garde (DAG) and with many other artists on individual projects.

Following Katherine’s death, LADA established an advisory group composed of her friends, family and collaborators to honour her influence and ensure her lasting legacy. As well as working on Katherine’s archive and related archival activities and legacies, the group set up the Katherine Araniello Bursaries.

LADA and the advisory group are grateful to all the individuals and organisations whose generous donations in Katherine’s name made these bursaries possible.

The Bursaries

The Katherine Araniello Bursaries were aimed at UK based, ‘early career’, unapologetically radical and politicised artists who work in Live Art, identify as disabled people, and whose practice embraces Katherine’s spirit and politics.

The bursaries offered two awards of £5,000 each for two artists to undertake self-determined year-long artistic and professional development programmes.

We received over 40 applications from an exciting range of artists from across the UK who all shared Katherine’s fierce spirit, with many engaging with LADA and with Live Art for the first time.

The selection panel was made up of Lois Keidan and Finn Love from LADA, Katherine’s partner Tracey Jannaway, the artists Aaron Williamson, Brian Lobel, Oriana Fox, and James Leadbitter (aka the vacuum cleaner), with input from Katherine’s family. The group came together to discuss the applications via Google Hangout in mid May.

The panel were inspired and moved by all the applications to the Katherine Araniello Bursary Awards – collectively the applications offered profound insights into not only the radical practices and ideas artists are exploring, but also the monumental challenges so many are facing, and especially facing in these times of heightened crisis.

The recipients

The panel were particularly excited by the areas of enquiry proposed by Katayoun Jalilipour and Tammy Reynolds, and the significance and timeliness of their bursary programmes.

Katayoun Jalilipour (b.1995 Esfahan-Iran) is a multidisciplinary artist, performer and writer based in London. Their work focuses on physicality, and they use their own body as the subject to discuss, poke fun, and disturb, through using performance art and digital mediums such as gifs and video. Their performance work consists of topics around race, diaspora, gender: trans identity, sexuality and erotica.

On receiving the award Katayoun said: Katherine Araniello’s work has been massively inspiring to me so I’m very excited to receive this award in her name and to continue my creative journey with the support from LADA.

Tammy Reynolds refuses to write in third person. “I go on a stage and sing/dance/speak/scream/shout/eat my trauma. I sometimes make money from it. I’m sometimes Midgitte Bardot. I sometimes wear clothes. I’m always disabled. I’m always a dwarf. I sometimes enjoy it. I’m sometimes a Producer. I do Live Art. I sometimes leave the stage and cry and hyperventilate and rage about how it went. I don’t take positive feedback well so to write a bio that makes me look like an accomplished artist doesn’t quite fit. I’m not qualified for anything. My first aid training is outdated now but I still know the recovery position. I think my DBS is too. I’m good at making things I want to make. I’m articulate and creative. I’m nowhere near as productive as I should be and I hope I never am. I don’t have a website because I’m too addicted to social media. I’d like to say I’m working on it. Since lockdown she’s been forced into digital art which she hates but is working on subverting it like she usually does. Since lockdown measures she’s made with work for : Scottee and co., Heart of Glass St. Helens, FACT, EAT ME + Preach!, Queeriosity, Contact, HOMEmcr and probably other people too. I’m not consistent”.

On receiving the award Tammy said: I am so excited to get this award.  Its gonna be life changing. Its gonna be galvanising. Its gonna be totes emosh.

Re:Form, a new online performance and exhibition by Tammy and Natalia Bedkowska, and commissioned by DaDaFest, is available online until Sunday 13 December.


Although they are not purely a disability arts organisation, I think LADA has done something extraordinary in the disability arts world. The work they have supported has been hugely challenging and radical. At a moment when many disability arts organisations are retreating to represent disability in increasingly conservative ways, LADA have done the opposite. The work they have curated and supported, like my own, is difficult. LADA’s approach to disability has been one where risk taking-aesthetic and physicality – is encouraged. They remind audiences that not all disability art is feel good, and that sometimes it is painful, messy, raw, or skilfully unskilful.
Martin O’Brien, artist (in Disability Arts Online’s ‘Long Live, Live Art: Two decades of LADA‘, May 2019)

'A Different Way of Engaging' on Katherine's life story

If you are interested in Katherine Araniello and her work, LADA highly recommends checking out A Different Way of Engaging, a cycle of transcription poems based on a series of interviews conducted by Allan Sutherland about her life story. The cycle of poems was composed as part of the D4D project, with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The audio recordings and the transcriptions on which the poems are based will be deposited at Bath Spa University.

Banner image credit:

Tammy Reynolds, photo by Brian Roberts. / Katayoun Jalilipour, photo by Holly Falconer for Louche Magazine.

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