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Taking Shape: Introducing Shaun Fallows

Last year we received funding to develop Taking Shape, a new artist development programme. This was a paid opportunity for 6 established creative practitioners living and working locally to receive valuable training and support to develop their work with communities. Over the last few months, they have received training in project planning, facilitation, evaluation, environmental responsibility, first aid and safeguarding all whilst being supported to develop their own community projects.

As Taking Shape progresses, we thought it was about time we introduced you to the practitioners we have had the pleasure of working with over the last few months.


Shaun Fallows

Poet and Performer

Describe your artistic practice:

Shaun Fallows is a poet who performs across the borough and has self-published several poetry books over the years. Across his poetry is a wide range of themes from identity as a wheelchair user and frustrations with access to travelling anecdotes and comedic happenings in his life.

Why did you apply for the Taking Shape Artist Development Programme?

I applied for talking shape because the nature of poetry and open mic events tends to be self-focused and individual. I realise I've gained a huge amount in terms of my development from this but I would like to help someday pass that on. I still feel that disabilities and able-bodied don't mix freely and know enough about each others lives, I'd like to help to close that social gap.

What do you think of the programme so far?

I have enjoyed it, particularly seeing and trying other people's activities and practices. It's encouraging to know the networking is out there and although our paths may differ slightly, the challenges remain similar.

Who are you inspired by?

I'm inspired by Motown and 60s soul artists like Ray Charles and, Stevie Wonder. Also artists like Ian Dury, from a British working class, gritty point of view. Poetry, like music, remains largely dominated by ableism and when I begin to feel lost and that I have no place in this field, I remember that these people also felt the same and they came across and through regardless. They did so with class and great articulation, bitterness didn't win or become a factor.

You can follow Shaun on Instagram here.

Check back next week to meet the next artist involved in our Taking Shape Artist Development Programme!


This programme is supported with funding from Arts Council England, Down to Earth and Wigan Council.


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