A young life on the spectrum: a story of yearning and optimism

WA Youth Theatre Company, in collaboration with DADAA, presents the much-anticipated revamp of Adam Kelly’s award-winning show about living with autism. 

“Who here hasn’t been rejected?” asks Adam Kelly, creator of ARCO. “This is my story of endurance, learning, adaptation, and optimism. Everyone can identify with it and have some fun at the same time.”  

ARCO Snr, which stands for Autism, Rejection, Celibacy and Optimism, is back this October for a limited season after premiering at Fringe World 2020.

This delightful show, enhanced by the rousing animations of local artist Ben Hollingsworth, takes a heartfelt look at the life and struggles of a young autistic gentleman trying to make connections with the people and world around him. Winner of the ECU Performing Arts Award, Adam gently asks the audience to consider life from his perspective.

“Autism itself is really difficult to explain. It’s not simply something that effects how I function; it is… how I am wired. Asking me how autism feels like is pretty much like asking a fish if it knows it’s in water. I guess that as I am autistic, but adapted slightly to the neurotypical world, metaphorically I am neither fully a fish (autistic) nor a land creature (neurotypical) but rather an amphibian.” – Adam Kelly, 2019, reflecting on the message of ARCO Snr.

ARCO Snr, a compelling personal story of yearning and optimism, will play at the DADAA Theatre in Fremantle from the 5-9 October 2021.

Credits: Written by Adam Kelly and James Berlyn. Directed by James Berlyn. Performed by Adam Kelly with animation by Ben Hollingsworth. Sound design: Tristen Parr and lighting design: Pete Young. Artist Mentor Johanna Keyser.

This season of ARCO Snr has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Beckoning for closeness | Opening Event

Mayma Awaida and Tony Sarre

In collaboration with Tom Allum and Lincoln Mackinnon

Undermining the foundations of the ‘visual’ arts, Blindness lends itself to a deeply embodied reading of space. Through this lens, echoes, voices, and light have expansive potential beyond simply creating an atmosphere: they generate important microcosms of information which contribute to the energy of a place.

Beckoning for closeness toys with the physicality of sound to create multiple audio circuits within the gallery, each representing a unique facet of blind navigation including, diegetic sound, description, and conversation. Uniting aural, tactile, and visual mediums, the work collapses the distance that is usually assumed between an artwork and its audience, and instead invites participants to attune their senses and engage with attentiveness and consideration.

Beckoning for closeness is Mayma Awaida and Tony Sarre’s first exhibition and an expanded iteration of their audio piece, Rethinking the Image which was commissioned by Perth Festival 2021, and later developed through an artistic residency at Art on The Move.

RSVP Essential | Register here

Easy Read: Beckoning for closeness

Image: Mayma Awaida and Tony Sarre, Circulation, 2021. Courtesy the artists.

A New Calibre

DADAA and Gallery Central are proud to support Ability WA to present A New Calibre, an exhibition celebrating 70 years of Ability WA proudly supporting Western Australian families.

Curated by Jennifer Amram, this exhibition presents an energetic array of paintings, digital works, sculpture, and photography by 16 leading artists from WA with a lived experience of disability.

Robert Anson, Philip Baker, Marla Bishop, Rosemary Broun, Christopher Hummel, Jane Ibbitson, Lindy Johnson, Dylan Madurun, Rene Martinson, John Morrison, Clinton Price, Mark Rae, Marie Tierney, Mandy White, Kevin Wilson and Sandra Yaxley.

Exhibition runs July 5–24, 2021

Gallery Central
12 Aberdeen Street

Gallery hours:
Weekdays: 11am-4.30pm
Saturdays: 12-2.30pm

This event is kindly sponsored by Lavan, a proudly independent Western Australian law firm.

image: Rob Anson, Self Portrait – Hidden Tiger Series, (detail), 2021, photo: Maree Laffan

The Bowling Alley

Charlie Paganin, Trinity Williams, Declan White

The Bowling Alley brings together three early career artists, Charlie Paganin, Trinity Williams and Declan White in a showcase of new directions and practices from DADAA’s next generation of artists.

Moving worlds, unique figuration, intensive patterning and brilliant colour set these artists apart. At times abstract and deeply personal, this collection of works offers a momentary glimpse into the dynamic, confident and energetic practices of artists working from DADAA’s studios.

More information here

DADAA Gallery
92 Adelaide St, Fremantle

Gallery hours Tuesday – Friday | 10am – 4pm

Image: Declan White, The Bowling Alley, 2018, ink on paper, 56 x 76.5 cm. Courtesy the artist.

TAP [Tactile Art Project] | Vision Awareness Training

As part of TAP [Tactile Art Project] exhibition at Midland Junction Arts Centre, join the DADAA’s Access All Arts team and consultants for a training session to upskill in vision impairment access and awareness.

The training session includes a demonstration of a Tactile Tour led within the current exhibition TAP (Tactile Art Project).

FREE | bookings essential

Book Here

Fri 18 Jun | 10am – 12.30pm | Suitable for 18+ yrs
Midland Junction Arts Centre | 276 Great Eastern Hwy, Midland WA

image: Greg Harler, untitled (detail), 2021, textiles, 223 x 50cm

TAP [Tactile Art Project] | Tactile tours

Join DADAA’s Access All Arts team for a tactile tour of Midland Junction Arts Centre’s current exhibitions TAP (Tactile Art Project), Blue Beautiful and CRITICAL TIME. Tactile Tours are designed to introduce visitors with disability to new ways of experiencing and enjoying visual arts through informed discussion, description and touch.

If a support worker is joining you please book an additional ticket. 

Sat 19 Jun | 11:30am – 1pm (for people who are blind or vision impaired only)
Fri 25 Jun  | 11:30am – 12.30pm (for people with disability)
Sat 26 Jun | 11:30am – 1pm (for people who are blind or vision impaired only)

Suitable for all ages | FREE | bookings essential

Book Here

Midland Junction Arts Centre | 276 Great Eastern Hwy, Midland WA

image:  Oliver Max Taylor, Hideaway (detail), 2020, glazed ceramic and LED lights, 110 x 90 cm. Courtesy the artist.

The Bowling Alley | Opening Event

The Bowling Alley brings together three early career artists, Charlie Paganin, Trinity Williams and Declan White in a exhibition and showcase of new directions and practices from DADAA’s next gen of artists.

Moving worlds, unique figuration, intensive patterning and brilliant colour set these artists apart. At times abstract and deeply personal, this collection of works offers a momentary glimpse into the dynamic, confident and energetic practices of artists working from DADAA’s studios.

RSVP Essential | Register here

Heritage Perth Weekend 2021/ Boorloo Kwedjang Bardip Yanginy

As part of the Heritage Perth Weekend 2021, DADAA’s Access All Arts Program is providing Tactile Tours and Audio Description services for several events.

April 16 | 5pm – 6.30pm

Dirty Deeds Resurrected 

Presented by the City of Perth and Genrefonix

Hosted by Perth historical heavyweights, Moondyne Joe & Governor John Hampton, arch enemies back in Perth’s early days of the 1860’s. Somewhat of an ‘odd couple’, the pair will use quirky anecdotes, tales of mischief, song and crowd participation on the ‘Dirty Deeds’ Theatre Tour, to activate the veritable ‘beating heart’ of Perth, WA, that is Cathedral Square.

On this tour, you will discover; who the Governor was that took extreme pleasure in the pain of wayward early settlers, how was it that the housewives of Perth in the 1920’s were almost overcome by the scourge that the new wave of cinema presented and what was the cause of the riots outside the State Building? All this and more will be revealed in a unique, highly entertaining, theatrical tour of Cathedral Square like no other!

Suitable for ages 16+
When: Tactile Tour 5pm | Audio Description 5.45pm to 6.30pm
Venue: Starts at the Perth Town Hall (undercroft)
Bookings are essential | Contact or 0400111018

April 17 | 11am – 1pm

Tactile Tour of Perth’s Number One Fire Station

Wander through Perth’s Number One Fire Station and learn about 120 years of history with displays honouring the stories of Perth’s firefighting past. View the many types of appliances ranging from hand-drawn hose reels and pumps to horse-drawn steamers. DADAA’s guide will take you on a tour where you will learn aspects of the lives of firefighters through the decades. Don a firefighter’s uniform and climb into an actual working fire engine.

Suitable for all ages
When: Tactile Tours 11am – pm
VenueDFES Education and Heritage Centre, Perth’s Number One Fire Station, 25 Murray St, Perth WA 6000
Bookings are essential | Contact or 0400111018

Sculpture by the Sea 2021 | Access and Inclusion Program

Sculpture by the Sea returns to Cottesloe from March 5 –  22 and, once again, DADAA’s Access All Arts program is coordinating tactile tours, aged care and community inclusion tours and Auslan interpretation for select events.

Bookings essential |


Experience and enjoy some of the ‘safe to touch’ sculptures through interactive and informative tours with trained guides.

Weekday Tours
Monday 8 – Friday 19 March | 10.15am & 11.30am

Evening tours
Thursdays 11 & 18 March | 6pm 

Weekend tours
Saturday 13 March | 10.15am & 11.30am

All Access & Inclusion Tours last approximately one hour.


Media Launch
Friday 5 March | 11am

Tactile Tour
Wednesday 17 March | 10.15am

Exhibition closing ceremony and announcement of the EY Peoples’ Choice and  Kids’ Choice awards
Sunday 21 March | 2pm 


This program will specifically look to address the negative effects of COVID on aged care residents.

In partnership with Lotterywest, DADAA and aged care providers, a structured program of assisted community access will be delivered for up to 500 aged care residents including transport to the exhibition and a guided tour tailored to participants abilities. Later in the year, a sculpture workshop will be provided to the participants at their aged care providers’ residence.

Morning Tours
Monday 8 March – Saturday 13 March and Monday 15 March – Friday 19 March | 10am and 11.15am

Twilight Tours
6pm Thursdays 11 & 18 March

All Access & Inclusion Tours last approximately one hour.

Bookings essential |

For more information visit

photo: Jess Wyld, 2018

Fair Isle | Artist Workshop with Darcy Palladino

Join Darcy Palladino in a workshop interweaving traditional crafting techniques of textile dyeing and quilting with natural materials and local flora gathered from the Perth region.

Darcy Palladino is a local emerging artist, focusing primarily on natural dyeing, patchwork, and quilting. With over a decade of traditional quilting experience, Palladino has spent the last year investigating local flora as a source of textile dye. Through this form of making, she is implored to build on the knowledge possessed by her wider community. Primarily self-taught, Palladino’s practice focusses on knowledge sharing and creating communities of slow-crafters.  

This workshop is presented by DADAA in association with the Fair Isle exhibition. 

FREE | Registration essential | BOOK TICKETS HERE

All equipment and materials provided.

Image: Courtesy Darcy Palladino.