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

Origin and Insertion.

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 as I'm trying out a new way of putting the figures together, with all the defining muscles now underneath one skin layer. The problem of insertion was foxing me and resulting in Kosta's pectoralis major looking unnaturally high on his chest. Well, we weren't quite talking about the same thing, but I did actually find the Wikipedia article very helpful, and so did Kosta.

 

I'm having to work hard to stay focused on the sculptures because the Con.Text conversations are beginning to form themselves into text which is demanding visual interpretation. This, though very labour intensive, is fun and quite addictive, whereas the soft sculptures are physically painful to produce, but something I really need to do.

And then of course there is all the arts admin stuff, life, love, house'n home to keep balanced. These have to be glory days.

 

Out here, on the very fine edge

where pain, exhaustion, depression, are

held in precarious balance, I

risk being totally destabilised

by the ignorance of the witch-hunt

determined to demonise my need;

to expose a criminal cheat in the

monumental effort I make to

present myself as equal,

intelligent, creative,

attractive and

human.

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 28 October 2012

Last modified by Gini, 28 October 2012

Naming the new soft sculpture.

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, Koure has no arms. Nothing at her shoulders, just the frayed edges of her torso; arms are not definitive of Kouroi in the same way that legs are. Kouros and Koure stand in the classic pose. Without one leg to place slightly in front of the other, will Kosta need a new label?

Where will this difference, this diversity, take Kosta? The imagination that might replace limbs will not have free reign, my imagination will already have made visible the roots Kosta has grown to survive.

Where might this take you? What kinds of links will influence how the 'new man' is described?

He is only soft sculpture, but how might Kosta be classified?

 

So many people I talk to seem to feel that the Paralympic classification system, Lexi, has given them permission to be more open with their curiosity and speculation. Some of the discussion has been very blunt.

A part of my 2012 legacy that I cannot ignore...

 

 

Where does humanity end?

How many variations

do we need before we

decide to draw the line?

To offer less, expect less;

to look away instead.

How much life can be

cut away

before we embody

the notion

of disability

with a less than human

right to equality?

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 13 September 2012

Last modified by Gini, 12 February 2013

More thinking, shaping, stitching...

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 might be disability, but) it's Still Life' was exhibited at Holton Lee in 2011, Jessie was intended to join Kouros and Koure, lying in the ground beyond them, her searching roots just beginning to show.

I began working on the roots, but somehow it never came together. I had moved far from Jessie's dark despair and I kept wondering if it was all too personal. Would Jessie speak to anyone else? I tried to put her back in storage, but as soon as 'People Like You' began taking shape, Jessie put herself back on the agenda.

 

Jessie began in the conflict between my personal, private identity and the face I wore in public. Jessie, unable to stand, sought an identity through symbolic roots, roots burrowing into some other state of presence.

Stitching, I am drawn to link the roots I'm now creating with mobile phones (rooted androids, superusers) and social networking. Reaching into our own darkness, roots become symbolic of the search for connectedness and symbols of that never-in-the-present state most people seem to be practicing.

 

Between posting, pinning, texting and tweeting, my thought for the day is that social networking could be the Borg and we are all being assimilated, willingly. Eagerly assuming that we are each expressing our unique individuality, are we in fact creating one monstrous identity where each one of us is just one more line of code? Or is it something else?

 

 

Lying face in the grass

arms reaching out, fingers

rooting into dark earth,

I am aware of life past;

hearts that have rotted away

from disintegrating bones;

breath that still whispers love words,

lust that still moans desire;

reaching out, seeking me, pulling

me down, calling me in.

And I am aware of

the love lifting me back

home, the seismic shift

in my life, my destiny.

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 25 August 2012

Last modified by Gini, 25 August 2012

Commissioned conversations, another Con.Text

 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 important to me that words do not dominate my creativity. They leap so instantly into every situation, swamping the slow simmer that, given half a chance, will boil up into something visual, tangible and 3D.

My life-size figures are on such an evolution and for me, essential to the journey. I began creating them in 2006 and they are evolving to express the wordless things that lurk in hidden corners.

Working on them I can choose to fill the silence with music (which inevitably lures me away on parallel paths), or I can listen to the words that peep out of my subconscious to tease and chivvy me with their own need for expression. Here I mull over those persistent issues of equality, diversity and integration, I worry about the future of Disability Arts and, like a homing pigeon, the access issue is constantly returning.

 

 

Bodies take shape

under my needle:

surgical stitching

sees muscles swell and

contract, inch lower,

shift with the placement

of limbs. Limbs that form

with thoughts; ideas

prompt their creation,

ideas inform

their construction,

Ideas that by-

pass words; thoughts that

travel the careless route

to a reality

where fact and fantasy

dance together.

 

Posted by Gini, 18 August 2012

Last modified by Gini, 18 August 2012

Soft Sculpture - body project

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, is now ready to go bald.

The new man (as mentioned - just a newer version of the old one, less hair, but that doesn't show) is in pieces. I get a little thrill of excitement anticipating putting him together.

In the garden I work on smaller body parts, it's important to keep them white, and in the heat that can be a challenge. Anticipating two new men, I make extra parts and they line up on the decking. The third man creates interesting questions, so soon I must grab pen and ink and start investigating his options...

 

Emerging, sunkissed

from the gentle shade

of my garden-green

umbrella, stitching

nipples for the new

man as the sun slides

into evening;

I imagine life

doesn't get too much

better than moments

like these.

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 14 August 2012

Last modified by Gini, 14 August 2012

The body project.

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 imaginations, but not giving them enough to work with and Jessie presented as scary, but also maybe a bit of a full stop.

Ever since '(it might be disability but) it's Still Life' presented at Holton Lee, Jessie has been nagging me. She wanted to join Kouros (the life-size soft sculpture of a nude male); he does have a female companion, and we were thinking they needed a lot more company; a group of them would provide more ammunition for imaginations to run.

So here in the sunshine, I've been working on Jessie's muslin skin and polyester muscles and the new man (who is actually just an up to date version of the old man).

 

 

Jessie is named for jesses

those seeking tendrils that

float in the jet stream of no

longer quite-wild birds of prey.

Symbols of symbiosis

like roots drawing Jessie down

to other connections, links

that thread through Jessie's heart.

Jesses, merely symbols or

darker, deeper holds on

unfathomed mystery?

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 29 July 2012

Last modified by Gini, 29 July 2012