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Gini - disability arts online
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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' - a life of its own

6 March 2013

Blog

Grab rails spelling People Like You  mounted on boards after being powder-coated bright pink,

Tuesday started earlier than I am comfortable with, but I needed to be there for the grab rails. They require a lot of holes drilled in the wall and I'd hate to have to ask the team to make corrections. I do have a very clear idea of how I'd like them to sit and I am very pleased with the result. The template supplied by Shaun at Ozweld proved really helpful. I'm also pleased with the initial reactions of people passing through, I've overheard some lively remarks from all age...

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'People Like You' - Halfway in.

5 March 2013

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the underwater-blue banner with red and white text that in 'Uderwater Con.Text in exhibition mode. The full text can be read on DAO in the creative writing section.

I spent Monday in the chaos of the get-in - not easy on wheels when there is so much technology, people, and stuff. I had spent a sleepless night and was pleased to see the dawn of a dry and almost sunny day. The soft-sculptures travelled in with Sue Austin, the pen and ink drawings with Trish Wheatley, and I followed with smaller things. At Salisbury Arts Centre we hit an immediate low. The car park was overflowing, the accessible parking spaces were occupied and trapped in my car I dived -...

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People Like You - before pink

3 March 2013

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Bright metal grab rails screwed onto a large board and spelling the word 'People' on display in the Ozweld workshop

Finally the grab rails are a reality; I have pictures! They were taken at the workshop before the letters went to be powder-coated, but suddenly the faintly niggling feeling that it might all be an illusion has been replaced with elation. It seems so very long ago that I had an idea for an installation and did the first grab rail doodles, then photographed my own grab rails and Photoshopped them into the right shapes. I enjoy making my own artwork, but months of pondering and positioning of...

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People Like You - exhibition in waiting.

27 February 2013

Blog

Pen and ink drawing, a work in progress incorporating a 'Creatives in Con.Text' quote among 3 eyes and clawed tentacles

I'm in some strange limbo world. Five soft sculptures wait impatiently. Next week they will leave their overcrowded space and take up temporary residence in Salisbury Arts Centre. I wonder who I will be without our daily confrontation.   Creatives in Con.Text are People in Con.Text; these five, white figures reflect the conversations, echo the history of creative expression from the art of the ice age to the current search for connection and recognition that drives us into an online...

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

23 February 2013

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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...

Comments: 1

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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2013 New Year resolution

1 January 2013

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Black and white close-up of a mother holding a pointing child in a field of little explosions

My 2012 has been enriched by wanderings through the WWonderWeb (and I don't mean the hemming tape), thanks to innumerable people posting fascinating stuff, this absolutely has to include DAO and of course the amazing Maria Popova: www.brainpickings.org Somewhere in my recent past is a conversation with Colin (Hambrook) about 'the tortured artist' so I was fascinated to come across this in an article from the New York Times: Ray Bradbury, b. 1920 The Untortured Artist Shortly before his 90th...

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Nissen's guest blog...

29 December 2012

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A family of three Julenisser, sitting together. Nisser are small figures featuring in Scandinavian folk history, and surviving into modern fairytale

So that was Christmas. It'll soon be time to go back in the box. Mum, Dad, me - we get stuffed into an old Crock box with, I dunno, about 20 others. It's a nice box and she thinks we stay there 350 odd days of the year, yeah well... She thinks she made most of us, put together from wool and felt, bits and bobs, stuff you can see and touch, but like most good ideas we don't confine ourselves to the expected; or even the good. We come out every year to watch over the end and the beginning; we...

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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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Salisbury Arts Centre Open 2012

3 November 2012

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This is a beautifully presented wood and brass case housing a doctored barometer. the new face lists states of mind which may relevant to mental health, the needle points to 'paranoid ideation'

The exhibition 2012 Open: Designs for a future is on from 31st October - 16th December at Salisbury Arts Centre - Free On Tuesday, curious to see the selectors choice of Sustainable Design, I attended the busy Preview of Salisbury Arts Centre's Open 2012 exhibition. First impressions were pleasing on the eye, I fell in love with a recycled book floor; an elegant glass, metal and wood table, and the little group of pots bathed in changing projected images. The expected repurposing of...

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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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Progressing Kosta

20 October 2012

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Head and upper body photograph of Koure the female white soft sculpture figure, outside in the sunshine whith white wall and shades of green Fatsia Japonica

My struggle with just how to blog about the making of the new Con.Text (Creatives in Con.Text) is not in any way reflected in the making of or blogging about, the soft sculptures. Here I am in control of the risks and I choose to be open to the opportunities as individual words, phrases or whole conversations demand attention and result in fresh insights into how to express and possibly communicate via these evolving structures.   Small changes in posture, shaping, positioning of...

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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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Post Oparalympiad

10 September 2012

Blog

A wooden figure, the kind artists use, in shades of blue grey with a bright pink heart on a black background

Digital friends, electronic social life, podcast entertainment, filmed performance: all good, but no substitute for the real live thing. Not living in London, access (including financial access) to the phenomenon known simply as 2012, was problematic. Knowing no local people with any real interest in experiencing the Cultural Olympiad, I actually felt far more isolated than involved.   I was at the mercy of the media, and misleading statements like The Best Disability Arts practitioners...

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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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MonoLegacy

29 August 2012

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one leg (from the knee down), and two crutches (bottom half), on a black background

As the nation gets back on it's wheels after being knocked down in reverence and awe over those brave and inspirational wheelless and nondisabled heroes, a plan to preserve and protect the MonoLympic legacy is being rolled out. Lynda, the charismatic face of MonoLympic has informed the world, that the flame of Cultural Access Diversity will not be allowed to dim. Lynda has also issued a statement explaining how it has been possible to award Platinum, best in show, when clearly the MonoLympic is...

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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

Blog

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...

Comments: 1