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It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, world!

It's got to be said, and it probably has, but it's worth saying again - the woman's work is mad, totally mad!

She once had someone holding the bottom of her step ladder as she reached up to replace faulty light bulbs in the sky. To be fair though, it was rather a dull day!

And then there's the sheep ... but let's not go there!

And now she's producing her take on the christmas advent calender, called, of course, a Madvent calender!

But don't take my word for it. Click here to go to her mad art world and see for yourself.

You'll be sad if you don't!

Posted by Dave Lupton, 17 December 2014

Last modified by Dave Lupton, 18 December 2014

Curing the Crips?!

A clever piece of journalism by Frances Ryan, writing for the Guardian newspaper, leads with the statement 'Iain Duncan Smith thinks he can cure disabled people as if by magic'

She goes on to say that that: "Iain Duncan Smith is Jesus Christ. For anyone who missed the Second Coming, it happened at around mid-morning on Thursday when it became apparent that the secretary of state for work and pensions has started to cure the disabled and chronically sick."

I've taken the liberty of quoting some of the hard facts that she's put into the article, but I recommend that you read it in full by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page. Although extremely tongue in cheek, Frances provides a chilling insight into the Machavellian nature of this cruel and vindictive man. She writes:

"It has emerged that more than a third of people with disabilities such as Parkinson’s and MS are being denied the full version of employment support allowance and pushed into “work-related activity” – the group expected to be well enough to work, that gets less money, and is routinely sanctioned."

Almost 8,000 people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, muscular atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, cystic fibrosis and arthritis have been put on this lesser “will be able to work soon” benefit, according to an investigation by the conditions’ respective charities. Of these, 5,000 people were put into the category despite assessors actually writing the phrase “unlikely [to be fit for work] in the longer term” on their reports."

This level of incompetence means that seven out of 10 new claimants with a progressive condition have been reassessed two or more times on the same claim. Health experts claim that repeatedly harassing people who are too ill to get out of bed and threatening to remove the money they need to eat is causing stress and anxiety."

Frances Ryan's article in the Guardian can be found by clicking on this link

PS. One of the comments following the article made me chuckle: "With IDS as the target of their ire, I'd suggest Disabled People Against Cu ts  are missing a letter in their name."

Posted by Dave Lupton, 10 December 2014

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 10 December 2014

Cheers m' Lords!

And so it goes on ...

At the same time that the High Court has upheld the Government’s decision to close the Independent Living Fund (which thousands of disabled people rely on to live independently), the House of Lords have been squabbling over the quality of their champagne!

The House of Lords have rejected the suggestion that, as a way to reduce costs, they use the same caterers as the House of Commons. They claim that this would involve lowering the quality of their champagne which is not something they are prepared to do!

Meanwhile, in the real world, about 17,500 disabled people who currently receive an award from the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will see those funds transferred to their local authority with no guarantee that the money will continue to be used to support them to live independently.

This government are obviously hoping that this will be the final straw that will see disabled people off the streets and going quietly back into those institutions that we were forced to live in before.

Quietly eh? I think not!

Posted by Dave Lupton, 8 December 2014

Last modified by Dave Lupton, 8 December 2014

Figures

Not satisfied with her triumphant installation on a column in Trafalgar Square or travelling around the UK in her bed, disabled artist-activist Liz Crow and her team from Roaring Girl Productions is throwing herself into yet another exciting project.

Entitled ‘Figures’, it involves Liz sculpting 650 small human figures, each one representing an individual experiencing at first hand the cuts being imposed by this current government.

When I asked Liz to explain the thinking behind this new project, she told me:

“The project is a mass-sculptural performance that is setting out to make visible the stark human cost of austerity and urge action against it. Our intention is to build strong emotional connections with difficult facts in order to encourage deep public questioning and debate that will continue long after the work is over.”

Over a period of 12 consecutive days and nights, on the foreshore of the Thames and in the run-up to next year’s general election, Liz will sculpt these 650 small human figures from excavated raw river mud, each one representing an individual at the sharp end of austerity.

Along with the others from Roaring Girl Productions, she is also collecting 650 stories from people at the sharp end of austerity, across a range of topics, including benefits reform, local authority spending, homelessness, malnutrition, NHS rationing, etc, which will be read out during the final stages of the project. Alongside this roll call of experience the project team will engage members of the public in discussion about the issues raised by the work.

Incidentally, the number of figures also echoes the 650 constituencies throughout which the effects of austerity are felt, as well as the number of MPs whose choices determine those of others.

Once dried, the figures will be toured en masse in a mobile exhibition that will visit city centres along the route of the M4, from west of Bristol to London, over five days, the figures creating a talking point to involve diverse members of the public in discussion about the questions raised by the work.
In London, the figures will be returned to the foreshore and raised into a cairn.
A bonfire will burn into the night, firing the figures, while their corresponding stories of austerity are read aloud, until the returning tide douses the flames. At first light, the figures, fired, burned and broken, will be reclaimed, gathered and ground down to dust.

In the final phase of the performance and on the first day of the new government's tenure, the ground remains of the figures will be scattered from a tugboat on the Thames alongside Parliament. Figures will end with a poignant reminder of the human cost of austerity and a completion of the lifecycle of the work.

Liz ended our interview by telling me:“ Figures will hopefully raise profound questions about how we treat each other, what kind of society we want to be, and what role we might each of us have in bringing that about.”

 

You can keep up to date with the Project

 The project will have its own website

its own twitter account

and also a zequs page

Posted by Dave Lupton, 3 December 2014

Last modified by Dave Lupton, 5 December 2014