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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

The Chairborne Identity

4 July 2012

Blog

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...

Comments: 0

Having choices = being human

5 July 2012

Blog

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...

Comments: 1

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...

Comments: 1

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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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: 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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MonoLympic

26 July 2012

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Pebbles spelling out the word MonoLympic on  white background

MonoLympic has only one sport, only one category, only one concept: access. The torch has been lit and you have been chosen to tweet the flame.   Countdown will commence one quantum moment from the designated start, which will inevitably be in advance of the allocation of the first metal (lump). And the nominations are... Well, in the spirit of equality and freedom of access, the committee invite you to nominate your all-time, show-stopping, mind-boggling access issue. Under the MonoLympic...

Comments: 4

The body project.

29 July 2012

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Close-up portrait of Kouros's stitched white muslin face, on grainy background

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...

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Soft Sculpture - body project

14 August 2012

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four white fabric nipples arranged in a square on faded grey decking, seen between blossoms of a whit agapanthus plant.

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,...

Comments: 0

Bronze - and the winner is...

31 July 2012

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Close-up of a black book on golden, star spangled background. The book is untitled and bolted shut with a nut and bolt through the middle

For realising that there is indeed a need to accommodate some of the disadvantaged people of our country, the bronze metal (colour adjusted for equality): At one with the natural world and taking place in some of the most hauntingly memorable venues, this installation is for everyone who has ever known or longed to know the feeling of belonging and the inspiring sensation of equality. Motivated by some of the great artists and musicians of the past, created by innovative and fabulously talented...

Comments: 2

Silver...

4 August 2012

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On a golden star spangled background this black-bound untitled book is bolted shut by a single line arrangement od three nuts, bolts and washers

For taking the time to really mull over the access issue and promoting a positive attitude to wheelless and temporarily nondisabled people, the silver metal (colour equality standard):   This commission will honour and celebrate wheelless, temporarily nondisabled, seeing and hearing talents and does include a brave performance from a wheelless father of three from Dorset. It will wheel out for one random night only. A limited number of protective platforms have been put in place for the...

Comments: 0

Gold, the penultimate award, goes to...

8 August 2012

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another black bound book on a gold star spangled background, the one has two different nut and bolt systems locking it together

For continuing assessment and a truly genuine desire to win gold, the gold metal (colour equality equalised):   This spectacular, one-off event will see people lacking a wide diversity of disabilities performing together from a variety of disciplines. They come together from all over the world to celebrate excellence in a commission especially devised to celebrate the temporarily nondisabled in all their rich diversity. Unfortunately it has not been possible to secure access for wheelless...

Comments: 1

Platinum - MonoLympic best in show

12 August 2012

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The gold star spangled background with a bolted shut black book, now has a silver half-face mask on top of it.

For providing the only logical, long awaited, ultimate-access solution, the platinum metal:   This unique, once-in-lifetime fabulously sensational, interactive brilliance, with a guaranteed 'has to be experienced live' atmosphere from a cast of interdiversity hundreds, has a budget that will bring tears to your soul. Lynda, our designated access professional has been allocated full powers of authority to determine and design total equality of access and presentation. The results have been...

Comments: 0

Commissioned conversations, another Con.Text

18 August 2012

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Portrait of the soft sculpture figure where Photoshop has enabled rich green, purple-pink, blue and yellow colours and a quirky misalignment of layers

 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...

Comments: 1

The Creative Case for... NDACA

20 August 2012

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Close-up photo of a whole walnut, probably the first whole nut I've ever cracked, with layer adjustments, that give it a warm translucent glow and some moody blue-greens

When it comes to fancy dress I think I make a pretty good Borg Queen. And if the conversation dries, I can always announce: 'Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated' - which brings me neatly to the question of integration and, whilst I'm stitching sculptures, my current concern: 'Will Integration kill Disability Arts?' Are we only here for the interim between barbarian past and enlightened future? Will the real or imagined possibility of being embraced and valued fragment any hopes...

Comments: 0

Evolving Jessie - the body project

21 August 2012

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On a black background, a profile of Jessie's white fabrik head with a long root growing from her spine over her head and onto her cheek.

Jessie is looking good. Removing her hair was quite traumatic and I pondered the bald skull a while before deciding that it needed a little remodelling.   On the floor, a half-stuffed torso has joined the various body parts, I need more wadding before I can go further with the sculpture; it is hungry on wadding and I ferry the stuff home frequently. Tied to the back of my powerchair it gives a bulky profile that no-one would guess is a new body in the making.   Rooted people grow on...

Comments: 1

Thinking for Myself

24 August 2012

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rear view of a grey skeleton on a white background. The skeleton is wearing black stockings and blue sling-back stilettos

'When you are married your husband will tell you what you will think' Downton Abbey passed me by, but these words from a trailer did make a deep impression. And reminded me of my introduction to Disability Arts. As an artist waking up to a strange world, I had been silent for a number of years, and being invited to be part of the formation of LinkUpArts was a lifeline. I began reworking a series of architectural drawings through which wandered a skeleton wearing black stockings and stilettos...

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More thinking, shaping, stitching...

25 August 2012

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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

On Borg, Diversity and ways of knowing

27 August 2012

Blog

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...

Comments: 0

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...

Comments: 3

'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...

Comments: 0

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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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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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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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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