I wear my beret because this is a long story, as old as time.

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.

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A brief blog about a culture shift in accessibility under #COVID-19 #disability

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 artist freelancer’s guide to online networking. #COVID19

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”

Disability Arts: Slaughtering the Sacred Cows : my provocation for a public conference.

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. 

Art, fog, and beautiful brains: thinking about autism and culture shift in the arts.

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.   

The building blocks of learning. Thinking about ‘social disability’ and access.

A blog post in which I talk through some new thinking about the term ‘social disability’.   I love an epiphany! God, being autistic is sometimes an absolute blast. I get to peel back layers of a life time’s accumulation of faulty learning and go, wow! so that’s how it really works… Recent adventures haveContinue reading “The building blocks of learning. Thinking about ‘social disability’ and access.”

Critically reviewing disabled artists.

So last week I went to the fantastic closing event (conference) organised by Disability Arts Online as part of the Contested Spaces exhibition, at the Foundry in London, curated by Aidan Moesby. 

Access arrangements were superb and the event was pithy. Succinct, and brimming with content, it was concluded with a quite beautifully poetic performance by Malgorzata Dawidek. Aidan deftly chaired the panel, which featured Jennifer Gilbert, Ashok Mistry, and Elinor Morgan. I came away enriched and energised. 

Living with ghosts and the value of creative resistance.

Life and art are never separate, not even if you try to wrench them apart. It’s been a long time since I wrote in quite this way, but we are living in increasingly frightening and unsettled times. My blog is a call for preparedness, but above all for creative resistance. Finding spaces in which the mind can be free become more vital when our actual freedoms are under threat. Every act of creativity and self-care is a means of survival. Reaching out and organising is what we must do. 

Neurodivergence – language, the concept of ‘group brain’, and neurological-ecologies.

Photo credit Joel Chester Fildes Do you know how to use the terms neurodiverse and neurodivergent?  What’s in a word? What are four letters between friends, you might well ask. I myself am no fan of getting hot under the collar about language OR spelling. I’m dyslexic and I loathe being corrected. Way to feelContinue reading “Neurodivergence – language, the concept of ‘group brain’, and neurological-ecologies.”