Invisible disability is difficult to broker. Allies who get this are worth their weight in gold. I want to thank Arts Council England, Disability Arts Online, and DASH for getting me to the point of an Access to Work application. Due to my disabilities I couldn’t have accessed this alone. It takes a lot for me to own that my need is real. If granted, Access to Work could revolutionise my practice. Our sector needs to understand the myriad ways in which this is not a level playing field.
I hope that in understanding myself, and in sharing this brief account, I can help other autistics, family and friends. Reaching a resolution of feelings really helps. Giving your autistic loved one guilt-free time and permission to decompress is the best thing you can do.
I know a a lot about posthumous collaboration. As an artist I work in multiple forms to respond to my father’s life story and his plays. I’ve even written a play about a playwright with my father’s name, and adopted his voice to narrate my take on his story. In many ways I view Richard Butchins’ 213 Things About Me as a kindred project. At an artist’s talk last year, I was caught by surprise when asked what my father would think about my work. This question has stayed with me and makes me wonder what the real Rose would make of these podcasts. It takes a profound level of trust in a relationship for work quite so intimate. The first episode of the series is called, You What?
Writing under lockdown can feel like trying to thread a broken needle. Adjusting to Covid-19 is a full-time job. This week’s been especially tough. A nation red raw with grief confronted by a government intent on rubbing salt into the collective wound. Somehow, I’ve taken to making proboscises (the nose of a mammal, usually long and mobile) out of cardboard tubes. It looks simple (and it is certainly makeshift) but it’s complex conceptually – I promise.
It has taken a disaster to teach me how to wear a beret like my grandfather. It sits on top of my shaven head and feels suddenly right, after 4 years of thinking it was too small. A child’s beret! I thought. That was before we crossed a red line and I shaved my head too close, all on the same day.
NB. I’ve chosen to republish this blog post. I can no longer distract from this pandemic by thinking about access issues, but nonetheless the moment it captures is important. I hope we can all learn the lessons COVID-19 brings.
My top tips for surviving and thriving online. We’re all at sea with this coronavirus pandemic, and for freelancers in the UK it’s also been a body blow to learn that (the the time of writing this) our Government has failed to support our incomes in line with employees. With so much creative industry work cancelledContinue reading “My artist freelancer’s guide to online networking. #COVID19”
In this blog I share my provocation for the Public Conference – Disability Arts: Slaughtering the Sacred Cows at the Midland’s Art Centre in Birmingham. Anna Berry is an artist and the curator of the exhibition Art and Social Change: The Disability Arts Movement at the Midlands Art Centre. For her DASH Arts Curatorial Residency, Anna curated this closing event as a public conversation.
I’m loving this phase of my becoming. My post-it isn’t designed for sympathy, no, no! For me this is a powerful image, brimming with ownership. I’m all for that!
It’s important to feel useful to stay alive. We must all feel that we have agency over the things which matter to us. In my studio I know that my tomatoes will dance, sing, and play with me, until they’re ripe and ready to emerge as talismans for a way of being that can’t be silenced – it is too joyful and beautiful.
I know I can’t effect culture shift with my tomatoes – thought I can help to signal a growing impetus in the arts sector. Thinking though this blog post, I’ve also been enabled by my conversations with colleagues about the power of silence.
I will hold the possibility of silence as a response for future encounters with unwitting social ableism. Let’s see what opens up in the gap.