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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
I can’t talk about my new work yet, but it makes my pulse race and spurs me on even as we face the tipping point of winter (my life long nemesis!) What I do want to do is offer encouragement to others, wherever you may be in your journey to congruence.
You will see my joy and my rage. You will also see my freedom. You have even seen my autism as it is. Dynamic, rhythmic, capable of control (for I have stayed within the picture frame and given you a harmonious dancing surface to gaze at.)
I want to show you more.
Extreme old age isn’t easy, not one bit. Mum carries it with great dignity but these few days without a bed rail have taught me so much humility. We will all at some point need adaptations (if we’re lucky) and should probably plan ahead. I’m chastened by the unravelling that can take place for want of one simple adaptation.