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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.

 

Letter to our next Prime Minister

Very soon we will have a new prime minister, and probably another round of DWP-related deaths. I have started up a radical mental health art-action programme called Section 136, where madness is questioned, and institutional monsters are confronted using art, love, rage and sheep. I have started the ball rolling by sending our next prime minister ...

New York: How a desire to get people to smile inspired inclusive practice

Step Change Studios Founder Rashmi Becker has been learning about inclusive practice in the U.S. and recently met New York-based ballroom dancer Arkadiy Stepanchuck. Arkadiy was inspired to set up inclusive dance company Du Dance after a dancing road trip. He recounts his experience and how his effort to build connections led him to establish ...

Is disability culture going mainstream? ‘richard iii redux’ shortlisted for 2019 James Tait Black Award

I know the answer even as I wrote the title for this blog… No. And define ‘mainstream’ while you’re about it, O’Reilly. And ‘disability culture’… and no, I am not going to turn this blog into one of my academic essays about Crip’ culture and interweaving performance cultures (though I can refer you to where they’re published, ...

Radical New Art Show For Norwich!

Brand new 2-week art show, Pimp My Unicorn, launches in Norwich on Monday 22 July from 7pm with a party and entertainment. Organised by Norfolk based poet, artist, and campaigner, Vince Laws, Pimp My Unicorn is artist-led and funded entirely by donations. I think it’s important for the whole community that an art show happens every ...

Jellyfish – exploring issues around sex and learning disability with wit and wisdom

Originally a Bush Theatre production, I was delighted when I heard Ben Weatherill’s Jellyfish - written for Call the Midwife star Sarah Gordy – was to transfer to the National Theatre. I was determined to get to see the production - a first in terms of casting an actor with Downes as a lead on ...

Fragility

I’m writing this blog during my residency in Canada, recent opportunities have enabled me to explore my practice internationally. Last year I came to St Andrews New Brunswick as a KIRA resident artist at Kingsbrae garden and discovered Sunbury Shores studio. This year I’m at Sunbury Shores for five weeks, thanks to funding from Arts Council ...

Surroundings Blog 6

My final ‘Surroundings’ installation/performance was installed on artist Susan Austin’s amazing 360°rig. It is a sculptural structure that provides a perfect platform for my 360°image projection, space for us musicians to perform in and accommodate the audience. A space the audience can walk into and around a good proportion of it’s outside circumference. This structure ...

Signs; No One Shared His Space

The brother or sister poem to the brother or sister poem i posted a while back called, i think, 'Share This Space'. The pain of exclusion. The thoughts that keep you awake. Godless loneliness. Uncomfortable at a time when everyone is cosy. The real need for inclusion. A concept called sharing. An easy solution to a ...

The Autistic Balancing Act

In this post I’m talking about my experience of autism, not everyone with autism will have these feelings or experiences. Life is one big balancing act for everyone but being autistic I feel as though each thing I am trying to balance is bigger, heavier and harder to control. Trying to balance a day to day ...

642 – Gordon’s End

Tell a story starting with a ransom note 642 – Gordon’s End Walking back from the police station I consider the officers advice Accept no responsibility he said Tell the professionals who would Otherwise choose to do nothing That he’s out, he’s on the street Then watch them change Watch them change when they learn That no one really cares Watch them care Not about your friend The ...