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Colin Hambrook established Disability Arts Online in 2004. Since then he has been editing and maintaining the journal and its social media outlets. In his blog he comments on aspects of stuff going in within Disability Arts and the specific arts programmes Dao is engaged with.. as well being known to vent the occasional rant.

It's Easy For You To Say: Rowan James and the emergence of 'impairment-laden' work by disabled artists

19 October 2015

Blog

An image of the torso of a Rowan James sporting a variety of labels such as 'average', 'awkward',  'dribbler', 'overcome'. He wears a stethoscope attached to his chest

I recently caught an ITV news item celebrating the “ordinary heroes of Britain.” An eight-year-old disabled child was put on the spot for being ‘inspirational’ for completing a triathlon. It was notable because the lad was much too sharp to be fooled by media patronising bollocks: “I don’t even know why I’ve won an award. Anyone could do it.” His response caused immediate embarrassment to the news presenter and to the boy's father and he was...

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Katherine Araniello and Simon Raven do 'The Golden Gherkin'

29 July 2015

Blog

photo of artists Katherine Araniello and Simon Raven dressed in black costumes with a stall of 'golden pickles'  pictured in front of the Damien Hirst 'Charity' sculpture near the Gherkin

Unveiled in the same week that the UK government scrapped the Independent Living Fund (ILF), a debate about the artistic merit of Damien Hirst’s 'Charity' (2003 - 2004) ignited on Dao’s FB group.  A 22-foot painted bronze likeness of a Spastics Society (Scope) charity collection box from the 1960's-1970’s depicting a sad disabled child, the press lauded it as a statement about disability rights and exclusion. Why? Because in Hirst’s depiction, the giant...

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Sadcrip/ supercrip: two sides of the same coin

21 July 2015

Blog

The Adventures of Super-Crip cartoon with an image of a blind super hero wearing a red costume and large black visors leading a family along a railway line.

Logging on to Dao’s FB group can be a reminder that we are living in a regressive period where Disability Politics is concerned. It can often feel as though the Social Model understanding of our lives as disabled people has taken several steps backwards. The Dao FB group has grown to nearly 3,700 members, increasingly attracting individuals from every corner of the globe. It’s an open forum with an increasing number of posts, linking to journals and blogs that present a dilemma...

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Highlights of 2014: with thanks to DaisyFest, Together, Unlimited and DaDaFest

10 January 2015

Blog

purple tinted drawing inspired by a surreal character from the Bosch painting 'The temptation of St Anthony’

Firstly I’d like to wish a Happy New Year to all Dao’s readers and contributors. Last year we got out and about a fair bit, spreading the word about the disabled artists who engage with the disability arts sector through being a part of events, over and above the usual work we do of reporting on events and supporting artists through networking. Firstly last June there was DaisyFest in Guildford, which featured two of Dao’s writers Penny Pepper and Allan Sutherland. Both...

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Colin Hambrook posts the debate from FaceBook group on disability art and Identity

5 December 2012

Blog

ink drawing of several figures in a strange landscape

Last week DAOs FaceBook group was the site of a raging debate about disability, art and identity. Between 19-27 November members of the group posted something in the region of 15,000 words in 122 posts. Responses were passionate. It was a valuable debate testing the validity, or otherwise of Disability Art, a Disability Arts Movement and of definitions of being a 'disabled artist'. Many of the contributions question the social model ethic of 'self-definition' and the validity...

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