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27 August 2014

Blog Gini

View of the brand new road surface, already complete with road markings

Approaching the Tokyo apartment, I'd made a joke about the familiar British look of the very patched up road outside. Next morning it was gone - the road that is. There was merely a river of rubble. The workmen looked very concerned when they saw me looking to exit the main entrance of the building for a day out, but we assured them I could leave the other way - through the bicycle storage area. It has one steep step which, with help, is just possible to negotiate. In the early evening...

Housewife headache. Digital image on bone china plate.

27 August 2014

Blog Jane McCormick

Digital image on bone china plate.

I love this vintage advertisement for the treatment of a condition known as ' Housewife headache' so it just had to become part of my Sick Selfie series. It seems that all these these years I thought my permanent headache and fatigue was as a result of a neurological condition when really it was just caused by  'boredom and emotional fatigue'. Who knew? The advert  goes on to say.....'making beds, getting meals, acting as family chauffeur, tiresome work day after...

'Lessons have been learnt' my arse! Dear God what is this evil that you've done?

27 August 2014

Blog Wendy Young

Welcome to Rotherham signage

Lovely soundbite there from a robotic public servant!  (Indeed a top banking exec used the same phrase apologising for his major high street bank's cock ups!)  The need to tick boxes, be PC (not the constable type), meet targets resulting in closed doors, dirt swept under the carpet not cleaned from the floor?  And get quite a tidy sum to boot which begs the question 'are people in charge in it for the money?'  'cause it ain't the love!  Is this a...

Poetician's 51st State

27 August 2014

Blog Wendy Young


I didn't get DLA and suffered total embarassment trying to claim at an appeal (I could not fill the form in alone. I had to get help). Awaiting another breakdown to explain the first breakdown. Anger walking away from the DLA in Grays Inn turned into this poem in my head and performed it the next evening at Survivors....something positive out of something negative. The 51st State of the D Hell of A! - Poetician Needs Hand Rail Three grey stooges assessing case Cross examining...

Greeting Tokyo

26 August 2014

Blog Gini

A view of the river Sumida from a bridge looking down at riverside access and along the river to a second bridge and the banks lined with tall buildings.

A smooth landing and fast, easy entry into the land of the rising sun, sees me speeding in a Skyliner train into Tokyo from Narita airport. The journey is familiar. Japan's created geography can change as speedily as that traumatised by the natural phenomena that occur in this part of the world, yet certain things remain. The perfect rectangles of cultivated land, and the jungle effects of foresting trees dwarfed by bamboo - all tangled together with rampant vines, these things repeat...

News: Channel 4: Does It Matter? World War 1 Shorts

28 July 2014


News: Channel 4: Does It Matter? World War 1 Shorts

With two million British servicemen disabled by World War One, society's attitude to disability had to change. Co-produced by Artsadmin and Xenoki and co-commissioned by Channel 4 and 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, five disabled artists present unorthodox takes on the legacies of war and disability through a series of short films.

Review: Francesca Martinez: ‘What the **** is Normal?!’

19 July 2014


Francesca Martinez' memoir is about growing up with Cerebral Palsy. Rosaleen McDonagh reviews the comedians reflections on her life - an arduous journey through crippledom, illustrating how the public persona of wanting to be the ‘funny girl’ contradicted her internalized oppression.

Review: Shape Artist's Network talk by Aaron McPeake on receiving the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary

16 July 2014


Adam Reynolds Bursary winner Aaron McPeake gave a talk at the Shape Gallery in Westfield on his Spike Island residency on 3 July, as part of the launch of Shape’s Artist Network; a new, quarterly event for emerging and mid-career artists to get together, develop new collaborations and share ideas for professional development. Colin Hambrook reflects on the artists' practice.

Review: Jez Colborne: GIFT at the Southbank Centre

8 July 2014


Jez Colborne’s live sound installation GIFT is one of 20 pieces commissioned by the New Music Biennial and destined for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Gus Garside saw Mind the Gap’s latest production at the Southbank Centre on 6 July.

Review: DaDaFest: Working Lives: Here & There

24 June 2014


Working Lives: Here & There is the latest exhibition by DadaFest, a disability and deaf arts organisation based in Liverpool, aiming to explore disability and employment, not just locally in Liverpool, but worldwide, through photographs and supporting narratives of disabled people in their workplaces. Review by Jade French

Interview: Unlimited 2014: Ian Johnston: Dancer

18 August 2014


Created with the late Adrian Howells, 'Dancer' is a gentle provocation on what it is to be a 'dancer'. Producer Lucy Gaizely answered a few of Dao’s questions about what promises to be a fun and thought-provoking show in the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre on Saturday 6 September.

Interview: Unlimited 2014: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

12 August 2014


Owen Lowery is the author of a volume of poetry, Otherwise Unchanged (Carcanet 2012), and is the recipient of an Unlimited award. John O’Donoghue interviewed the poet by email about the inspiration, form and development of his work providing an insight into his creative identity. What follows is an edited version of this correspondence.

Opinion: Unlimited 2014: Katherine Araniello hosts The Dinner Party Revisited

30 July 2014


Katherine Araniello first presented The Dinner Party in 2011. A development of that work, The Dinner Party Revisited, has been commissioned for 2014’s Unlimited Festival - a commission that confirms Katherine as one of the most significant Live Artists in the UK. So what does it mean to be a 'Live Artist'? Lois Keidan, Director of the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) explains.


Interview: Unlimited 2014: Jo Bannon talks about Exposure

29 July 2014


Nina Muehlemann met artist Jo Bannon during a networking meeting with other artists and people involved with the second round of Unlimited. She talked to Jo about her Unlimited 2014 commission, ‘Exposure’ over a glass of wine.

Interview: Unlimited 2014: James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner on Madlove

27 July 2014


James Leadbitter aka the vacuum cleaner, received an Unlimited research and development award for Madlove - a project which asks those with and without mental illness to collaborate in designing a ‘safe place to go mad’. John O’Donoghue talks to the artist about his idea to get people to participate in redesigning the asylum.

SenseAbility presentation: Ten Years of Dao: a potted history

17 June 2014


Dao Editor Colin Hambrook was invited to speak about Disability Arts Online at SenseAbility – an event held at the Pound Arts Centre, Corsham from 10-14 June. The festival, exploring inclusion in the arts and community, was organized by Tanvir Bush in partnership with Bath Spa University. This feature contains a transcript of his presentation

Gallery: Shape Creative Steps: David Hevey documentaries

9 June 2014


As part of London-based disability arts development agency, Shape's Creative Steps programme, seven disabled creative practitioners participated in a series of fascinating film documentaries. Made by award-winning director, screenwriter and photographer, David Hevey, the purpose of this documentary-series is to act as a calling card  highlighting the talents of the disabled artists that Shape supports - and who in turn, support...

Poetry: Penny Pepper: Lost in Spaces

19 May 2014


Penny Pepper is a writer, poet and performer with an extraordinary versatility to her work. Genre-defying and quirky, her work is infused with her passion as a veteran disability arts activist.

Poetry: Julie McNamara: Chaos Calls

17 May 2014


Julie McNamara has been a tour de force within the field of Disability Arts for more than twenty years. Her current theatre work: Let Me Stay is a recipient of an Unlimited 2014 award, and is currently touring. Julie has also had her poetry published in several anthologies. Below Dao previews a selection from her first collection Chaos Calls, published by Vital Xposure.

Poetry: Owen Lowery: Otherwise Unchanged

12 May 2014


Writing and studying poetry was initially part of Owen Lowery's recovery following a spinal injury incurred while competing in a charity judo tournament as a young professional sportsman. Having recently won an Unlimited Award, Lowery's first major poetry collection, 'Otherwise Unchanged', was published by Carcanet in 2012. The work speaks in a range of voices, drawing from poetic traditions far and wide.