The Katherine Araniello Bursary Awards

Two awards of £5,000 each for unapologetically radical and politicised ‘early career’ artists who work in Live Art and identify as disabled people.


Important Covid-19 announcement

In the interests of the safety of our artists, collaborators, audiences, community and staff, LADA has closed our office and Study Room, and is postponing all events until the beginning of May, at the earliest.

However, LADA and the Katherine Araniello Advisory Group believe it is important to keep as many opportunities for artists open right now, and to launch the Katherine Araniello Bursaries and invite applications from artists at this challenging time.  We hope the Bursaries will offer artists a small glimmer of light, and that the process of imagining and proposing a bursary programme will be possible during times of social distancing and self-isolation. We will of course work with the Bursary recipients to amend and adapt their proposed programmes and schedules if the Covid-19 crisis continues to impact us all over the summer and autumn.

Katherine’s politically fearless and audaciously funny art about disability and the aesthetics of the body, undermined the ways in which ‘different’ bodies are ostracised within society and misrepresented within culture, and confronted the narratives and politics of ageing, sick and disabled bodies. Narratives and politics that, as the artist Martin O’Brien recently said, are “being thrust into the spotlight in a devastating way” with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Teresa Albor wears a pink bathing suit and a bunny mask. Katherine reads from a laptop. Her assistant looks on. DIY15 - 2018: How the fuck…?, Katherine Araniello & Teresa Albor. Image: courtesy of the artists

Katherine Araniello Bursaries

We’ve tried to make these guidelines and application form as simple and brief as possible, however if you’ve got any questions, have any access requirements, wish to receive these guidelines in an alternative format, or would simply like to talk through your ideas, please email Finn on [email protected] or give us a call on 0208 985 2124.

Background and context

The brilliant artist Katherine Araniello died on Monday 25 February 2019. Katherine was an extraordinary human being, a tireless and audacious activist, and an accomplished and ground-breaking artist.

She 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, an advisory group composed of her friends, family and collaborators (including LADA), was established 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 have set up the Katherine Araniello Bursaries, two awards of £5,000 for two unapologetically radical and politicised artists who work in Live Art and identify as disabled people to undertake self-determined year-long artistic and professional development programmes.

The group is grateful to all the individuals and organisations whose generous donations have made these bursaries possible.


The Katherine Araniello Bursaries are 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.

Applicants must have been practicing within Live Art, or related areas of practice, for at least five years.

To get a sense of Katherine’s spirit and politics please watch her films on YouTube, The Disabled Avant-Garde’s films on YouTube  and read Martin O’Brien’s tribute to Katherine How Not To Do Disability (see below).

Applicants should be committed to the possibilities of ‘live’ practices and to exploring new contexts for work or dialogues around the work.

Applicants’ potential to undertake self-determined professional development and research, and the timeliness and appropriateness of this bursary to their practice and to Live Art in general will be critical.

See LADA’s What is Live Art? webpage for more information.

The Offer

The bursaries aim to support two self-determined year-long artistic and professional development programmes.

The nature of the bursaries is open and will be tailored around the specific aspirations and needs of the bursary recipients. Some, for example, may wish to ‘buy’ space and time, or access to training and resources to hone and/or develop particular skills. Some may wish to undertake specialised research or take time to think, write or imagine different ways of working. Others may wish to develop new partnerships or contexts for their work, engage in critical discourses around their practice and/or undertake attachments with an artist, collective or organisation.

We encourage applicants to think about, and anticipate, outcomes from their bursary programme – this may the development of ideas for new work, a presentation of their bursary research and findings, a blog (which LADA can host), a short film, or even plans to undertake an MA or PhD based on their bursary findings.

Artists will receive an award of £5000. This award can be allocated in whatever ways the artists chose, but should be used to cover ‘artistic and research’ costs such as fees (to themselves to mentors or to others), space, materials and resources expenditure etc.

There will be an additional budget, available on request and subject to negotiation, of up to £1500 for each artist’s ‘practical and production’ costs such as access requirements, direct costs related to bursary outcomes etc.

Recipients will have access to LADA’s resources and facilities, and the support of the LADA team.

Please note that the bursaries are not production grants.

The artist is in a wheelchair and wearing a rabbit mask. To her side is her assistant. There is a screen to the right with the words 'poor pitty pissy me' projected. Katherine Araniello at Royal Court Theatre 2018, image by Ali Wright
The artists are in a elevator. From DIY15: How the Fuck..?, led by Katherine Araniello and Teresa Albor (image courtesy of artists)
A composite image: Katherine Araniello and Aaron Williamson playing american football left hand side; right hand side katherin araniello covered in flowers Katherine Araniello and Manuel Vason, Double Exposures, London, 2014
The artists are dressed as the cartoonish London Olympics mascots. They are moving through the streets. The Disabled Avant Garde (Katherine Araniello and Aaron Williamson), M21: From the Medieval to the 21st Century, DASH and Live Art Development Agency, 2012
A miniature model of Katherine Araniello's work 'The Dinner Party Revisited'. Robert Daniels 'Tiny Live Art (Development Agency): The Dinner Party Revisited, Katherine Araniello'


Application deadline: noon Thursday 30 April 2020

Apply here

We also welcome applications in the following formats: audio proposal, video proposal, a presentation in person or via Skype. Please note that the method of the submission format should reflect the access needs of the applicant.

Please note that other methods of submission should be the equivalent in length to word counts in submissions completed via the online application portal.

If you plan to submit your application in an alternative format please contact LADA in advance on [email protected].

We encourage applicants to think in creative, provocative and timely ways when developing their proposals.

If you need support with your application please contact Brian Lobel of the Katherine Araniello advisory group on [email protected]



Proposals should include the following information:

Apply here 

Assessment and Selection

Applications will be assessed by members of the Katherine Araniello advisory group.

The selection of the bursary recipients will be based on the relevance of the proposal to the aims of the bursary, to Katherine’s spirit and politics, applicants’ potential to realise their ideas, the timeliness of the proposals (to the applicants and to the issues), and the boldness of the proposal.


Announcement of bursary awards will be made by mid May 2020.

The bursary processes will run from June 2020 to June 2021.

We will write to all applicants about the outcomes of their applications and where possible provide feedback.

How not to do Disability

(By that I mean: that’s how to do life the way you wanna not how they wanna)

A tribute to Katherine Araniello by Martin O’Brien

Let me start by saying what I’ve already said, I think Katherine is one of the most incredible artists I’ve ever seen. Sorry I can’t be with you all today. I’m visiting family. I’m up on the west coast of Scotland as I write this wee tribute to Katherine. I’d like to say, I’m drinking a glass of bubbles from a straw as I write, but actually I’m just drinking milky tea. Here goes:

Only the good die young sang Billy Joel. Katherine disproved this. She died young, too young but she wasn’t good, far from it. She did disability in the wrong way. By that, I obviously mean: in the right way. She was too funny you see, too witty, and parodic and too much. She was too satirical, too much humour, too many laughs. She was wild and disrespectful. She was queer as well and that didn’t help her image. Where was the victim, we’ve come to expect? Where is the hapless, helpless victim we all love to love? She made us laugh at her. That’s not the way to do disability is it? And by that, I obviously mean: that’s just the way to do life how you wanna, not how they wanna.

Katherine was destructive too. She loved to destroy things. Ramming things, crushing things, smashing things, driving into things, breaking things. She was a bloody liability. Never leave your valuables out with Katherine around. I once saw Aaron Williamson do a performance with some beautiful headphones, loads of them. Next on was Katherine, she drove in and crushed all the headphones. Smashed them up, reversed back over them, they couldn’t be used again, destroyed, completely destroyed. That’s not the way to do disability is it? By that I obviously mean: that’s the way to do life the way you wanna, not how they wanna.

Katherine and I often spoke about phlegm. We both have too much of it. She told me, I could have some of her mucus for a performance if I didn’t have enough. But it was fine, I have plenty. Sharing mucus, though, come on, that’s no way to do disability is it? By that, I obviously mean, that’s the way to do life how you wanna, not how they wanna.

And the hair and the clothes and the chair. She was loud, all too loud, but quiet too, too quiet, far too quiet and too loud. She was always all so loud and so so quiet. Too much. That’s no way to do disability is it? And by that, I mean, that’s the way to do life how you wanna, not how they wanna.

She used to drink, too. Always with a glass of bubbles, and a straw. If the SMA charity people had seen her, that wouldn’t have been good for fundraising: having fun? Fun doesn’t generate money. Pity does. And the singing, the god damn singing, the sing-a-long singing. The karaoke singing, the sick bitch blues singing, the song singing, the music video singing, the cabaret show singing, the sing song singing, and all the songs sung singing. The everybody join in singing, the one more song singing, the driving around crushing baby dolls singing, the pissed up singing. And the songs she sang singing. So much singing and so much sung.

Let’s not forget the fuck you’s and the fuckers. The videos she made and the organisations she exposed as fuckers. The fuckers who are all saying nice things about her now it’s too late. And it’s too late for that, fuckers. Fuck you. The not giving a fuck about the fuckers fuck plans for what she should be. The not fucking giving a flying fuck about the fuckers fucking fuck plans for what she should do. The what the fuck moments in her shows. The What the fuck is going on? The how the fuck? The fuck me, that’s fucking funny moments.

And the showing her work to students moments. The is she serious or is this satire moments felt by the audience around me. The she should have her own TV show moments. The this is boring and you so know it moments. The oh god someone is going to get hurt moments. The no bullshit moments, the smirking moments. The oh oh oh it’s a lovely ward moments, the sick bitch crips moments. The pissed butler moments, the character moments, the punk moments, the I can’t breathe because of what you are doing to me moments. That’s no way to do disability is it? By that I obviously mean, that’s the best way to do disability.

Katherine was wrong, so so wrong. Her pity party, potty porn party pity was wrong. She did disability all wrong and by that I mean, she did life so right. The fuck you telling me what it should be and the joy, the laughter, the darty eyes and the splashes of colour.

From one sick bitch to another, we miss you.

Support this award

We accept cheques, made out to ‘Live Art Development Agency’.
Cheques can be mailed to:

Live Art Development Agency
c/o Ben Harris
The Garrett Centre
117a Mansford Street
London, E2 6LX

Please include a note stating your donation is intended for The Katherine Araniello Bursary Award.

Donate Online

Live Art Development Agency (LADA)

LADA is a Centre for Live Art: a knowledge and research centre, a production centre for programmes and publications, and an online centre for digital experimentation, representation and dissemination. LADA supports everyone who makes, watches, researches, studies, teaches, produces, presents and writes about Live Art in the UK and internationally. Through a portfolio of Projects, Opportunities, Resources and Publishing, we create new artistic frameworks, legitimise unclassifiable art forms, and support the agency of underrepresented artists.

Banner image credit:

Katherine Araniello, credit GraceGraceGrace/Manuel Vason

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