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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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...

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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

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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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'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' - a life of its own

6 March 2013

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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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The PLY Project catches up.

7 March 2013

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Pen and ink, words from a Con.text piece forming the shape of a head

Wednesday was time to put in some overdue effort on the PLY Project. LinkUpArts members have gathered 'baby and now' photos of people like you, like us, for the 'People Like You' exhibition. These need printing out, 'baby image' on one side, 'now image' on the other. A few do not have baby photos of themselves so I have made simple boy and girl outline drawings. It would also be great if people wanted to draw their own.  No-one is excluded There are...

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'People Like You' - letter handles

8 March 2013

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Pen and ink drawing of a man's face in profile, interpreted in roots curling around the edges and into a skull shape

Not caring, not daring to leave a gaping hole, a vacuum through which I might disappear like the humanoid rabbit, I have already started on 'People in Con.Text'. Conversations with visitors to the 'People Like You' exhibition/installation will form part of its evaluation and already there are gems like the squealed, 'letter handles' that a small child used to draw her parents' attention to the grab rails. And the smiling gent who came to tell me that if his dog were...

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In the aftermath.

10 March 2013

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Close-up view of a white painted canvass with twisted strips of white muslin all seen in a dark bluish light.

Now that 'People Like You' is installed in the Salisbury Arts Centre Gallery, I need to tidy up - housekeeping. My house, without the five soft-sculpture figures, is peaceful. Where they had spilled out into my personal space, I can reclaim room to breath. My studio however is a mess. And none the freer for the exodus of artwork - it still contains preparations and pictures I rejected for this version of 'People Like You'. Canvasses exploring the theme of angels - the visual...

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People in Con.Text conversations

16 March 2013

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View into white Gallery with  white framed, pen and ink drawings on the walls and two white soft-sculpture figues, one suspended from the rafters and one lying on the floor

Like the children, you think you've let go, you watch those independent steps and move on from the wrench. But nothing prepares you for the way your creation takes off; gathers momentum and brings home the stories that you scattered; brings them home enriched with lives and links and lightening bolts. 'People in Con.Text' conversations are full of positive feedback, and a great sense of people's engagement with the exhibition. They are, so far, hugely enjoyable - there is...

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audio-visual disorientation.

23 March 2013

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iPad finger drawing of a leafless tree with roots and tiny glowing buds on deep blue background

Last week I joined an audio-description training introduction and as a result was offered a taster touch-tour and audio-described performance at Salisbury Playhouse by their professional, very helpful team. Touch-tours normally take place on a stage which is, unfortunately, not wheelchair accessible, but I did manage to wheel close enough to feel the grassy surface texture of the set. I had earlier been emailed a link to the Playhouse website's audio information, but had found the set...

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More Building up, Counting down: 3

7 April 2013

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Black and white drawing of a seated woman who is also metaphor. With one leg morphed into a wheel she represents the complexity of the relationship I have with my chair.

You don't look at it and think disabled. It's art, it ticks all the boxes. It's inspirational normal inspiration, you know? Not the sympathy kind. Everybody can relate to it, without all the usual triggers and it still makes you think. I think art like this really does make a difference. Around and during the Symposium (10/03/2013)  'People Like You' has the added bonus of Liz Crow and Sue Austin presenting live work. I first met Sue in 2009 when she came to document...

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People Like You - all over the globe

1 April 2013

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Photoshopped image of Fons, the white soft-sculpture, with his long roots wrapped around the globe.

I believe in you, do you
believe in me? It's time.

Time for life, time for
change; climb, clamber, crawl,
wriggle and roll|
out of the straight jacket
of fear. Time to refuse
to be groomed as victim;
time to reject persecution.

It's time to come out
of hiding, it's time.
to be one with another.

I believe in you, do you
believe in me? It's time.

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'People Like You' - reflection and anticipation

5 April 2013

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On a dark background, the soft-sculpture white roots in the sunlit reflections of stained glass windows

'People Like You' conversations are already growing into a fascinating body of work: I have discovered my own thoughts echoing through your work. Words I can relate to. I've noticed the way you juxtaposition art and religion. I'm keen to move into this positive space where a new figure is taking form, but don't want to move too quickly. Next week will see 'Bedding Out' with Liz Crow go live, and there will also be live White Line art from Sue Austin as well as her...

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