Contested Spaces

In July I was fortunate to be offered the opportunity as a Disability Arts Online (DAO) Associate Artist to curate an exhibition at The Foundry. The short lead in time meant everything had to be done double quick, sometimes on the fly. Organising an exhibition when you are 300 miles from the gallery and the artists and organisers are spread across the country adds extra layers of complexity.

I am glad to say however it all came together. I selected 8 artists with diverse practices but who all explore the theme of contested spaces in their work. Of course we wanted to make the exhibition as accessible as possible so we subtitled the videos, did an audio described curatorial tour, information in varying formats and got a ramp in to make raised areas wheelchair accessible.

Details of the artists and event can be seen below.

In association with Equalities Work and The Foundry, Disability Arts Online is pleased to announce an exhibition and related programme of events, working with DAO’s Associate Artists, Aidan Moesby, Dolly Sen and Richard Downes, running from 9th September until 9th January 2020

We are living in a time of rising extremism. In our everyday, space and structures are increasingly contested. There is a conflict over whose voices get heard and dominate the socio-political agendas of the future. ‘Contested Spaces’ radically explores this from a Social Justice, Human Rights and Disability perspective.

The show has been curated by Aidan Moesby.

Artists exhibiting:

Malgorzata Dawidek: visual artist, writer and art historian (PhD). Currently she has been conducting PhD practice-led research at the Slade/UCL. Her artistic and academic interests cover the visual arts, literature and certain medical matters. Dawidek’s practice is focused on the conflict between the condition of the human body and discursive language. It addresses aspects of corporeality as a continuous narration, a text ‘in process’, which she describes as bodygraphy.

Juan delGado has been preoccupied by investigating themes of displacement, climate and mobility as a physical, political and psychological phenomenon in his moving image, multimedia practice. delGado has exhibited widely including at ARCO’05, Madrid, End of the World Biennial, Argentina, National Portrait Gallery, London, Clandestino Festival, Sweden and the 2014 Mardin Biennial, Turkey.

Colin Hambrook is writer and artist whose ‘psychological landscapes’ reflect a schism between the perceived and the real; the contested space of the ‘inner life’ – the part the imagination plays in determining identity and place in the world, at a time when arts education is being eroded and society is increasingly placing restrictions around who we are allowed to be as ‘valid’ human beings.
Instagram: @colinetto

Kin combines discarded materials with custom electronics,  tracking devices and digital media. Her work around mental health and wellbeing has recently focused on loneliness and social isolation, with her recent podcast earlier this year being broadcast from Centre of Contemporary Arts, Glasgow as part of Radiophrenia.
Twitter @cell_less
Instagram @liladarkstar

Vince Laws is a Norfolk based Poet, Artist, Campaigner and Performer. In 2018, with the help of 13 participants, he created a live happening, A Very Queer Nazi Faust, at Norwich Arts Centre. The work highlights the plight of disabled people under the current government, described as ‘economic murder’ in the British Medical Journal, and as ‘a human catastrophe’ by the United Nations.

Aidan Moesby: as an artist, curator and writer, Moesbys’ work is at the intersection of the visual arts, wellbeing and increasingly, technology. Site or context-specific interventions serve as a catalyst for conversations to promote social change. His current work investigates the dual crises of Climate Change and Mental Health exploring the relationships between the outer physical weather and internal psycho-emotional weather.
Twitter: @TextArtist

Kate Murdoch works predominantly in the medium of assemblage, collage and installation. Her work reflects an interest in objects as clear indicators of the passage of time. Steeped in social and political history, selected images and objects open up opportunities for personal and political discussion, particularly around issues of class, gender, privilege and value and worth.
Instagram: katemurdochartist

Elinor Rowlands FRSA: writer and artist, exhibiting video works of recorded streams of consciousness using the very language she has been ridiculed for all her life; discovering that while burnout/sensory overwhelm is distressing, it is also a moment of transcendent clarity to speak in ADHD/ASD language and finally be heard.
Instagram: colourist_wordpainter

Dolly Sen: as a child, Dolly was an alien in Empire Strikes Back. She knew then she would never know normal life. She is an award-winning writer, artist, performer and filmmaker. She has had 10 books published, and her blogs around art, madness and humour have a huge international following. She has exhibited as an artist and performed and shown internationally. Her work aims to subvert perceptions around madness. She’s trying to alter the faulty programming of society that thinks being mad is a virus and not a response to the system it finds itself in.
Twitter: @DollyDollysen

24th September 2019: 5:00 – 8:00pm | Opening Event
Including the launch of Disability Arts Online’s ‘Access to Work Guide’