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For a disabled artists’ view of disability and deaf arts culture

This section of DAO provides disabled artists and writers with a space to give our readers an inside view of their art practice, share thoughts and receive comments and feedback.

These blogs provide an informative and entertaining insight into how disability and impairment are experienced from a disability perspective.

The opinions expressed in these pages are not necessarily those of DAO.

 

The Existential Circus / 29 September 2015

Although I am part of Mad Pride in response to the shaming by the sanatised, I do sometimes feel that madness is a terrible impersonator of the self. I think there is something to the fact that sometimes the self needs to be played badly, an existential tribute act, in order to maintain dignity. One problem ...

Some questions for my readers

Hello readers, hope you are all doing ok. Next year I am going to be moving out of London to somewhere quieter. I have decided not to work in the mental health system any more, and am toying with the idea of making my art a private pursuit rather than a public one. I haven't had ...

Edinburgh: Lost Voice Guy / 23 September 2015

I tried stand-up once and it was horrible. Being used to the open-armed cabaret audience I was surprised to find that comedy punters were a lot more ‘Go on then, do your jokes’ than ‘Yay! Jokes!’ Not exactly how a life-long jazz fiend had imagined her first gig at Ronnie Scotts, but I limped through ...

Gains and Losses

Loss. Loss of function, loss of independence, loss of control and perhaps loss of life is often associated with disability. Over the last week or so this was brought sharply into focus in relation to the proposed Assisted Dying Bill.  I have the genetic muscle wasting condition, Spinal Muscular Atrophy that would put me into the bracket ...

Fix Up, Look Sharp. / 21 September 2015

Of all the many exciting things I’m being allowed to put my clammy little paws on during this training, one of the most thrilling has to be Viewfinder. I was seconds from stepping on stage to ringmistress for a circus when I found out we’d secured the funding (thank you Arts Council!) so the audience got ...

What Comfort Zone? / 18 September 2015

I created this collage recently in response to the idea of comfort zones. Part of mental health recovery rhetoric is being told by some psychiatric professionals we need to step out of our comfort zones. What comfort zones? Comfort zones are a middle-class idea for people who haven't been brutualised, abused, humiliated, or deeply hurt in ...

The Live Art Development Agency launch a book and DVD of Katherine Araniello’s ‘The Dinner Party Revisited’ / 17 September 2015

There are only a few days left to view Katherine Araniello’s The Dinner Party Revisited on the Live Art Development Agencies LADA Screens platform. The audio-described version of The Dinner Party Revisited is a good example of using creative description to add another layer within a work of art  - taking it beyond documentation and ...

Shame on the mental health system / 15 September 2015

Human beings are such strange creatures. I think sometimes some academics and mental health professionals alienate the experience they study by labels, words and concepts, and get angry when the people they work with or study don't 'engage' or yield to their so-called expertise. I have done a couple of workshops on shame recently to ...

And after the defeat of the AS Bill… the need to lobby for better palliative care, support packages / 14 September 2015

What a difference a day makes; a day and 4 months plus if I’m honest. Last time I wrote here, I was so sunk into the gloom post-general election I’d actually turned to poetry! Friday morning, I set off on a train to Manchester, on my way to the AGM of my impairment group (the ...

what would you prescribe yourself? / 8 September 2015

I ran a creative workshop yesterday at the wonderful Dragon Cafe inspired by Prescription of Stars poem. Here is what I said to people: "Fed up with being prescribed tablets? Here is a chance, using whatever creative method you wish, to take over an A4 prescription-style template to prescribe yourself what you think will heal your wounds." The answers ...