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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

More on the preposterous assumption...

3 December 2012

Blog

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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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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'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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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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The Chairborne Identity

4 July 2012

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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...

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Earthbowl 4 - Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

28 June 2012

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An image of the earth from space, set against a black background with partly visible words, the earth orb has its top third removed to create the image od a bowl, and contained within the bowl is the fourth, close up image of Sue in her wheelchair, underw

This is the last in the series. The timing is deliberate - this is my contingency bowl. In case time and tide conspired against 'Creating the Spectacle!' In case the event was cancelled; in case the worst case scenario swallowed up the adventure and the underwater wheelchair disappeared into oblivion. But actually it also makes a rather splendid trophy to present, with a fanfare, to all the successful participants of the most carefully prepared and choreographed adventure - the journey across...

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Earthbowl 3, Fleet Lagoon

27 June 2012

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An image of the earth from space, set against a black background with partly visible words, the earth orb has its top third removed to create the image od a bowl, and contained within the bowl is a third image of Sue in her wheelchair, underwater with hai

I could hardly sleep a wink last night. I might have been a little busy this week, but today has had big, bold, red pencil marks all over it for a while now. Depending on the weather, the tides, fate...Today is the day! Today, in filming for 'Creating the Spectacle!' the underwater wheelchair takes what anyone could only describe as the absolute scariest part of it's journey. I'm heading for Portland to be witness and part of the audience for this stage of the project. I shall be...

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Earthbowl 2; hinting at things to come?

26 June 2012

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An image of the earth from space, set against a black background with partly visible words, the earth orb has its top third removed to create the image od a bowl, and contained within the bowl is Sue in her wheelchair, underwater with hair flowing freely.

The eagle eyed DAO reader just might have noticed that the image used (yesterday) in Earthbowl 1 was not actually from 'Creating the Spectacle!' 'Portal' (2008), that iconic picture of Sue Austin under water in a wheelchair, was however our first hint of things to come - watch this space! The Earthbowl series continues with an image from the early development stages of the project when the chair was still being refined and Sue was still learning how to control it. Earthbowl 2 contains an image...

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Tweet failure; 'Headlining' disconnection.

21 June 2012

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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...

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Some other Culture?

18 June 2012

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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...

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Present Opportunity - accessible pavement?

17 June 2012

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red background with a drawn line swirling in a blue squiggle

I had a meeting to attend, in my home town, just 8 minutes away in the car, however it became necessary to travel in my wheelchair so I allowed a good hour. It wasn't enough. Deeply shaken and in a lot of pain I was forced to abandon my journey after an hour. I was two thirds of the way there. Wheelborne, do I have the right to expect that a pavement should be accessible and traversable? Do I have the right to expect that a dropped curb should facilitate my safe delivery to a second...

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Mutilated tans and a duck cenotaph.

5 June 2012

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A view across the pond to the island Tea House with Sky-scapers in the background

I seek Japanese fabric. Something on a roll, where I could ask for a metre or two. I love the colour aesthetic here, and the use of texture. I feel the need to take some of it home with me. This fabric lives in the past. It comes in one narrow width, one long length - it comes in a Kimono quantity - a 'tan' - ca 35 cms wide and twelve metres long. Linen or silk, sometimes cotton, each with it's own tradition of weave and colour. And each weave or colour has it's own traditional application: the...

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Crowds, cat cafes and Teleporting.

30 May 2012

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A view of the entrance to the excitingly named Tokyo Teleport Station.

Tokyu Hands (pronounced Tokyo Hanz) was reviewed by the New York Times as 'the' department store for the serious home owner and hobbyist, it has also been described as a 'makers paradise'. Floors of fascinating items, many only available in Japan, tempt me.  Countless arts possibilities reawaken as shelves full of curious and useful items demand attention. I want to take one of the stores home with me. We visited the flagship store at Shibuya, but at Ikebukuro they also have a cat cafe,...

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Onsen, Na'vi and black eggs.

28 May 2012

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view from the Hakone mountain cable car looking down on earth workings in the midst of tree covered slopes and peaks.

The journey to Hakone involves platform-lifts, chair-lifts, elevators,  trains, metro, cable train and cable car (ropeway) as well as some energetic pushing and pulling up and down very steep hills. Mount Hakone is famous for it's hot springs, peaceful lake and eggs boiled in simmering hot pools. These eggs, their shells turned black by sulphur, are said to prolong life. The 'boiling valley' is 1044 metres above sea level, and contains a lake created by volcanic activity; this...

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Tokyo inspirations.

23 May 2012

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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...

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