Artist's Blooming Career Gets Olympic Stamp

25 January 2011

Paul Cummins pot flowers

Paul Cummins' Ceramic Tulips exhibited at Chatswrth House last year.

'This commission is about world-class artists creating brilliant work which will change perceptions of the work of disabled and deaf artists.

Ruth Mackenzie, Cultural Olympiad Director.

Paul Cummins

Paul Cummins

A Derby graduate is among 13 artists with disabilities commissioned - at a cost of £820,000 - to produce work for a groundbreaking cultural programme for the 2012 London Olympics.

Artist Paul Cummins - who graduated from the University of Derby in 2010 with a 2:1 for his BA (Hons) Crafts degree - produces fine ceramic artworks, specialising in creating hundreds of different 'pot flowers', which are used to cover gardens and other open spaces. In May 2010, he decorated part of the grounds of Derbyshire stately home, Chatsworth, with 500 ceramic tulips for its Spring Florabundance festival.

Now Paul is one of 13 artists with disabilities commissioned by the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the UK Arts Councils and the British Council to produce works for 'Unlimited'; a programme celebrating disabled artists' work in the run up to and during the London 2012 Olympics.

Paul will create up to 10,000 individual, handmade blooms. The 'flower heads' are hand-thrown on a potter's wheel, in different sizes, before being coloured and fired, and attached to metal 'stems' of different lengths. The flowers will appear at UK venues selected for their historical or social significance, during 2012.

Paul, 33, of Chesterfield - who has severe dyslexia - said: "I am really pleased that my submission to be one of the Unlimited programme artists has been accepted.

"I will be producing 10,000 flowers to be planted at six locations around the UK, yet to be announced. It's a very large amount of work that should keep me busy for around the next 12 months."

More of Paul's work can be seen on his website: www.paulcumminsceramics.com

The Unlimited programme encourages collaborations between disability-led arts organisations, disabled and deaf artists, producers, and mainstream organisations to culturally celebrate the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Ruth Mackenzie, Cultural Olympiad Director, added: 'This commission is about world-class artists creating brilliant work which will change perceptions of the work of disabled and deaf artists. Congratulations to the commissioned artists and we look forward to seeing how their work develops.'

The Unlimited programme, with a total fund of £3 million, is principally funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor, and is delivered in partnership between London 2012, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council.

For further information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email s.kirby@derby.ac.uk.

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