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Forrest Gumption

22 July 2014

Blog Wendy Young

Forrest Gump walking

To the GP I started to walk Feeling free I could not stop Along the way I met humanity I admired big houses I smelt the dried piss streets As the pavement spread Into the darkest of towns Even in the sun It was glum Downtrodden people Trying to live Life's struggle not healed With a few rays of sun Just lighting up the gloom I strode in hope Wafting through the mire Perchance to to tire Perchance to dream To sleep in this heat I wore out my feet I thought 'like the fella in the...

Sanity Test Kit instructions

22 July 2014

Blog Dolly Sen

Sanity Testing Kit

My artistic output at the moment is very driven. I guess you just need to put me in the sun to ripen. If my daily deluge is too much for you, do not worry: you will return to your usual programming soon, when I will switch from art to writing for the rest of the summer months. ONE STEP SANITY MAINSTREAM TEST Please read all instructions. They will tell you what to think, do and feel. Failure to follow instructions may impair your ability to be part of the machinery. How to use the test: Remove...

Picture from a Not Dead Yet Movement 2

22 July 2014

Blog Richard Downes

Activist from Disabled People's Direct Action Network holds placard outside House Of Lords reading 'Lords of Death'

Thanks to Dennis Queen for telling me where I could the picture I was looking for in Picture from a Not Dead Yet Movement Again this comes from the action against Lord Joffe's bill not Lord Falconer's. I suppose if you replace a spade with a spade it still goes by the same name - 'Lord Of Death'. Great title sir. Back in the day, we all knew the Lords of Death would be back. Flocking rook like in a parliamentree, espousing blinkered wisdom like owls caught in daylight. Birds of...

Equality & Dignity - out of stock?

21 July 2014

Blog Dolly Sen

Why am I called a service user

Why am I called a 'service user' when I have no choice in services? If I went to Argos for a kettle and somebody pumped me full of drugs I didn't want, pushed me on the floor because I complained my kettle was faulty, or electrocuted by said kettle, you know, I wouldn't go want to go back. How in any way, shape or form is that a service, especially if this 'service' affects your statutory rights. No refunds or exchanges for missed life. So I had fun creating an...

Picture from a Not Dead Yet Movement

21 July 2014

Blog Richard Downes

Way back in time  a fellow named Lord Joffe tried to get the Assisted Dying Bill through parliament. The Disabled People's Direct Action Network (DAN) mobilised and put on a show which the majority of the Lords supported. I remember taking a shot of an activist from Birmingham (Paul? if memory serves). He was holding a placard reading 'Lords of Death'. I looked for it. It felt apposite. Timely and with shades of Doctor Who. A science fiction skit perhaps wherein the elderly,...

Responding to Dolly

21 July 2014

Blog Gini

A yellow lamb with red feet, a loopy-lamby body, wide eyes and a smiley mouth is leeping over the coloured cushions on my bed

I am longing to respond to Dolly Sen's blog of 20th July 2014, with encouraging reports of bedlam spreading through the country... Similarly, the proliferation of arty ovine quotes, making more and less sense of the wolf since maybe its the black dog... Winston Churchill said that 'Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd.' Not sure I can make any sense of it, but would add: 'there is something about making things beautiful (me -...

Review: Francesca Martinez: ‘What the **** is Normal?!’

19 July 2014

Feature

Francesca Martinez' memoir is about growing up with Cerebral Palsy. Rosaleen McDonagh reviews the comedians reflections on her life - an arduous journey through crippledom, illustrating how the public persona of wanting to be the ‘funny girl’ contradicted her internalized oppression.

Review: Shape Artist's Network talk by Aaron McPeake on receiving the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary

16 July 2014

Feature

Adam Reynolds Bursary winner Aaron McPeake gave a talk at the Shape Gallery in Westfield on his Spike Island residency on 3 July, as part of the launch of Shape’s Artist Network; a new, quarterly event for emerging and mid-career artists to get together, develop new collaborations and share ideas for professional development. Colin Hambrook reflects on the artists' practice.

Review: Jez Colborne: GIFT at the Southbank Centre

8 July 2014

Feature

Jez Colborne’s live sound installation GIFT is one of 20 pieces commissioned by the New Music Biennial and destined for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Gus Garside saw Mind the Gap’s latest production at the Southbank Centre on 6 July.

Review: DaDaFest: Working Lives: Here & There

24 June 2014

Feature

Working Lives: Here & There is the latest exhibition by DadaFest, a disability and deaf arts organisation based in Liverpool, aiming to explore disability and employment, not just locally in Liverpool, but worldwide, through photographs and supporting narratives of disabled people in their workplaces. Review by Jade French

Review: Shape Gallery: Shortlist 6

20 June 2014

Feature

Shape have just launched Shortlist 6: an exhibition of work marking the 6 years of the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary awards. Colin Hambrook visited Shape’s pop-up gallery in Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford to see the work of the most recent bursary-winner, Aaron McPeake alongside that of three of the shortlisted artists.

Review: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

20 June 2014

Feature

Unlimited is supporting a reading tour of Owen Lowery’s first major poetry collection, Otherwise Unchanged, published with the major literary publishing house, Carcanet. The inspiration for the book is as wide-ranging as the poems that it includes, with work drawn from everyday experiences of love, life, and disability, and others that owe their inspiration to myriad literary and artistic interests. Simon Jenner reviews

The Sound of Disability

19 July 2014

Feature

As part of an Arts Council funded programme of work, Dao is engaging with freelance disabled writers and guest non-disabled writers to commission opinion pieces and interviews, instigating wider debate about music and disabled musicians that creates a greater understanding of where music sits with disability arts. As part of this programme of work Dao has commissioned a young disabled composer Lloyd Coleman to produce a piece of music for the British Paraorchestra 

Interview: Unlimited 2014: The Flickering Darkness (Revisited) by Juan delGado

17 July 2014

Feature

Spanish artist Juan delGado and creator of The Flickering Darkness (Revisited) met the film’s editor Colombian filmmaker Juan Soto in a dimly lit room at the Geffrye Museum in East London. A conversation about how the artistic processes were led by their intentions in the making of the film, was transcribed and edited here by Manuel Angel Macia

SenseAbility presentation: Ten Years of Dao: a potted history

17 June 2014

Feature

Dao Editor Colin Hambrook was invited to speak about Disability Arts Online at SenseAbility – an event held at the Pound Arts Centre, Corsham from 10-14 June. The festival, exploring inclusion in the arts and community, was organized by Tanvir Bush in partnership with Bath Spa University. This feature contains a transcript of his presentation

Gallery: Shape Creative Steps: David Hevey documentaries

9 June 2014

Feature

As part of London-based disability arts development agency, Shape's Creative Steps programme, seven disabled creative practitioners participated in a series of fascinating film documentaries. Made by award-winning director, screenwriter and photographer, David Hevey, the purpose of this documentary-series is to act as a calling card  highlighting the talents of the disabled artists that Shape supports - and who in turn, support...

Poetry: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

19 May 2014

Feature

Penny Pepper is a writer, poet and performer with an extraordinary versatility to her work. Genre-defying and quirky, her work is infused with her passion as a veteran disability arts activist.

Poetry: Julie McNamara: Chaos Calls

17 May 2014

Feature

Julie McNamara has been a tour de force within the field of Disability Arts for more than twenty years. Her current theatre work: Let Me Stay is a recipient of an Unlimited 2014 award, and is currently touring. Julie has also had her poetry published in several anthologies. Below Dao previews a selection from her first collection Chaos Calls, published by Vital Xposure.