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Gill Crawshaw

Gill Crawshaw has a history of using art to highlight disabled people’s inequality. In 2016 she curated "Shoddy" an exhibition of work by disabled artists, for a gallery in Leeds. Featuring textiles, that challenged negative assumptions during a time of austerity and cuts, which are disproportionately affecting disabled people.

Posts by Gill Crawshaw

Brooklyn, a white actor dressed in Victorian rags, faces the camera holding out a hat, with an emploring expression on their face.

Oliver – with a Twist

Comparisons abound between the lives of disabled and Deaf people in Dickens’ era and today, in an innovative staging of Oliver Twist. Gill Crawshaw wishes times would change. Charles Dickens’ drew attention to social issues of Victorian Britain by dramatising them in his novels. He is also known for his contributions ...

Demonstration Flyposter

Reasonable Adjustment: the disabled radicals you’ve never heard of

An exhibition which highlights a little-known faction of the disabled people’s movement challenges assumptions and examines the tactics disabled activists use to fight back. Gill Crawshaw finds out what drives disabled people to take extreme action. I was intrigued to read about Justin Edgar’s exhibition in his interview with Disability Arts ...

Nancy Willis: Self Portrait with Lost Baby

Telling the story of the Disability Arts Movement: Art and Social Change

Art and Social Change, an exhibition at MAC Birmingham, immerses visitors in art from the disability arts movement. Gill Crawshaw enjoys the experience of looking back through our history, and emphasises the importance of bringing the story up-to-date. At the far end of MAC’s Arena Gallery is a glowing pink light: ...

photo of artists Katherine Araniello and Simon Raven dressed in black costumes with a stall of 'golden pickles' pictured in front of the Damien Hirst 'Charity' sculpture near the Gherkin

Piss on Pity: Disabled artists versus Charity

Piss on Pity is the title of an exhibition of work by disabled artists on the subject of charity currently in the Ridings Centre, Wakefield. Gill Crawshaw writes about pulling the exhibition together as a way of channeling anger at the flagrant dismissal of the disability arts communities concerns about ...

bright red sculpture of a monster with a large red mouth

Conversations Series II: Other Transmissions

Conversations Series II: Other Transmissions is a project led by Venture Arts in partnership with Castlefield Gallery and the Whitworth, the second in Venture Arts’ four-part Conversations Series. An exhibition of the work from this collaborative residency is on show at Artlink in Hull from 30th March to 22nd June. ...

circular sculptures made of stone, in different colours,

Tony Heaton: Altered – something old, something new

The Art House in Wakefield present a new exhibition by disability rights activist / artist Tony Heaton on show until 18 May. Heaton used his time as artist in residence through March 2019 to continue his practice in stone carving, as well as experiment with printing techniques. Review by Gill ...

Community arts banner

Artlink Hull ask whether it is the world that is ‘mad’?

'Maybe It’s The World That’s Mad' is the result of a partnership between Mad Pride Hull and Artlink, supported by local arts organisation Ground bringing a survivor community together in a bid to celebrate difference. Review by Gill Crawshaw Banners are a compelling way to communicate. They can carry messages of ...

Skye Shadowlight: modern day storyteller

Skye Shadowlight tells stories. Sometimes in words or text, but more often through found installations, objects, sculpture, performance and film. Her most recent work is Stinkadena, created as the recipient of the Square Peg bursary which is awarded to a disabled artist in the North of England. The artist talked ...

performer Demented Dave smiles from his chair

Leeds’ Beyond Festival: Moans and Solutions

Looking back to look forward: optimism for the future of learning disabled artists in Leeds, following the Beyond Festival. Seeking to show their city in new ways, with confident exhibitions, learning disabled artists showed their work across the city between 5 July – 22 July 2018. Review by Gill Crawshaw The ...

Photo of two pints of beer and beer mats with the artists' slogan

Leeds’ Beyond Festival: Re-presenting the city

Seeking to show their city in new ways, with confident exhibitions presented in Leeds' Beyond Festival, learning disabled artists showed their work across the city between 5 July - 22 July 2018. Review by Gill Crawshaw At one of the exhibitions in the Beyond festival, I overheard other visitors likening Stephen ...

Two rappers sitting in a junkyard

Alan Clay, the lyrical legend from Leeds performs Skip Rap

Skip Rap is learning-disabled artist, performer, stand up comedian and rapper Alan 'Cool' Clay's debut solo show. It fuses hip-hop, theatre, digital imagery and junk, ruminating on what it's like to be treated like trash. Vicky Hiles and Gill Crawshaw went to see Skip Rap at Mind the Gap Studios in ...

Colourful digital image of a woman with a cat mask and many arms

Unexpected Engagement: Jason Wilsher-Mills beats the 20 metre rule…

Hull's year as UK City of Culture may be over, but there are still plenty of reasons to visit. Unexpected Engagement, Jason Wilsher-Mills' first solo exhibition, at Artlink Hull, is the perfect project to take the legacy of 2017 forward. Review by Gill Crawshaw Wilsher-Mills uses digital technology to produce exuberant, ...

Judith Scott and Saelia Aparicio,

Your Consequences Have Actions

Your Consequences Have Actions is the first solo show in the UK by Saelia Aparicio, shown alongside selected works from the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection by Aloise Corbaz, Madge Gill, Lee Godie, Martha Grunenwaldt, Marie Rose Lortet and Judith Scott. It is exhibiting at The Tetley, Leeds 24 November ...

Here’s one disabled curator!

As a disabled person currently studying an MA in Curation Practices, I was pleased to read Aidan Moesby’s article, Where are the disabled curators? last month. Is pleased the right word? Because Aidan outlines a number of persistent barriers, particularly prejudice and negativity, that disabled people trying to break into ...

Photo of an elderly woman sat on a chair whilst talking to the camera

‘The Circle and The Square’ reveals a history of disabled people in the textile industries

Suzanne Lacy’s film installation The Circle and The Square was shown at Northlight (Brierfield Mill) in the Pennines for two weeks last month. Gill Crawshaw reflects on the work produced by Super Slow Way to find a wealth of potential for an untold history of disabled people's lives. I could hear the ...

The cast of Tommy

Confusion follows a trip to see Ramps on the Moon theatre adaptation of the Who’s ‘Tommy’

I recently went to see the production of Tommy at West Yorkshire Playhouse. With shows by companies of disabled people or featuring disabled actors few and far between in Leeds, I was keen to see it. But I did have a bit of nervousness. I haven’t seen the film of ...