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Elinor Unwin, Project Manager for Artists in Wakefield blogs about language with some thoughts on how words, spoken or written, can create unintentional barriers for the individual.

Disability Meets Digital

10 April 2013

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Art House logo

Disability Meets Digital March 21st 2013 – Aidan Moesby Sometimes when I don’t know where I’m going I follow someone who looks like they know where they are going. Coming out of Piccadilly Manchester there are absolutely no signs to point the way to Future Everything so I start following someone with a Future Everything tote bag. My hunch pays off. Successfully navigating the not particularly accessible rotary doors I find myself in a throng of people. Everyone is connected...

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Volunteering is good!

10 April 2013

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Visitors and staff at the Art House with work by artist Ivan Liochev

I have been volunteering at the Art House since July 2012, throughout my time I’ve had fun working as part of a team and have enjoyed the roles I’ve been offered to undertake. As an artist myself it’s been a perfect environment for me to volunteer at. I’ve loved talking and getting to know other artists, talking to artist who have studios here, setting up for Artwalks and just being part of the team at the Art House. I like to think I make a difference and being part of...

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Everyone in Our Society is in Our Culture: Censoring artwork and protecting the public

4 February 2013

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photo of a series of three windows with a blind in front of them

‘I gotta divide my emotions into wrong and right’ says Ani d’Franco in her song 'Shameless'. Do we have a quiet instinct to protect ‘the public’ from disabled artists? I’m not Andrea Dworkin but censorship crossed my desk today, and these are my thoughts from inside the Art House. We run an evening affordable art fair, stalls galore with Xmas presents plus mulled wine, twinkly lights and mince pies. It’s a lot of fun. Artists tell us it’s...

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Factoring in Flexibility: Equality in Business

4 February 2013

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If a customer is unable to use our facilities due to something as serious as being admitted to hospital for a lengthy period of time should they then still be invoiced for a service they are not able to access? At the Art House there are long term studios and short term studios available to lease. The long term studios are subject to a 12 month contract which in some respects is a short period of time but if a studio holder becomes unwell during this period it can seem like a long period. The...

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Volunteering and equality

4 February 2013

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I have a friend who used to volunteer with a local arts organisation, but has now stopped as he fears that if he continues to do so he may lose his benefits. The explanation for this being that if he is able to volunteer he may be deemed fit to work, despite being able to take time off when he needs it in his voluntary position, which wouldn’t be possible in paid employment. As a relatively new member of staff I have had this in mind when carrying out an aspect of my role, recruiting and...

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What are the alternatives?

30 May 2012

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Colour photograph of creative networking event

I am currently assisting an artist in scribing a Grant for the Arts application, through the Arts Council England Access Fund. On reading the artist’s blog I’ve been introduced to the particular barriers society creates for those with a disability. This artist spends most of their time in their home. This has significant impacts on their artistic practice, not only in terms of adapting art practice to their situation, but also how they are able to interact with the art world.  ...

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Make Mistakes: the New Work is Now

3 May 2012

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Art House Board, Staff and Advisory Group debating during Away Day

We’ve been talking a lot recently about artist’s studios. What are they for? How do communities work when people are different? How do you create a space for individuals and groups? We’ve been talking to different people and supporting them to talk to each other: artists, architects and staff.   Whilst our conversations are still in progress, it reminds me of the importance of discussion, dialogue, discourse. It is part of the creative process: understanding how we think,...

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Art for All

3 May 2012

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View of window display at empty shop taken on by The Art House at The Ridings Shopping Centre, Wakefield

As an artist and creative educator I think that looking, exploring, thinking and making Art is something that should be an essential part of our lives. It helps us to think about our world, our responses and relationships with it. It helps us to think about ourselves, our feelings, our past, our future. It helps us to be inspired, create, to think in new ways, to question, and take risks. We all respond to art in different ways through our own experiences. I think we should all take more time...

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Good News! We've Been Awarded ACE Capital Funding

3 May 2012

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Artist Terry Chip talking to Artwalkers at The Art House

Plans for The Art House to develop Drury Lane Library as 33 artists’ studios and spaces for the public to access Art has taken another step forward. Arts Council England announced today (Thursday 29th March) that it has awarded a grant as part of its new large-scale capital funding programme.   To read the full press release click here.  ...

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Overcoming obstacles

3 May 2012

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Image of Oscar Pistorius sprinting

I started working here at The Art House at the beginning of November, and there was a few things of which I first noticed and it just made me think, life is what you make of it. You can become whatever you want, as long as there is passion and commitment you are destined for success.   The specific thing that got me thinking was when I first noticed somebody with a disability, yet they made it possible for themselves to do what it was in life that they wanted. They did this by putting...

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Outside Insight

3 May 2012

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Looking from the inside out

I recently asked an artist if they were aware of the project Outside In. I wondered if that artist identified with this project which aims ‘to provide a platform for artists who find it difficult to access the art world’ for reasons of mental health, disability or social circumstance. The artist backed away from me, almost recoiling in horror at the mention that they might be associated with the genre. I was taken aback by the artist’s response and wondered why such a strong...

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Amongst the Nerves of the Art World

3 May 2012

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How are we fulfilling our artistic policy, our reasons for being? Indeed, are we fulfilling this obligation?   The Art House is here to serve artists and, as they are the antennae through which creativity is transmitted, the objects and concepts that constitute art. This paradoxical role, of an organisation wielding power yet subservient to its members, means we can never lose sight of these basic tenets; there must be some accountability.   It is within the opinions of the members,...

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Elinor Unwin on the Power of Words

8 February 2012

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a selection of words created digitally in cloud creator

We all know how words can have a major impact on our lives. They affect the way we feel about the world, about others and about ourselves.    From Winston Churchill's 'We shall fight them on the beaches...' to Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream...' the spoken word has the power to rally thousands to a cause. In our daily lives a compliment from a friend or co-worker can boost your self esteem, whilst a hurtful comment can bring you down for days.  ...

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