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'People Like You' Building up and counting down: 4 / 6 April 2013

Building up to live performances, counting down to the symposium, the tension mounts.
Some great comments about 'People Like You', the assembled work of Liz Crow, Sue Austin and myself, include this one which makes me smile:

If this is Disability Art, its very subtle,
I can relate to it. It's mainstream,
is that an insult? What I mean is it
works for anyone. Everyone should see it.

Since they first appeared in this exhibition, the soft-sculptures evolved from my Con.Text conversations have been relating to Liz and Sue's separate installations. The easy relationship of Kosta to the underwater environment took me by surprise, but I have always been aware of Jessie's links to Bedding Out.

I do like the way this resonates
in the space. Links and echoes
back and forth. I like that in an artwork,
I like it here in this space.

Long before I was aware of Liz and her practice, Jessie was a version of me in bed in public. Unlike Liz I was not brave enough to make a personal appearance. And unlike Liz's bed, Jessie's bed was a much darker experience. More of a Laying Out, with its links to death and being laid to rest, Jessie on her black platform bed was mistaken for a dead body when she made her debut appearance in Salisbury Arts Centre in 2006. Jessie reflected my own fear and dread of the minimum existence I was expected to live or die in.

The long term plan was for Jessie to be placed outside on the earth and succumb to the elements, but the creation of Kouros and Koure in 2009 marked a significant turning point where a remodelled Jessie emerged detached from her bed.

I used to tell myself that if I survived, one day I would have freedom enough to speak out. One day I would no longer live in fear and a bottomless pit of insecurity. But the shock of experiencing that fear and the memory of living it, is deep seated; the trauma of the experience continues to intrude on my life.

I am in awe of Liz's courage and anticipate Bedding Out with a tangle of mixed up emotions. The prospect of a Bedding Out conversation is actually petrifying, but surely it's time.

In bed? Here in this place?
A bed on the stage and
conversation, just
the idea makes me
smile, but artist-activist?
Are we ready for that
here? In Salisbury!