Disability Arts Online to livestream its event about disability and curation


Disability Arts Online, in partnership with MAC, Birmingham is hosting ‘Curated Conversation: Interrogating the (in)visibility of disabled artists’ on Friday 23 November between 2-4pm. The event will be chaired by disabled artist and curator, Aidan Moesby with panellists curator and writer, George Vasey; MAC visual arts producer, Jessica Litherland; and artists Sue Austin and Anna Berry. Disability Arts Online will be livestreaming the discussion on this page, including BSL interpretation and live captioning provided by Stagetext.

Aidan Moesby presents his thoughts to a room of people

Aidan Moesby at Cultural Shift Conviva. Photograph: Nick Wesson

You can tune in to the event from anywhere in the world, and get involved with discussion by following the livestream debate thread on the Disability Arts Online Facebook group or on Twitter using the hashtag #InterrogatingInvisibility. You can also pose questions or comments for the panel ahead of the event by leaving a comment on this page, using the hashtag or mentioning us @disabilityarts.

The panel will consider the following provocations: What are the barriers to increasing representation of disabled artists within traditional gallery spaces? Do disabled artists need to follow the normative path of representation? Is there room beyond the gallery to create sustainable careers for disabled artists? Where are the spaces for critique?

Information about the chair and panellists:

As an artist, curator and writer, Aidan Moesby’s work is at the intersection of the visual arts, wellbeing and increasingly, technology. He uses the locations he occupies as a ‘Live Laboratory’ to research, develop, test and make work. Site or context-specific interventions serve as a catalyst for a socially-engaged conversation and personal or communal exploration.

Sculpture by Anna Berry

Anna Berry’s Breathing Room installation.

Jessica Litherland has been a curator for 16 years, and is Visual Arts Producer at MAC, Birmingham’s pioneering arts complex. MAC specialises in contemporary work and making art an important part of people’s lives. Jessica originally trained as an artist gaining a BA in Fine Art before undertaking MA studies in both Critical & Contextual Visual Arts Practices and Museum Studies. She curates exhibitions of contemporary and modern art, working with a range of national and international artists. She is particularly interested in craft and applied arts, especially textiles and ceramics.

George Vasey is a curator at the Wellcome Collection and writer based between London and Saltburn by the Sea. In 2017 he co-curated the Turner Prize at Ferens Art Gallery, Hull. He has previously delivered curatorial projects for artist-led, commercial and public galleries across the UK. His writing regularly appears in art magazines and artist’s catalogues including Art Monthly, Frieze and Mousse.

Anna Berry mostly creates socially- and politically-conscious pieces, large (sometimes kinetic) installations, and often works with paper. Very much an art-world outsider, her work is usually shown in non-gallery environments. She likes to respond to specific places and ideas. Conceptually her work often explores issues surrounding reality and experience, and by extension the nature of reality.

A photograph of Sue Austin in her underwater wheelchair, she is upside down with her arms out to the side.

Sue Austin Creating the Spectacle. Image courtesy of the artist.

Sue Austin is a multimedia, performance and installation artist. Over an extended period of time her practice has operated as a vehicle to open up a thinking space around the materiality of the wheelchair. This is being used as a metaphor to raise questions about the value of diversity to society through raising the profile of ‘difference’.

This is latest in Disability Arts Online’s series of experiments with livestreaming, following a Facebook group debate around the Unlimited Symposium; the hosting of Vince Laws A Very Queer Nazi Faust on the Disability Arts Online Facebook; hosting the livestreamed performance of Sue Austin’s underwater wheelchair ‘Creating the Spectacle!’ from Adelaide Film Festival; and DisArt’s fashion show from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The livestream will be online just before 2 pm at the top of this page on 23 November. It will also be available to watch in full after the event.

The event is supported by Arts Council England.