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

> > Gini

Artist and wordsmith, whose work engages with issues of access, from acknowledged physical needs to perceived symbolic exclusions. After being selected as one of DAO's New Voices in 2011, Gini's online presence has become an integral part of her arts practice

How do you feel about blogging?

7 March 2012

Blog

Birdskull, edited and duplicated in Photoshop to form a pattern in blue shades

On days when I feel quite invisible, even to myself, I have, in the past, found something salvational in my archives; a confirmation, a reassurance of my existence as artist. Surrounded by the evidence of my work I then find inspiration and the need to say more and other. For a year now the blog has been adding to my archive; or has it? It doesn't feel like it works in quite the same way. I'm wondering how other creatives feel about their blogs... When I exhibit artworks, perform or...

Comments: 2

For better or worse

11 April 2012

Blog

Japanese trainline map inspired by the iconic London Underground map.

 I'm planning my next trip to Japan and I hope this time to be bringing back my very own skinny-wheeled chair. Will it actually make a difference to my life? Being in Japan opened my eyes to the realisation that I have accepted too many restrictions without questions; shouldered the burden of inequality as if I deserved it and run out of energy to care. When I acquired my first manual wheelchair, I was overwhelmed with emotion. The gift of mobility was magical and although it took months...

Comments: 1

Tryptychos, Are You

28 April 2012

Blog

This is a photograph of the box, it is open with the lid closest the camera and the words Are You which cannot been seen under the lid, have been added in the bottom right corner.

Mute, but still complaining, the Triptychos waits. On the down, I created it for Shape Open, but circumstances disabled it. It went no-where. I hate waste, so skipping the selection process, I exhibit it here. It consists of three boxes. Are You? Box 1 is oblong, 21x6x4cms, with a domed corrugated lid, it was made in Japan and is predominantly black and white. Inside it contains three flat, round objects; two are sacred Shinto symbols, each repeated three times, but folded to appear single. The...

Comments: 0

Triptychos, Schrodinger's Cat

29 April 2012

Blog

This is the black box with the lid removed so that you can see both the wording at the bottom of the box and the words inside the lid.

Schrodinger's Cat. Box 2 of Triptychos, is black and 15 cms deep. It has six sides, each 7.5 cms. The outside has a texture like fine grosgrain which gives it a silk-like finish. The lid has a 3 cm lip and both box and lid are a smooth black inside. When you remove the lid to peer into the darkness you will see the words read read read read read read read read & read in sky-blue printed around the edges of the floor of the box. There is also a black square in the centre of the floor of the...

Comments: 1

Triptychos, Crow, dammit, Crow

30 April 2012

Blog

The box in this blog is open, the colourful peacocks are on view, so the text in a heart shaped frame has been added in the bottom right hand corner.

Crow, dammit, Crow. Box 3 and the final part of Triptychos  is heart-shaped and Schiaparelli pink, except for the outside of the lid. The box, 21 cms across and 4 cms deep, has a teal coloured lid decorated with colourful peacocks adorned with hearts instead of eyes. When you open the box you will find, not a love letter, but a Christmas card. Mary and Joseph hold each other anxiously as the baby in the wheelchair peers up at them. The angel is of course, adoring; the sheep proprietorial...

Comments: 2

My very own one-woman Shape Open Fringe.

4 May 2012

Blog

pale, fine lines curling, floating on a turquoise background

I once heard Anish Kapoor say something along the lines of "my art works because I have nothing to say" which struck me as very odd. Triptychos Boxed is a glance at the aspirations of faith and mythology from a wheelborne perspective. A collection of previously loved small boxes containing references to aspects of faith, they also focus on the 'get up and go' that, chairborne, I both long for and reject as irrelevant. This is my first conscious attempt to make work that 'has nothing...

Comments: 2

Tokyo inspirations.

23 May 2012

Blog

An old and battered river-barge moored to the Sumida walkway

Today I'm trying out a Japanese wheelchair to take home; not exactly the one I'd planned for or expected, but good. I hope. I sense my eutopia moving closer. Actually Utopia moves like Michael Jackson; the moonwalk ever deceptive. Having the iPad is great, the Brushes app frees me to explore previous frustrated trains of thought and practice, and being here in Tokyo inspires me to make more creative links between image and word, links I had previously been struggling to realise. My search for...

Comments: 0

Semicyber

25 May 2012

Blog

Low branches of an old pine tree held in place with sturdy T-shaped wooden support poles

Lying in bed without my wheels, it occurs to me that I am semicyber, but being without them does not free me from their impact. And these times, out of the public gaze, have no impact on the way society views me. Cyborg or cyberbodied, in the public consciousness a chairborne entity is 'bound' to it's wheels. Here in Japan where I have almost no Japanese, I am freed from any negative feedback regarding my wheelborne presence, by my own lack of understanding. In that way I am freer to create and...

Comments: 0

Symbolic clothes, Kimono and Peter Pan

31 May 2012

Blog

poster showing a yellow Japanese Kimono with red trim and red and blue print of sea and birds, clouds and flowers. four squares of japanese fabric border the top of the poster and exhibition details in Japanese characters, sit in a red border along the bo

Discovering the imposing bronze statue behind Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa reminded me that I really do wish to attend a Kabuki performance. The traditional Japanese building of our local Kabuki theatre is controversially being replaced by a modern brick box and not due to reopen until next year. I'm hoping it will be amazingly accessible. I checked out the alternative theatres and discovered that I had missed the May season. I had hoped to go to a morning performance as the event usually lasts...

Comments: 0

Some other Culture?

18 June 2012

Blog

Black ink sketch of a rather wonkey manual wheelchair on a blue background

I'm back among people I should theoretically have some understanding of and connection to. Back in a culture that should feel familiar, if not comfortable. Back wondering how to rejoice and celebrate difference and diversity while committing to integration and equality of opportunity, comprehension and access. I say I don't want to be seen as different, but what I probably mean is that I don't want my difference to be seen as alien; I still need to be accepted as me; an individual with unique...

Comments: 0

Tweet failure; 'Headlining' disconnection.

21 June 2012

Blog

photograph of a white glass vase with grey stripes, it has a pleasingly plump balloon shape . a flare at the neck and sits against a bright pink background.

Gini blogs about the Headlining Disability Shape event at Southbank Centre. Has anyone else compared twitter to a glass of wine? Wheelborne, a glass in hand stops me in my tracks; wheeling requires both hands. So does tweeting. Even when I'm in the powerchair one hand is occupied with the controls and moving around  requires constant re-evaluation of the geography. So I have to stop still to drink or tweet. Wheelless seem to stop anywhere, not even bothering to tuck themselves into...

Comments: 2

The Chairborne Identity

4 July 2012

Blog

close-up photo of the inside of an open heart-shaped box. The box is bright pink, the background black and white

I should give you my car-keys, you could park my car anyday. That's amazing, I couldn't do that with a wheelchair. You really can get around in that tiny space, well done.   And I boil. Spontaneous anger drives me to growl: Carkeys? Hand over your spine, I've got wheels of my own. You are so clever walking; I couldn't, not with those legs! And: Congratulations, you really do work those legs well, amazing you don't even fall over...   There is no real logic to this rudeness. I wasn't...

Comments: 0

Having choices = being human

5 July 2012

Blog

With the open heart-shaped box as background, there is infront of it an NHS wheelchair and a yellow ferrari

My new skinny-wheeled powerchair doesn't seem to be fussed about getting its controls wet; I'm starting to believe that they might actually be weatherproof. Chunky-chair would splutter and stop if I neglected to wrap the joystick and control panel in plastic protection. Chunky's wheels however would take rain in their stride, and were never phased by leaves on the road. Not so with the skinny-wheels. That slightly oily surface that glosses city streets on rainy days is a factor to be reckoned...

Comments: 1

Society: the accident that traumatises.

6 July 2012

Blog

The open heart-shaped box of the previous two blogs is repeated here with the words 'wheelborne was here' floating in the foreground

On the road to equality, I often feel strangely disempowered by the process of Disability Equality Training. Why is it only the temporarily non-disabled who get offered a training opportunity? And why only on occasions? I rather fancy the idea of some training myself. Not exactly the same kind of course, but there must be skills I could practice in order to combat the negative effects society has on my moral and there must be advanced skills I could use to influence or change the mindset of...

Comments: 1

Evolving Jessie - the body project

21 August 2012

Blog

On a black background, a profile of Jessie's white fabrik head with a long root growing from her spine over her head and onto her cheek.

Jessie is looking good. Removing her hair was quite traumatic and I pondered the bald skull a while before deciding that it needed a little remodelling.   On the floor, a half-stuffed torso has joined the various body parts, I need more wadding before I can go further with the sculpture; it is hungry on wadding and I ferry the stuff home frequently. Tied to the back of my powerchair it gives a bulky profile that no-one would guess is a new body in the making.   Rooted people grow on...

Comments: 1

More thinking, shaping, stitching...

25 August 2012

Blog

On a dark grey background, a close-up of soft sculpture heads, Kouros and Koure leaning into eachother

Back in 2006 'Bare Boards and Blue Stilettos' was an uncomfortable installation immersing the audience in faulty communication and uncertain access. I began working on it in 2005, it was my first major piece of Disability Art. Fanny the (animated) wheelchair, never made it beyond BB&BS, but Jessie...   Jessie seeks to be 'People Like You' - she was my first soft sculpture, born out of despair (unlike Kouros and Koure), reaching down into the depths to make her connections. When '(it...

Comments: 1

The Incredible Presence of a Remarkable Absence

10 November 2012

Blog

Upper body shot of the four dancers facing left, against a black background; one wearing a hat; one arm outstretched pointing

Lila Dance. Saturday 10th November, Peter Catmull Theatre, Hythe: instepdance.co.uk Thursday 29th November, Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth: paviliondance.org.uk   The Incredible Presence of a Remarkable Absence is the wonderfully apt title of Lila Dance's new 50 minute re-imagining of the world created by Samuel Becket in Waiting For Godot. Entering the black cube of Salisbury Arts Centre's Main Space after the interval, the semblance of low mist at early dawn swirled from the dust covered...

Comments: 0

2013 Take Two...

26 January 2013

Blog

Mostly black and white drawing: a jumble of horses with a hint of fire in their manes, moving through shattered space

The past is a rogue horse. It stands grazing harmlessly until I am so familiar with it lurking in my background that I hardly see it, until something spooks it and away it goes. It rips through my present with heart thumping and erratic speed, flailing hooves tearing rifts in my careful togetherness. And I cannot watch it go, but must follow. And match. We trash countless blind alleys while I attempt to nudge this snorting black nightmare closer to something solid and dependable like a wall....

Comments: 1

Getting back into the process

3 February 2013

Blog

Pen and ink drawing, random bits of bones, section of face with an eye. Black and white.

Distance is key. Moving away from intense emotional involvement with a piece of work, focusing elsewhere, will often reveal unexpected omissions and surprises both good and bad. This is a process I like to be in control of, so when I feel myself being torn away by random circumstance, I cling on desperately until I am forced to admit the untimely break. I make, I write, I draw to feel sane, to feel alive and in communion with something other and far greater than me. There are always...

Comments: 1