Four contemporary artists awarded residencies at LEVEL Centre

Since its launch in 2021 the Level Residency Lab, with support from Arts Council England, has supported 24 professional artists who either identify as disabled or whose work has access at its heart. The selected artists, all with ambitious ideas that strengthen Level’s charitable mission to ‘Celebrate the Art that Difference Makes’, will continue to explore contemporary practice in rural Derbyshire. 

Now part of their year-round programme, Level are excited to introduce the new cohort of residency artists from across the England who have been awarded a residency:


During the last thirty years Aaron Williamson has created over 300 performances, videos, installations and publications around the world. He has a PhD in Critical Theory from the University of Sussex and has published widely. Williamson’s work is informed by his experience of becoming Deaf and by a progressive sensibility towards disability. At a University of California lecture in 1998, he coined the term ‘Deaf Gain’ as a counter-emphasis to ’hearing loss’. Williamson’s work has been purchased by the Arts Council England Collection and UK Government Art Collection. He is a Research Fellow in Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University.


Alex Billingham creates work amongst the overlaps of Live art, Experimental Theatre, Film and Digital art. Their trans and disabled body collide and intermingle with their neurodiverse brain which they use to map out better ways of survival, making space for othered identities to exist and thrive. They enjoy an analogue approach to manipulating digital technology that allows them to explore a low-fi visual style that binds grime with glitter to make beautiful work. Alex performs nationally and internationally and is currently developing a new theatrical show Salting the Wound.


Maiya Leeke is a London based Contemporary Dance Artist and Jazz musician. She is a Sadler’s Wells Young Associate 2023/24, was a finalist in BBC Young Dancer 2022, and has an MA from Northern School of Contemporary Dance and was an apprentice with Candoco Dance Company. Her artistic practice is rooted in research exploring the physical language of hope and expression of a voice being more than spoken words. In particular, she is fascinated how the unique contributions of her disability intertwine with being a contemporary dancer and Jazz Saxophonist.


Raquel’s Meseguer work straddles theatre, dance, installation, performative conversations and photo-documentary. She identifies as dis-abled, and works with rest and horizontality as creative impulses. Raquel founded Unchartered Collective in 2016 to create theatrical encounters that explore the lived experience of an invisible disability like chronic pain. Her project A Crash Course in Cloudspotting is an installation and performance, an app, a community and a digital archive for 300 + stories gathered about people’s attempts to rest in public. Raquel also co-founded Lost Dog dance and was Associate Artist Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me), and Juliet + Romeo. She was nominated for a 2023 Olivier Award (Outstanding Achievement in Dance) for her Dramaturgy on Lost Dog’s Ruination. 

Executive Director Kerry Andrews said:

“We’re delighted to welcome four more superb artists from across the UK to Level’s Residency Lab. The quality of applications has been exceptional and we’re looking forward to seeing how research and development time in Derbyshire steers their creative practice over the coming years.”


The residency artists will be taking part in a research study conducted by Therapeutic Arts Researcher Gemma Collard-Stokes from the University of Derby. The study will explore the experiences, practices and professional development of artists who are co-producing visual, performative or digital contemporary work and will be used to inform Level’s residency programme over the next few years.

For more information about the artists and their work with LEVEL, visit the the Level website or follow @levelcentre on social media for updates throughout their residencies. 

Applications for a digital residency will open later this year, more information will be available on the LEVEL website.

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