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> > 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

'People Like You' - the exhibition coming to Salisbury Arts Centre in March.

23 February 2013

Blog

Words from Creatives in Con.Text hand drawn in black ink on white

Creatives in Con.Text, the work from which the idea for this exhibition exhibition evolved, is awaiting further conversation with a printer, Sue Austin and Liz Crow are finessing 'Creating the Spectacle!' (film) and 'Bedding Out' respectively; 'People Like You' is coming together. It's time to think about design; the positioning of the artwork in the space so that the whole will say more than the sum of its parts. The five...

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Getting back into the process

3 February 2013

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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...

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2013 Take Two...

26 January 2013

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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....

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Fons: naming the new soft sculpture and wondering what life is all about...

16 December 2012

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a frozen, jagged circle of ice looking rather like a crown. White, transluscent, with some small trapped pieces of fern, on a black background

Fons? Fons Memorabilium  Universi: source of notable information about the universe, a Renaissance encyclopaedia.   Fons: an alternative spelling of Fontus, a Roman water deity.   Fons: a spring, a fountain and, by extension, the source of something.   Fons: the bottom (lowest part).   Watching water rushing into my driveway, but cosy indoors - sheltering from the rain, I persevere with the soft sculpture. Kosta, awaiting a metal pin in his skull,  looks down his...

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More on the preposterous assumption...

3 December 2012

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close up of some of my dark wood chopsticks on a warm and friendly orange background

The preposterous assumption that just because some people can get out of wheelchairs and climb flights of steps it's ok to reckon that we all can, has been preying on my mind. With more and more people buying mobility equipment for a variety of reasons that may or may not be associated with disabilty, I wonder how Disability Equality trainers cope with this issue.   I'm well aware that the general public do not register the difference between wheelchairs and mobility scooters: wheels are...

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Grounds for preposterous assumption.

30 November 2012

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A row of tools: screwdrivers, spanner etc.

The door is open, reversing I seek to bump my way up the small step. It is painful and I get stuck on my first attempt, but this is the only way in and I persevere. I check out the two rooms I can get to, but there is no-one.   Hello!   There is no reply. I am actually three minutes late, having had to find a wheelchair accessible route around a flooded subway. I told everyone I would be here for this second consultation, but there is no one waiting. I roll as far as I can towards the...

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The Incredible Presence of a Remarkable Absence

10 November 2012

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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...

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Origin and Insertion.

28 October 2012

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Purple text on white ground, this hard to decipher textual art reads: I like French wine and Italian food, love reggae and foreign language films; Ibsen's plays and no. i don't relate to Disability Arts, I'm not disabled.

Having trouble with the precise positioning of Kosta's pecs, I decided to try Google. Before beginning on the life-size figures I did do a lot of research, which included borrowing medical tomes and studying anatomy on-line. However I never actually Googled a specific body part, and here at my first attempt found apparently exactly what I needed: Origin and Insertion, including details of the specific ribs these muscles are attached to and how they are attached. This is particularly appropriate...

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Naming the new soft sculpture.

13 September 2012

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Soft  sculpture head, unfinished, white fabric on a black background, with the curved sewing needle still protruding from his jaw.

Kosta. The 'new man' will be Kosta; not from coffee Costa, but from costa, the botanical noun for rib. Kosta, deriving from Kouros like Eve from Adam's rib, is in essence a clone. Physically, he should still be recognisable as having the same basic body shape and measurements as Kouros; maybe it is possible that he could still be classed as one of the Kouroi, but he will lack the classic pose. Kouros, referencing Venus the classic beauty, has no arms. Kosta also has no legs.   Like Kouros,...

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My 2012 day (does include a performance of Menage a Trois by Claire Cunningham)

9 September 2012

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Duplicate of the Demons image from the previous blog, this row of crutches now has candle wicks with flames burning from five of them.

Shambolic as it turned out to be, my London 2012 day was an accidental success, so sitting in the dark with a dubious view of the Queen Elizabeth Hall stage, the edge of my apprehension was blunted by an ok exhaustion. My first impressions of a group of murderous sticks served to reinforce the stereotypes generated by my crutches Fred and George; I sent frequent glances towards the putative security of the exits. Nameless as Claire Cunningham's crutches were, they still managed to sign Fred and...

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Confronting demons.

7 September 2012

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a row of crutches, just the bottom section, black and white, with the word sheep sliding very faintly over them in red.

Meet Fred. Meet George.   I hate them both. Totally interchangeable hatred; one left, one right, mirror twins. Totally interchangeable names. I knew a man who hated sheep, he said that sheep have only one raison d'etre which is to die in the most inconvenient place possible. Fred and George must have been sheep in a previous life.   Now they are just sticks. Metal sticks with plastic cuffs and hand-shaped branches, whose sole purpose is to crash to the floor as frequently and...

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Nightmare on Bay Site:

31 August 2012

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early evening view over crowds to an overhead acrobat on the beach at weymouth for the Olympic Opening ceremony

Fleeing corridors of dark paperwork, out into a sandy grey void, I am tossed in the silence of confused noise, into a maelstrom of tumbling toupees, wigs, and teeth torn from their roots. The conjuring of the wind exceeds all expectation; toothless heroes of confused origin live and die in its breath. The dirty old man snogs scantily clad fantasies with mouthfuls of sandblasted chips. Cold whistles into motionless bones, and the void consumes fleeting distractions. The lost are torn apart. Wild...

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'Creating the Spectacle!' - poolside.

30 August 2012

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On a blue underwater water background,  swirling lines of hair float as a background to the words 'Underwater', fomed from images of bubbles, and 'ConText' formed from sticks and stones

    How does it make you feel? The wheelless man with the microphone nods to his cameraman and leans towards me. I hesitate. The freedom... he prompts. And I eventually respond.   What I really want to do is commandeer the microphone and turn the tables. You see I already know about the freedom. Being wheelborne is my freedom. 'Creating the Spectacle,' is not to be confined to inspiring the wheelborne, it is very much aimed at changing the attitudes of the wheelless. It is not...

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On Borg, Diversity and ways of knowing

27 August 2012

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On a black background, two shimmery translucent white, stitched rectangular pockets, containing small white blobs that represent unborn embryos

Epistemology has evolved via Web 2.0 (Wikipedia!) to entertain the departure from the classical perception of what is accepted as knowledge, to a collective perception of a shifting range of possibilities of knowing.   Inching back from my anxieties about social networking, I'm wondering about the positive possibilities it flags up for the whole issue of diversity. If Diversity is a concept currently shaped by classical ways of knowing, by the human capacity of mind to encompass variations...

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More thinking, shaping, stitching...

25 August 2012

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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...

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Evolving Jessie - the body project

21 August 2012

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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...

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The Creative Case for... NDACA

20 August 2012

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Close-up photo of a whole walnut, probably the first whole nut I've ever cracked, with layer adjustments, that give it a warm translucent glow and some moody blue-greens

When it comes to fancy dress I think I make a pretty good Borg Queen. And if the conversation dries, I can always announce: 'Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated' - which brings me neatly to the question of integration and, whilst I'm stitching sculptures, my current concern: 'Will Integration kill Disability Arts?' Are we only here for the interim between barbarian past and enlightened future? Will the real or imagined possibility of being embraced and valued fragment any hopes...

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Commissioned conversations, another Con.Text

18 August 2012

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Portrait of the soft sculpture figure where Photoshop has enabled rich green, purple-pink, blue and yellow colours and a quirky misalignment of layers

 I am totally looking forward to making an official start on my DAO Diverse Perspectives Commission conversations! After sitting in residence at Salisbury Arts Centre last year and creating my first conversation/ text work they were keen to see me develop the possibilities. Initial talks with the then Director of Salisbury Arts Centre focused on a visual presention and People Like You, the exhibition, began to take shape. I have already started on the preliminary writing, but it is...

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Soft Sculpture - body project

14 August 2012

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four white fabric nipples arranged in a square on faded grey decking, seen between blossoms of a whit agapanthus plant.

The agapanthus in my green and white garden has never looked more stunning. A jungle of green shades and textures surrounds and inspires my outdoors working. Sun warms my bones and enables these quiet moments when pain takes second place. Indoors my floor is strewn with body parts. And Jessie has finally lost her hair. I have been reluctant to remove the long black dreads, but since Kouros, my soft sculpture figures have had no hair; Jessie, who is being worked on from (what were) the toes up,...

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The body project.

29 July 2012

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Close-up portrait of Kouros's stitched white muslin face, on grainy background

The Hayward Rat (Rattus Flattus) has proved positively inspirational. There is work queuing up to be let out of my head and there are days when this queue and clamour paralyse my choosing process. The Hayward Rat has brought Kouros and the body project right up to the front of the queue. The body project aims to resurrect Jessie from 'Bare Boards and Blue Stilettos'. At the time, she made dramatic impact, but I felt she needed to be a little more explicit. I was asking people to use their...

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London 2012: 3

23 July 2012

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The very flat, mummified body of a splayed rat, pale against dark grey paving

Cultural Exhaustion eventually overpowered our group and a relaxing trip down Regent Street was prescribed to restore our energy. Out in the commercial world Chinese texts popped up here and there, 'made in China' clothes and objects brought soothing familiarity and the stress of strangeness receded somewhat. Unable to help with the search for typically English food, I accompanied my friends into PizzaHut, where we battled our way through the complexities of ordering food we might recognise and...

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London 2012: 2

22 July 2012

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Two shiny bluebottle flies and one other larger black unidentified specimen sitting on the paving, in the sun, after feasting on dead mouse.

Via Westminster Bridge and a complex of old buildings with a clock tower, we attempted to reach Trafalgar Square. Olympic Detours and fenced off areas took us through Whitehall and a photo opportunity with some gentle, patient horses standing beside a big label warning that they might kick or bite. Along our route, a long, long queue of London taxis, progressing slowly and very noisily with much horn honking, was the cause of much laughter. The prominent Olympic Countdown caused mild amusement,...

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London 2012 warts and all: 1

21 July 2012

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a rather monochrome photograph of some London street pigeons

Visiting London with Chinese friends seemed like the perfect opportunity to see the place as a visitor with almost no English; apparently it's supposed to be especially well geared-up for visitors right now. Approaching the Capital by train, I was a little shocked to discover that my ticket was the most expensive of our party since I did not seem eligible for any of the offers available to the ambulant travellers. Buying a ticket for a wheelborne traveller, did not alert station staff to the...

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Society: the accident that traumatises.

6 July 2012

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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...

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Having choices = being human

5 July 2012

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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...

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