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Adieu Ardent Hare
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 10:21

All of us at Ardent Hare would like to bid a fond farewell to all the artists, partners, collaborators, access workers, colleagues, funders and friends we have worked with over the years.

LetterHeadPrintSquareNoStrapSome of you joined us at our final event 'Hare today... Gone Tomorrow' at the Jerwood Space in London on 12th December 2012. Many of you have asked to see copies of Graham and Stevie's speeches from that evening so we are happy to reproduce them here.

You may also been interested in reading Colin Hambrook's 'In Memoriam - Dada-South/ Ardent Hare' and we are proud to represent this here.

Thank you to everyone for collaborating with us with an open mind, an open heart and the willingness to affect a widespread change in arts practice. May we wish you all the very best for taking forward the cause with renewed vigour to keep the legacy of Dada-South and Ardent Hare alive.

The Staff and Trustees of Ardent Hare

Stevie Rice Closing Speech

Graham Wiffen Closing Speech

In Memoriam - Dada-South / Ardent Hare by Colin Hambrook

Routes to Resilience
Tuesday, 23 October 2012 07:39

Routes To Resilience

presented by Ardent Hare and facilitated by BridgeBuilders.

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” (Emerson)

resilienceAre you a Deaf or disabled creative and do you want to increase your powers of resilience?

What might you do if you had greater mastery of the two disciplines of Resilience and Advocacy…?

Routes to Resilience is an interactive and intensive, practical programme with creativity at its heart.  It requires your commitment and willingness to take responsibility for your creative career route.

Routes to Resilience will enable you to:

  • Experiment and practice the  techniques of resilience, including self-belief and optimism, self mastery and knowing your strengths
  • Practice the skills of advocacy, including crafting high impact messages, and the techniques of persuasion
  • Explore ways to keep your creativity, learning and resilience strong and connected
  • Build and maintain your sense of self-esteem and self determination
  • Learn the skilled dialogue disciplines of expert questioning, listening & noticing, and emergent thinking in a peer support learning group
  • Create and try out your own creative advocacy ideas about resilience with an audience.

The programme includes two interactive sessions, one will explore resilience and the other will provide you with the tools to share your learning through championing and advocacy.  You will also engage with likeminded people and participate in three facilitated peer support sessions that will give you the space to question and galvanise your thinking.  Finally, there will be a unique opportunity for you to bring your learning and whatever you want to especially champion and celebrate about resilience to inspire a captive audience at the Ardent Hare final event on Wednesday 12 December.

The Resilience and Championing and Advocacy sessions will take place at The Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London, on Tuesday 20 November and Tuesday 4 December.

Join us for the peer support sessions on Tuesday 27 November, Tuesday 11 December and Friday 14 December, venues to be decided and agreed with participants.

We will make every effort to ensure that the application process is as accessible as possible. The programme is free and some travel bursaries are available. Sign language interpreters and a speech to text operator will be available throughout the programme.

To apply, you can download the Application Form and Routes To Resilience flyer (pdf) or if you are using a screen reader, you can download a word version of the flyer here. If you have any queries, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can call the office on 01622 685694. Please be aware that the office is now staffed on a part time basis.

Closing date for all applications is Monday 5 November 2012.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following:

Arts Council England, The Big Lottery Fund, The British Humane Association, The M Foundation, The Celia Blakey Charitable Trust, The Coutts Charitable Trust, The Stock Exchange Veterans Charity Association

Ardent Hare to Close
Friday, 05 October 2012 10:05

graham wiffen“It was with much regret and great sadness, that the Board of Trustees of Ardent Hare decided at their recent meeting that an organisation that has served the needs of Deaf and disabled artists imaginatively and creatively for nearly 10 years should come to an end. 

We had such hopes and dreams, such ambitions.  But the reality is that, having lost our Arts Council grant, and despite the strenuous fundraising efforts of Stevie Rice and the staff team, we simply have not been able to secure the necessary resources to ensure that the organisation would be viable in the longer-term future.  In view of this, Ardent Hare will close on 31 December 2012.

I would particularly like to pay tribute to Director Stevie Rice; to Manager, Michelle Chorley; to Suzanne Rose our Programme Manager and Joe Wilson who has kept our books in order. Through their tireless devotion, they have achieved so much for Dada South/Ardent Hare.  Together they created a model development agency; an agency that put diversity, equality and access first and foremost and was an exemplar of good practice. That so much was achieved by so few is remarkable in itself.

And I would also like to pay tribute to the many, many artists and practitioners who have shared our journey. You took a leap of faith as well.  Despite the enormous challenges many of you face in your day to day lives, you chose to pursue your creative dreams and you allowed us to guide, nurture and support, even cajole you in the pursuit of those dreams. Together we created some memorable work, some exciting events and some indelible memories.

We are very sorry that the Hare will not run with you again.  We are sorry that we cannot develop the work we started together.  But we are incredibly proud of you, of us and all that we have achieved together.”

Graham Wiffen

Chair, Ardent Hare

stevie rice“Whilst it is a sad day to announce the forthcoming closure of Ardent Hare (formerly Dada-South), we have so much to celebrate. Itself a fledgling organisation, Ardent Hare set out to seed, nurture and grow a crop of talented new artists in the south east and beyond.

We have been lucky enough to work with some of the best artists in the country, some of the most inspiring people, and the most passionate and tenacious professionals in the sector. As the final sporting and cultural celebrations of 2012 come to a close, we take great inspiration from the profile, ambition and scale of achievement of those engaged with the Paralympic Games of London 2012 as both artists and athletes. I hope that all the memories, and all that we have achieved in the build-up to this extraordinary event, will live long in the hearts of people in this country to create a sea change in thinking about the possibilities of disability.

Ardent Hare has raised the benchmark, created a network and a community of resilient, inspirational and talented artists who will continue to flourish and take forward the ethos of the work we started together.

For me, managing Ardent Hare for the past 9 years has been the most prodigious feat and one that I am immensely proud of. It has been a privilege to be invited into the personal and creative lives of hundreds of disabled and Deaf artists and to work alongside you to realise your creative aspirations. Through you all, I have realized all of my personal ambitions when I took on the job as Director – I have seen a seismic shift in attitude towards the programming of work by disabled and Deaf artists; I now see a hunger for this work and most of all a monumental increase in the confidence and self-belief of disabled and Deaf artists.

I have been supported by the most incredible staff team at Ardent Hare – dedicated, skilled, enthusiastic, tenacious and generous. I’d like to thank them, our fabulous and committed Trustees, our partners, funders and all the artists with whom we have interacted for all that you have done to make Dada-South / Ardent Hare the organisation that it is and to have contributed to a body of work of which we can all be immensely proud.

Next week we kick start our legacy programme and will be staging our final fling event in December to celebrate the many achievements of Ardent Hare and the artists and practitioners with whom we’ve engaged over the years. We hope to see some of you there!”

Stevie Rice

Director, Ardent Hare

Be Happy, Creative and Productive in London
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 10:40

Be Happy Seminar London for website

Be Happy, Creative and Productive in Portsmouth
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 10:15

Be Happy Seminar Portsmouth for website

Be happy, creative and productive
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 07:50

Be Happy, Creative AND Productive

Ardent Hare has confimed the first of 2 FREE seminars exploring the link between the 'harder edged' side of self employment and survival with what we might think of as the 'softer edged' side of personal and professional happiness and wellbeing and how this affects productivity and creativity.

The events will be staged on;

Monday 10th September, 1.30 - 5.30pm

The Hub, Dennis Sciama Building, University of Portsmouth
Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 3FX 

Monday 17th September, 1-5pm

at Whitechapel Gallery, Clore Creative Studio, Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX

These Seminars will:

  • Provide a guide to achieve personal and professional happiness and wellbeing
  • Explain the steps towards successful self employment
  • Share insights into productivity and creativity
  • Connect like minded creative people

The day will offer networking opportunities with other artists, refreshments and an information pack.

Highly inspiring speakers including Mark Trezona from Bridgebuilders.

The venue is wheelchair accessible. BSL interpreters and a speech to text operator will be present. Information will be available in large print. Some travel bursaries may be available (book early to benefit from these).

To book your place please contact Suzanne Rose email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

or phone: 01622 685 694 / 07872 392 852

Advance booking required as limited places available.

Be happy in your creativity
Thursday, 31 May 2012 08:07

Image of cak and fuit at networking eventArdent Hare welcomes expressions of interest in a forthcoming networking event we plan to hold in late July in Portsmouth. Key speakers include Mark Trezona of Bridge Builders and our very own Ardent artist Vidya Wolton, who will be exploring themes of Happiness at work and Well Being within creative practice. 

Date and venue yet to be confirmed but networking opportunities, refreshments and a warm welcome guaranteed. More information in due course. Places are limited but if you are interested in attending, you can register your expression of interest now by emailing Suzanne Rose, Programme Manager This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dropping the Baton?
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:12

Team HandoffOn your marks, get set, GO! Engage has just launched an exciting and timely new issue of the engage Journal, 'Art and the Olympics'. This edition includes an article by Ardent Hare Director, Stevie Rice exploring the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on disabled and Deaf artists - is it a case of dropping the baton? Stevie Rice describes how over the past five years, largely through new commissions, contracts and collaborations generated by the Games, disabled and Deaf artists have experienced an increased public profile.

Ardent Hare has delivered two Accentuate programmes and has offered ongoing crucial support to Deaf and disabled artists. Despite its success, however, and on the eve of the Games, its Arts Council funding has been withdrawn. ‘It would be a cruel twist of fate’ Stevie writes, ‘if Ardent Hare, having been charged with delivering a key part of Arts Council England’s legacy work in the South East for London 2012, was to close before a single Paralympian stepped out for gold.’ engage members can login to access the issue as part of their membership at www.engage.org/journal/journal.aspx?id=30 or sign up for membership at  http://www.engage.org/members/index.aspx

First Impressions
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 12:22

Image of the inside of a white cube with projections on itZoe Partington launched her Go Public! public realm installation outside New Bucks University this month and we were proud to be there to support and toast her achievements with a glass of wine.

Zoe's vision was brilliantly realised and developed through working closely with Signdance Collective and with  performing arts and dance students from the university.  On watching and engaging with the installation, it was clear that the creative process had been thoroughly executed and explored.  Movement phrases were coherently developed using accumulative techniques giving the viewer a sense of beginning, middle and end.  The students' performances were polished and confident, supported by the experience of Signdance Collective.  Zoe presented a stunning film installation housed within a white cube.  Audiences were invited to enter the cube and experience the account of a journey from a visually impaired person's perspective.  It was beautifully narrated using accessible language underpinned with a natural delivery.     

The installation was well received by visitors and audience. Liz Porter writes "Being partially sighted myself, now a cane user I completely got Zoe's work and enjoyed it, it certainly represents the chaotic and sometimes emotionally stressful experience of a journey through spaces familiar and new."

Read Deborah Caulfield's 'first impressions' and Colin Hambrook's review for the Our Group at Accentuate.

Many thanks to those who attended, braving the chilly night, difficult journeys and rotten traffic to be there!


ResizedFirst Impressions-16 


inside the white cube with images projected

Images: First Impressions, Zoe Partington. Photos: Moose Azim



First Impressions - Go Public in High Wycombe
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:26

Image of graphs showing biometric data captureA street in High Wycombe will be creatively transformed in March as part of a cultural programme celebrating London 2012. Disabled artist, Zoe Partington, has worked on developing a creative response to how disabled people navigate through urban spaces and the impact this has on them emotionally and physically.

Zoe’s work was chosen as part of Go Public - the open commissioning programme for disabled and Deaf artists in the South East that we launched in 2010 in partnership with Artpoint (the public art agency for the South East), supported by Arts Council England.

This groundbreaking film installation called First Impressions will chart the journey taken by a blind person through urban space, with biomedical data impacting on the speed and sound of the film. The film is intended to highlight the correlation between disabled people’s journeys and the impact that the design of the environment in urban spaces takes on a person’s stress levels. It also exposes the perspectives and places which disabled people view on the journeys taken through towns and cities and highlights how different the environment can seem and how uninteresting streetscapes can appear if the view or physical interaction of the place is changed or imposed on you.

The work has been developed with students and staff from Bucks New University and their company in residence, Signdance Collective.

Zoe Partington says, "This opportunity to develop my arts practise informed by my own experience of sightloss has taken me on an emotional and powerful journey. It has embedded the 'power of art' in terms of a tool for change and discourse intrinsically into my own work and my fascination with sharing ideas with people through words and mark making on the film and 3-d installation. This is, for me, a starting point of a new way to work across art forms. This has brought together my own unique experience of way finding and orientating through urban spaces and cities with sightloss. What's important is the way I translate my experiences into a creative medium that encourages people to question their reactions to disabled people and consider their insights of their own journeys through towns and cities and through life. In reference to the Cultural Olympiad and 2012 the installation is a historic moment for my work which incorporates change and inclusive approaches.”

The process of developing this work has engaged students, disabled people, local communities and university staff and for that reason has meant that the project has really got people talking about disability, access and the environment we live in. This will provide a great opportunity for residents and visitors to High Wycombe to experience the streets of the town from a different perspective and raises the awareness of disability issues in a very creative way.

Go Public is part of Accentuate, a transformational programme of 15 projects, inspired by the Paralympic Movement, which seeks to change perceptions and offer opportunities to showcase the talents of deaf and disabled people.  Accentuate has been funded by Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK, SEEDA and the regional cultural agencies. Screen South is the home of Accentuate.

The artwork will be installed between Friday 16th and Tuesday 20th March outside Bucks New University on Queen Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire and will be operational each evening from 6:30pm -10pm.


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

Company number: 05574285. Charity No: 1121501