This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Contradiction: morning and afternoon workshops for DAO New Voices project / 4 March 2011

On the cusp of contradiction,
as in the eye of the storm,
there is profound silence.
Not the hallowed silence
of privacy, more the tortured
silence of war. The war
of passion restrained
by will power. The agony
that overflows the rock-face
in Smoke that Thunders.
Leaving your ears empty
of all the words I cannot say.

My subconscious has anticipated the afternoon workshop. The morning was a journey with Marie-Anne McQuay; a guided tour of written words and websites; generous snippets of information; maps of accessibility from which to construct our own individual offers and requests (promotional material and applications to Arts Organisations, funders etc); seedlings for inspiration.

I attempt to contain the growing excitement; remind myself to remain in the head-space; concentrate on constructive thinking (I think, therefore I am). It is important to stay within the arena of verbal communication, but my artist has already committed to the passion (I feel, therefore I create). The internal struggle results in a blanket of silence.

Not a good place to begin the afternoon. Sovay Berriman’s workshop is a gentle introduction to the process of crafting the creative biography; the artistic CV with layers subtle enough to reveal more than the face value. But I have done my homework, Sovay has prepared us with a preliminary email and I have made my own online investigation. My artist, itching to begin on the ideas of the morning, unleashes the passion and my previously contained reaction to Sovay’s work demands and consumes.

It is with a sense of relief that I realise my subconscious has already prepared a framework where the passion may deconstruct without dissipating; where the unruly energy of my artist will eventually inform my intellectual processes and I can engage with the task of penetrating the domain of the funder; the sponsor; the patron; the industry attempting to weave the economic viability equation through humanity’s creative search for reason, purpose and acknowledgement.

Keywords: ,