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Where We’ve Been

Ardent Hare is the new name for Dada-South. With start-up funding from Arts Council England, the organization was established in June 2003 by a group of ardent disabled and Deaf artists in the south of England. The aim of Dada-South was to develop Disability Arts practice in the South East. The organization appointed its first member of staff in January 2004. Since then, the organization has become a highly respected agent of creative and social change within the south east, inspiring disabled and non-disabled people alike to advance towards a new shared appreciation of the innovation and paradoxes that exist within and outside of our understanding of disability.

We have invested in the leadership and development of disabled and Deaf creative people and supported their progression into positions of influence. Over the years we have created employment opportunities to enable creative disabled people to not only thrive and prosper independently, but to influence social change on a personal and even national scale.

Previous achievements

  • In 2006 Dada-South received a development award and subsequently the Diversity Award from Art Plus – the Award Scheme for Art in Public Places (a joint SEEDA and Arts Council England initiative) to create a unique, regional public art programme led by disabled artists and involving a cross section of the Portsmouth and Portsea community. The programme built towards to the installation of a major permanent public art sculpture by Tony Heaton.


Squarinthecircle by Tony Heaton

  • Digital media work ‘Nonsense on Stilts’ by Sabine Gruhn (co-commissioned by Lighthouse, Brighton) 
  • Experiment in 12 Parts by David Dixon in collaboration with John Hansard Gallery, WEA Clovelly Centre, Southampton Youth Offending Team and Southampton City Council. 
  • Hidden Battles by Caroline Cardus – co-commissioned by Dada-South and English Heritage to create work in response to Fort Brockhurst in Gosport as part of Heritage Open Days.
  • Deaf Men Dancing and Rachel Gadsden’s ‘Alive!’ – a national touring dance and visual arts outdoor performance co-commissioned by the Without Walls consortium and the Greenwich & Docklands International Festival, as part of Accentuate.
  • Colin Hambrook’s 100 Houses showcased at Dada-South’s Up-Stream – a collection of drawings and poems exhibited at Brighton Dome and published in May 2011: 100houses.co.uk
  • As part of Go Public, we have commissioned Sarah Scott to create Being Me Being to work people with hidden disabilities in an exploration of the expressive nature of yoga with visual arts as a creative means for looking at the layers of self - and our relationship to self. We also commissioned Lorna Giezot to create the most beautiful and stunning glass door to be sited within a woodland location. We are also commissioning Zoe Partington-Sollinger to create a large Perspex cube with projections of film and biological data of disabled people moving through urban spaces for exhibition in High Wycombe.

Training and Seminars:

Over the years we have delivered training events and seminars for creative people in web publishing, photoshop, marketing your work as an artist, financial management, self-employment, public art, Disability and Deaf Equality and mentoring skills as well as artist talks linked to our commissions.

Network Events and Seminars:

We have brought hundreds of disabled and non-disabled people together through our network events in Brighton, London, Milton Keynes, Margate, Lewes, Godstone, Portsmouth, Eastbourne, Southampton and Oxford.

Education programmes:

We have worked with groups of young people on education projects with disabled and Deaf artists. These have included our projects with Enham supporting young people in making creative career choices, our Box Breakers project with Valley Park Community School, No Handbags and Graeae Theatre Company and our work with Southampton Youth Offending team.

Advice and Guidance:

We have delivered over 300 advice and guidance sessions through our Dada-Exchange programme supporting 65 artists to work with 9 Artist Advisors. These have provided real opportunity for disabled and Deaf people to move their creative ambitions and prospects forward with the support of a dedicated advisor.


We attach bursaries to many of our programmes giving artists and creative people the opportunity to invest in areas of their professional practice that they deem to be critical. As a result we have enabled 31 creative disabled people to buy resources, attend conferences, undertake training, invest in publicity material, buy consultancy, build websites, undertake international travel and have individual coaching.


In May 2011 we staged our first major showcase event, Up-Stream as part of the Brighton Festival and Accentuate. We showcased some of the very best the south east has to offer in quality creative practice, astounding audiences with our programme of extraordinary and stunning artworks and leaving them questioning everything they ever felt about disability.


We pride ourselves in working in partnership and alongside interesting people and organizations. These have included:

English Heritage, Arts Council, Artpoint, Accentuate, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Brighton Festival, John Hansard Gallery, Lighthouse, Shape, Dao, engage, CIBAS, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council, Enham, University of Portsmouth, University of Sussex, Diablo Arts, No Handbags Theatre Company, Graeae Theatre Company, Valley Park Community School, Creative Campus Initiative, University of Kent, WEA Clovelly Centre, Southampton Youth Offending Team, Find Your Talent, PUSH4Culture, Treloares College, Freewheelers Theatre Company, StopGAP Dance Company, Project Art Works, Carousel.


Forty Two by Adrian Mundy

Forty Two by Adrian Mundy

"...[Ardent Hare] completely understand the eclectic needs of disabled people ... because that's in place they can focus on the important stuff, which is their art."

Ardent Hare is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 05574285. Charity No: 1121501