From the Medieval to the 21st Century – a weekend of free Live Art events on the streets and in the surroundings of Much Wenlock
During early May 2012, Much Wenlock in Shropshire became home to an exciting Disability Arts led festival entitled M21, organised and promoted by DASH. As part of this festival Simon produced a performance which featured an extensive outdoor projection mapped event, supported with live music by the Soprano Denise Leigh who went onto headline at the opening of the London 2012 Paralympics in London, her accordion playing husband and hidden animatronics. After under taking a 3D laser scan, undertaken by Paul Burrows of the wonderful Lecia Geosystems, of Much Wenlock's town centre church, Simon and his team created 15 minute's of complex projection mapped material, using two different projectors supplied by the arts organisation Lumen of Leeds. M21 was commissioned by the Unlimited programme, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Unlimited encouraged collaborations and partnerships between disability arts organisations, disabled and deaf artists, producers and mainstream organisations to celebrate the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and to create original and exciting works.
Disability Arts Online reviewer commented:
"For me the highlight of the weekend was Simon McKeown’s ‘Light Cast – Milburgas Modern Miracle’. The performance included 3D projections, hidden animated creatures and a wonderful soprano, Denise Leigh, accompanied by an accordion player."
The Medieval town of Much Wenlock was the inspiration for the modern Olympic Games.M21 brought together the history of this small Shropshire town with the politics of Live Art over the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2012.
M21’s line up of specially commissioned performance works ranged from spectacular outdoor projections onto Holy Trinity Church by Simon Mckeown, to the Mayor of Much Wenlock sitting for a public portrait by Tanya Raabe, Ann Whitehurst training herself to be herself, Sean Burn performing a pentathlon with a difference, The Disabled Avant-Garde taking to the streets as ‘the wayward mascots’ Manlock and Wendeville, Noëmi Lakmaier presenting herself as a human baton in a 400m relay race, the Invalid Film Crew from Croatia exploring the orientation of blind and deaf people in a foreign country, Alan McLean and Arty Party inviting audiences to join them on a search for a missing artist, and manifestos on land rights from The Wandering Jew.
The overall M21 festival was covered and promoted by the UK's prestigious and hugely successful Live Art Development Agency who went on to produce a booklet and DVD about the overall event as well as featuring it on their website.
Work from the festival went on to be featured at the South Bank Centre in London during the Unlimited Festival.