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

Re-imagining Wheelchairs

Last weekend I attended a performance related workshop; I had completed two application forms, one for me and one for the chair. Currently the chair, my chair, and I are in a difficult relationship because I never quite got over my month with the skinny-wheeled Japanese model.

The workshop was fun, creative and quite demanding. I poked and prodded at personal boundaries as we explored ways of working autobiographically. During the process and all through this week I have been busy in my head-space and coming to the conclusion that I have been lazy in my relationship with my chair.

Friday before the weekend, on Portland, I met Sue (Creating the Spectacle) Austin's underwater wheelchair; looking like a basking bird and performing like a walrus on land, it was transformed with Sue under water to encompass qualities of a magical, mystical sea-creature.

So, do I also posses the power to transform my chair; to control or remove it's cloaking spell? Am I fooling myself when I think I may even have magical cloaking spells of my own? Can I actually make my chair disappear? And how does that impact on the relationship?

Will you push me in?
Sue straps herself into
the chair's ungainly embrace;
unwinds her mouthpiece
from it's tangle with the frame
and checks for air. Team Go.

Dragging fin-wings like a
wounded bird, the chair makes
clumsy lurch into the water.
Compassion hovers. Stunned
I hold my breath as the
transformation catches me.

Instantly elegant, the chair and Sue
begin to play, to dance,
an underwater flight more
familiar to dolphins
and whales; to Veasta and mermaid
than any mere human.

Posted by , 18 March 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 20 March 2012

How do you feel about blogging?

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 publish words, I still feel they are mine and a resource open to reinterpretation in other contexts.

Why don't blogged words feel the same? Why is revisiting them not the same experience? And why does that feel appropriate  right now and maybe even empowering?

Rumplestiltskin was a truth
that, revealed, lost it's power.
What I create is the truth
about me. It may not be
more than the truth at the time,
but then gathering time
my catwalk words will draw
a bigger picture; outline
my invisibility,
fill details to the image.
And the image will speak
the volumes left unspoken;
the slow, steady cradle
will layer the reveal.
These are the secrets I keep
from myself, for myself. But
are the catwalk words cast
like confetti to end in the
gutter? The images passed
like so much litter? Are they
still mine to add or to edit?
I'm here for the journey and
something is changing, but
who changes who, and why?

Posted by Gini, 7 March 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 8 March 2012