Warning: mysql_fetch_assoc() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /var/sites/d/disabilityarts.org/public_html/includes/behaviours/comments_replies.php on line 123
Deborah Caulfield's blog - disability arts online
This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit disabilityarts.online.

Disability Arts Online

> > Deborah Caulfield

I'm an inconsistent artist, hugely distracted by life. I create in a variety of media including words, pictures, food and laundry. I do it because I can't seem to not. Sometimes it's fun.

Reasons to look forward to watching crips swear and lark about on stage next week.

7 February 2012

Blog

Chailey boys with sticks and crutches for guitars, circa 1960

The critics loved Reasons To Be Cheerful first time around. The Guardian said: 'The stage gives off a million volts.' Time Out opined: 'Rough, ready and bl**dy brilliant.' Even The Daily Mail managed a compliment: 'It's got a heart of gold.' Aah, ain't that nice? So, the Chailey kid came good. Well, nothing unusual in that. I won't mention any names (they might not thank me) but there are quite few of us Chailey kids in and about the (disability) movement....

Comments: 5

Symbolism, memory and truth - picturing the past.

13 March 2012

Blog

Two circus clowns visit Pierrot in hospital

For decades I have wanted to write stories and paint pictures about my childhood. I've made many attempts, but with little sucess. Many old photographs have survived, particularly of my parents visiting me in hospital and Chailey Heritage. In the early ones, I'm very ill. Nearly all of them show big smiles and hugs. Memories tell  it differently. Copying photographs can be pointless and dreary. But recently, while doing just that, something unusual happened. As I was drawing, I kept asking...

Comments: 7

Every picture tells a story, but whose, and about what?

26 March 2012

Blog

Picture showing a wardrobe and fish against a yellow and blue background.

About this picture … The background is a sunny beach. The yellow represents the sand; the blue is the sea and sky. The wardrobe represents my mother. She had a concern for physical appearance that bordered on obsession. She spent a lot of time on her hair, clothes and make-up, trying to look glamorous; but only when she went out. The fish represents me. As a child I was criticised a lot by adults, particularly my mother, especially about the way I looked, but also about what I said, how...

Comments: 4

Hot summers, sticky sweets, and not so golden days.

25 March 2012

Blog

Sweet Sunday

This picture is the latest in what I believe will be a long series, the working title of which is ‘Sundays’. Whereas the first one was hand drawn and painted, Sweet Sunday was created digitally, with a camera and scanner to get the images into the computer. I used a combination of  Serif and Adobe software to edit the images and create the picture. As previously described, Sunday visiting in the institution was special, extraordinary and transient. Visitors invariably brought...

Comments: 4

Lost and found: An old school doodle.

29 April 2012

Blog

Doodle from my school days.

I’ve lived in so many places; I’m amazed anything important has survived. Drawings, oil paintings, sketch books - lost, stolen, destroyed (by me) or just gone… A few oil paintings were recently discovered in the form of two and a quarter inch square negatives. I hope to have these digitally rescued soon. The earliest surviving example of my artistic output is this scribble, from my skooldaze. I was about 12 years old. The picture (scanned and edited in Photoshop) shows the...

Comments: 2

Blogging about swimming for the time being.

20 August 2012

Blog

Deborah Caulfield wearing swimming goggles

The build-up to the Paralympics has begun, with nightly programmes on Channel 4. It’s extremely exciting. So I’m quietly reflecting on the business of disabled people doing sport, and feeling rather in awe but mostly baffled and untouched. So much rushing about. At school (Chailey Heritage) no one did sport. It was ‘games’, occasionally football and rounders, but always a lot of cricket. School (boys) against Masters and so on. People being bowled over with their legs...

Comments: 7

I am an artist. Not in so many words.

3 November 2012

Blog

Digital photo collage and self portrait

A job became available so I jumped at it. You know how it is. Life is long while money is short. If you’ve got health, you’ve got wealth, said my Jewish aunties, followed by a chorus of approval from the entire rest of the family. Of course, they meant good health, not just any old health. In those days, health was what you had if you weren’t ill. Nowadays governments say we must have health and well being, healthy lifestyles, healthy relationships and a healthy bank balance....

Comments: 3