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Paul Darke is an internationally respected academic, writer and cultural critic who has written and created extensively around the issue of identity and culture. As a conceptual artist he works across art forms, bringing new insights and exciting concepts that challenge conventional views of both art and society.

Motion Disabled at Night Lights Leeds October 2009

13 October 2009

Blog

Motion Disabled Projection on Side of Building in Leeds City Centre

There is nothing like a trip on public transport to make you feel glad that you have a car.  Yes, I went to Leeds from Wolverhampton via train (one change in Manchester). Apart from the disease (I have a bit of a germ phobia) there is the regular humiliation of: ‘have you booked assistance’ and: ‘you can’t go on that train as you are not booked on that one.’   The realities of a daily oppression write large. If you are not disabled you may...

Comments: 3

From the heart of England to Finland: Day 6

5 August 2009

Blog

Mushrooms on Stall in Stockholm

Paul Darke blogs a day in Stockholm Drove in to the city: it is not far but it was a little hilly from our side to the city side of the island we were staying on. Stockholm is an archipelago: a place of thousands of little islands of varying sizes. We parked by Nationalmuseum (The National Museum) on the waterfront opposite the Royal Palace. The central tourist places are - I think - centred around three intersecting islands. We wandered on to another island - Skepps Holmen where the Moderna...

Comments: 1

From the heart of England to Finland: Day 5

4 August 2009

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View of Lake Shore from a cafe

Paul Darke blogs the trip from Copenhagen, Denmark to Stockholm, Sweden We had a long drive ahead of nearly 500 miles. So, we were up early and left Copenhagen at 9am having bought some sandwiches. Having first paid the bill of course. Too much but that is life! The receptionist showed me the route out of the city on the tourist map. We drove into Copenhagen, passed Tivoli Gardens in the car and then directly on the road to Malmo. A new road links Denmark and Sweden. On the Denmark side it is a...

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From the heart of England to Finland: Day 4

3 August 2009

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Ramped Walkway within Tower Building in Copenhagen

Paul Darke blogs a day in Copenhagen, Denmark. Having a shower was not too difficult. I put a chair in the room (as it would not fit a wheelchair) and then slide from that on to the loo and had another hosing down whilst on the loo. Ain’t accessible hotel rooms great!   We wandered in to the city of Copenhagen, quite a walk in fact (over 2 miles). It was raining (and would continue to do so for almost the entire day in varying degrees of intensity). But, thankfully, it was warm rain. As...

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From the heart of England to Finland: Day 3

2 August 2009

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Handing Baby 'Dummies' from a Tree

Paul Darke blogs the trip from Lubeck, Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark. After a good nights sleep we woke up a little later than usual, throwing myself in a strangely deep bath of the kind only hotels ever have. Sadly we we missed breakfast which, for a change, was included in the bill - €144 for the night in the Movenpick. Having paid we wandered into town and had a quick photo-op in front of the main gate, slanted gatehouse entrance to Lubeck. A fascinating sleeping lion guarded the entrance...

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From the heart of England to Finland: Day 2

1 August 2009

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Church Wall Sculpture on External Wall

Paul Darke blogs the trip from Ghent, Belgium to Lubeck, Germany. Woke late and tried to have a shower. In a shower one can only sit in on the edge of a ledge nearer the floor than the seat of a wheelchair. Why should I care if the hotel floods.  Up and out. We took the Motion Disabled sales brochure to S.M.A.K - Gent’s Museum of Contemporary Art. We left the Director and Exhibitions Curator the brochure Simon McKeown had printed for me to drop across Europe. S.M.A.K. was open but we did...

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From the heart of England to Finland: Day 1

31 July 2009

Blog

Ghent Mental Asylum Old Curved Grey Building

Paul Darke blogs a trip to Ghent, Belgium on his way to Scandinavia. Today we set off from the glorious UK Midlands towards Ghent in Belgium. Just over 300 miles. Left at 9.30am and arrived at our hotel at 8pm. Only remembering to put the clock forward once at the hotel. Needless to say the hotel parking was full and we had to park in the street outside. This saved us €16 but added a little extra insecurity over the car packed with our travel gear. The ferry from Dover was Seafrance’s...

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Motion Disabled

20 January 2009

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Eye looking through shattered glass

It is my birthday today: I am 47 – that is 141 in handicapped years. It should be a time for reflection but it rarely is for me as I usually have too much work to do for which I am being paid too little (that is self employment for you). Anyway: firstly I am glad just to be here. Like many disabled people I grew up with the expectation of an early death. Don’t you just love doctors! Secondly, I would like to thank all those disabled people – and it has been almost all entirely...

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Wednesday 24 June 2008

25 June 2008

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I have been on holiday- very nice thank you. It was to France. I ended up spending a few days in Grenoble as part of it and I was impressed by the accessibility of the place and the high visibility of disabled people in the city. It is actually quite unlike a lot of other European places (including in France) where disabled people are by and large invisible and probably institutionalised. I have no idea why Grenoble is so different (if you know please tell me) but it was a great relief compared...

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Wednesday 14 May 2008

14 May 2008

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I was on radio 4 recently on You and Yours: when will I learn! Actually, I was on twice (though, rather outrageously I thought, I only got one fee of £56). I had been invited on to discuss my interventionist artwork about the Leonard Cheshire Foundation that I did in about 2000: website that revealed the truth about the Charity (£40 Million in reserves: Private Medical Health Insurance for Senior Staff: £5 Million a Year on Public relations: etc.). The first programme was...

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Currently Paul is depressed ... The Aftermath of a Disability Film Festival in Wolverhampton

23 April 2008

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Well, another festival has passed and, as is often the case, disabled people have let it pass without bothering to attend. Yes, audiences were low for a significant part of it. We had some good bits: the Friday night screening of the new Justin Edgar feature Special People was full and quite a few attended the first of our archive screenings of disability. But Saturday: the main day in my view, with its Installation Piece, selection of shorts, followed by a dance and disability selection and...

Comments: 3

Tuesday 25th March 2008

25 March 2008

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Disability Film Festivals should be funded not by the Arts Council but by the Film Council – that is their responsibility. Yet there is little point to any festival unless its constituents are also funded to make films to show in the festivals. The reality is that neither is happening to any great degree and that is a shame on the film culture of the UK. It is as if disabled people cannot be trusted to make anything of originality, wit or intelligence: not that any such requirement is...

Comments: 2

Wednesday 5th March

5 March 2008

Blog

I was intrigued by a response to my last blog asking the question of whether or not there was a case for building bigger bridges with mainstream organisations (having been doing this myself in recent times) the problem of being able to maintain our, one’s own, integrity is a difficult indeed. The obvious answer is yes, if you have no integrity to start with (something I am sure I have been accused of in recently). Although I say that flippantly there is an element of truth in it: as...

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Monday 28 January 2008

28 January 2008

Blog

Welcome to my blog: the meandering thoughts of someone trying, failing and moving forward. When I write I try to clarify what I think today: knowing that as I write it will make me believe something else: something different, something quite possibly the opposite of what I have just written. Take the journey with me; understand the attempt to grasp what I think, what we can think, now: this blog is an exchange of ideas. Do not be offended: I am struggling to understand what is happening around...

Comments: 4