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Artist and wordsmith, whose work engages with issues of access, from acknowledged physical needs to perceived symbolic exclusions. After being selected as one of DAO's New Voices in 2011, Gini's online presence has become an integral part of her arts practice

same old swan?

22 March 2016

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I open one eye. It takes a while to open the other and I use the time to enjoy breathing... just being. How quickly I get to take this 'waking up in the morning' thing for granted - now that I'm physically in this really good patch. I roll out of bed into a standing position. I learned this back at the rehab unit (donkeys years ago) after my op, it puts less pressure on the spine. Gulp! Overwhelmed with giddiness I roll back down onto my bed. Standing is out. This might be a good...

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know your wolf...

10 March 2016

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Move on back, move on back and the windscreen wipers go swish swish swish, move on back, move on back and the wheels on the bus go round and round, move on back, move back on. Round and round, move on back and the words in my head go round and round, move back on, jumbled up. jumbled up, back on move. Move back on, move on back, words in my head are falling out falling out  falling out words in my head are  falling out all day long. I need more words; words to keep the wolf at bay,...

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the one I feed

9 March 2016

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Complicit in the great epodic downfall of poet writing only for poet? Yet who else should I write for? If not for me? I write my way through the confusion that is the why of my existence, and I am the man in the street, the whatever; the couch potato. The manic and  bedraggled loneliness feeding stray cats; I am the poet, vicarious starman climbing my own steep stairway, mountain of words. I am the tears that slide unmentioned through the stubble on your cheek. I am the mother...

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It never had to be perfect

8 March 2016

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I listened to the tree breathing. I listened in the silence of high white cloud lazing over turquoise gleam; the firmament listened as tree-breath settled awesome round my warm and languid body. I listened to the tree drinking, drawing the fallen sky into its gnarled limbs as my own knotted and twisted with time. I listened to the tree singing as my own song filled and refilled the space between me and eternity. I don't have to see through the label disabled, I can see a fine edited...

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Opulent Mobility

28 July 2015

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Some years ago, after a chat about 'This is not Disability Art' I started my own 'This never used to be Disability Art' project.  Just me and Photoshop; with no thought or ambition for the work to ever escape the confines of the files on my computer. Then I got a 'Dear All' email from Colin (the Dao Editor), and a future for my time travelling wheelchair suddenly loomed into focus. Opulent Mobility, and the magnificent A. Laura Brody, were not just calling for...

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type caste

1 July 2015

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How exciting it is to stumble upon someone who speaks like a kindred spirit...hello Twitter and the Internet.  And how galling to discover that this exciting spirit articulates what they do so very much better than I do... I'm not ignoring the acts of government evil #disabilityconfident is just one more nail...(LinkUpArts 'Worth Fighting For' poetry tonight at www.salisburyarts.co.uk). I'm doing research for my new website. I don't seem to be able to articulate my...

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Making: 'Worth Fighting For'

9 June 2015

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There are stages in my practice where the artwork production can get a little, dare I say it, tedious? If I were an old master, I would have apprentices, or Damien Hurst and I would have minions - to make dots on the canvas or to take care of the repetitious. I however, am my own minion and at these times I tend to listen to Ted-talks or a pod-cast, but in the tennis season I turn on the tv.  While taking care of some repetitions in my current figures project, I have half an eye on...

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Brollywood - the prequel

31 May 2015

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Yeh, I used to vote Labour. I made it through the thatcherites, but I'm not sure I can survive the camerongs. D'you know something? Why don't they give the tree hugger a chance...I'm not for the monarchy, but he couldn't do any worse could he? And he's not in it for the money. OK I'm joking, but you've only got to look at his mother; she's given her whole life to this country. She's allowed to do that. What if they actually care about real people and not...

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Brollywood - the sequel

30 May 2015

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Did you? Did we what? Vote Farage of course! Don't ask. Don't mention politics. Ever. That was the last time; we are not going to be part of it any more. But you used to be such staunch Greens... I mean it. We've had enough. We won't be voting again. Anyway it was a tactical thing, we've been fed up with the situation for years, but we still had dreams of getting the Conservatives out. We just don't believe in it any more. And it's quite pointless discussing it....

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Brollywood

29 May 2015

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You voted what? You heard me: Tory. To fully illustrate my reaction to this I should leave an empty page or two; wordless, utterly wordless. And when I do gather myself to respond: how could you, it sounds so pathetic. I even followed it up with: "but you're disabled."  He is. Disabled and in his second year awaiting a PIP decision. I flounder.  "I've always voted Conservative", he offers. I'm a fully paid up believer in the Capitalist religion...

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Time to re-examine an old debate?

13 April 2015

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The overwhelming impression I get from the personal stories that accompany Liz Crow's 'Figures' is the shocking lack of humanity, the lack of compassion for vulnerable people. Some years ago there was a lot of debate about the danger of losing our human values to soulless computers. If ever this was a political concern it has been forgotten or ignored.  People's lives are being reduced to tick-forms that can be processed by computers; empathy, kindness and...

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Accessible London theatre?

1 March 2015

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Seeing the 25th February news item on Dao, the first thing that struck me was a sense of excitement. The promotional video showed prominent images of Warhorse - actually showing at the New London Theatre. My own experience of just that, was not the best. Maybe things have improved?  A chaos of milling customers had made it difficult to find out exactly how I was to gain access to the New London Theatre. Without ambulant help I might not have discovered that wheelchair access was around the...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - happy New Year: 'Akemashite omedetou!'

1 January 2015

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Our New Year shellfish made disturbing flips and wriggles on its way to the pot. Homemade sushi, slices of raw fish, scallops, sea urchin and salad completed our meal. There was hardly room for the soba just before midnight. We had symbolic portions. Even so it was hard to think about sleeping. I dozed and woke in time to watch the day dawning. Actual sunrise is not visible from the apartment, but dawn sky is frequently glorious. Today's blue sky sinks into clouds of gold that darken...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - a family affair

31 December 2014

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End of year day and a holiday. The festive air is infectious. There will be celebration events all over the city. People will be out partying but many families will be staying home to watch the traditional marathon tv singing contest.  As the year changes bells will strike 108 times and at some temples visitors are invited join in with the ringing. Around a million people will pass through the Meji shrine as it is the custom to offer wishes and prayers in the first five days of the New...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - clear separation

30 December 2014

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Swirls of coloured lights decorate the abundant planting in the streets. Good luck messages flash from the hoardings. The end of the year is fast approaching. The Wako department store window has the usual crowds standing in admiration, blocking access to the pavement. This New Year's display constists of white sheep, with golden horns, lined up and facing the back of the window. Suddenly one of the sheep swivels around to peer out at the crowd. Passing pedestrians make sudden stop and...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - lucky sheep

29 December 2014

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  One of our Christmas day deliveries was the bunch of New Year flowers. An assortment of yellow blooms with greenery, including the all important branch of a pine tree. Traditional beliefs held that the gods visited the earth at this important time and lived in the pines trees until the New Year.  Good wishes for the New Year arrive frequently and include plaited rice stalks or straw, rather like a corn dolly, with good luck messages and prayers, which we hang on the front door. Big...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - last day for a lucky outcome.

28 December 2014

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Today is the last day that I could consider beginning Tokyo New Year celebration blogging. The 29th is out - any number that includes a nine is bad luck and the 30th is just too late for showing any proper respect. Preparations are already well underway; anytime after 13th December it is ok to start gathering pine branches. Most firms have already held their End-of-Year staff parties and people are taking holiday and beginning to gather as families in festive mode. Free End-of-Year concerts...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - Christmas Day

25 December 2014

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Back to work for most people, the day starts with the delivery of some internet purchases; a modern version of Santa?  Merry Christmas. The light here is amazing! I have a suddenly refreshed insight into the utter necessity of Nordic Juletide festivities. Enduring the darkness of winter, the reemergence of the sun needs celebrating and the possibility of new light-provoked shoots and leaves needs every encouragement it can get. Here in Tokyo it might be cold, but light-dependant life...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - Juleaften

24 December 2014

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Christmas Eve day, so light and bright, even if there are clouds in a less than perfectly blue sky. The klejner (Christmas biscuit) dough has rested in the fridge overnight, to be rolled out, cut, twisted and deep fried at this very late stage in the proceedings.  Everybody warns me that already tomorrow evening, latest the 26th, all signs of Christmas will be gone. New Year is the big unmissable event and preparations are already underway. Chinese New Year celebrations involve families...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - Emporer's birthday and Lille Juleaften

23 December 2014

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Today is the Japanese Emporer's birthday, a public holiday, and for us, Little Christmas Eve. It is also light, bright and full of sunshine. Our Christmas cake has come together well, looks right and fills the apartment with just the right aromas, in spite of some interesting dried fruit substitutions. The final verdict will of course have to wait until 25th. Potato and butter shortages threaten to scupper the traditional ScandiBrit Christmas my family is accustomed to. The butter shortage,...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - seasonal scurrying

22 December 2014

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I've been on a most unJapanese mission to acquire the ingredients for an English Christmas cake. Not far from Tokyo station there is a shopping complex/department store with a baking/cooking ingredients and implements section on the first basement floor. Heading out into glorious sunshine and a bitingly cold wind, I'm surprised to pass incredibly long queues of Japanese people at bus stops and at, possibly, a lucky lottery ticket seller. There is a familiarity in the sight of...

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Tokyo Christmas and New Year - getting there

21 December 2014

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Here I am in Tokyo again and feeling lucky to be here. Each time I take to the skies there are obstacles to overcome. Every single time they are different; somebody somewhere has fun shaking up T&C's for the ideal knife edge experience every traveller longs for. The first thrill was that my ebooking was invisible to the airline flying the aircraft. Three companies were using this plane, each with their own system. I was advised to contact the plane owners 48 hours before the flight when...

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one day

12 December 2014

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The more complex a society becomes, the more fully the law must take into account the diversity of the people who live in  it... (Margaret  Mead). One day in the future we will construct  the laws and the institutions of a modern, humane  society that will take real account of the people  who make, or potentially make, the communities within it. Right now we live in a  dark age every bit as horrific as  past  barbarics. The current 'one...

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Imagine...

11 November 2014

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I wish to state, on oath, that the firm in question had no knowledge of any illegality. The documentation I produced was entirely fake. Similarly, Arts Council England are totally innocent of any wrong-doing - I was never awarded a grant for the repurposing of a London Landmark. I chose the firm because they are experienced in delivering, placing and removing statuary for temporary exhibitions as well as the permanent placement of public art. They were completely convinced by the volumes...

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Rolling with the Kafkaesque

3 November 2014

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Of course I'm not a real person, I wouldn't want us to get off on the wrong footing. I'm not exactly a fictional character either, at least not a complete one. I realise that sounds a little fantastical, but I'm keen to explain. I'm more like a shadow, nothing sinister; I'm certainly nothing like a ghost, I wouldn't want you thinking shades or other figments of creepiness. I was created on paper, painstakingly written out as one whole, if somewhat bewildered,...

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