This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Well here we go – Open Weekend is here... / 22 July 2011

After what seems a lifetime of waiting we are here, annoyingly I couldn’t sleep and have woken early – so its Open Weekend at last. It almost feels like I am going to take an exam. All is packed and after months of preparation the big day is here (except its 3 days and like last year will blur into each other i suspect).

The hall is full of kebab sticks – almost 20K and to my wife’s relief will soon be empty – not told her where all the made flags are going yet!). We had a few scrapes this week with the promised books not appearing but the University Library stepped in with several boxes of Law journals and a shelf of Atomic Physics books... plenty of pages. People ask me about this. Don’t I feel guilty about using books in this way? Nope... I love books, always treated them with deference due and these would go for pulping, so this is a far better way to treat them – metamorphosis into a ‘new’ artwork that gives people pleasure...(this year feels very ‘literary’ as the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust are involved making flags in Stratford on Avon!)

So starting today we have 14 events nationally and Flags as they have come to be known seem to be all over the internet...I kick off at ArtSway Gallery in the New Forest with 2 events 'Flags all day and for ‘Look About’ – a ‘pre-transmission talk in the Gallery in the evening.- the first in a series of talks as informed and performance artworks for this Accentuate Commission..

We have 14 official ‘events’ with Artists creating , making and planting in villages, woods, on beaches, at art collages and in some ‘Famous places’ – even a Light ship. Have a look at the event listings for events taking place across the UK. I am hoping for loads of DIY events too as anyone can engage with Dysarticulate 2 and be an artist for the day. I know of quite a few and social media has been so important in playing with this side of the project – we even have a ‘flaging and Bunted wedding’ on the Saturday.....Lots of friends overseas are joining in too. I am really pleased Dysarticulate 2 has received an 'Inspire Mark' this year as the project will head into schools at the start of next term – running all the way through to games time..

So here we go then – soon time to get up and start...fingers x’d for the weather I find myself excited though and proud to be part of the celebration – it’s like  those exams you kind of looked forward to doing but can’t tell anyone as you don’t want to look too keen or jinx it! For me at school it was the geology AS level – I knew I could do it , loved almost wanted the challenge - my aspergers longed to know the questions......but you still wished you had completed it...

Dysarticulate is showing as part of OpenWeekend , supported by BP and is also part of Discovering Places - a London 2012 Cultural Olympiad campaign to inspire the UK to discover their local natural, built and historic environments. London 2012 Open Weekend is the annual nationwide celebration marking the countdown to the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Across the UK over 1,000 events have been planned as part of the Open Weekend 'Showcasing the Best' -  art, dance, music, sports, heritage and film in the local community and 'Celebrating the One Year to Go' to the Games. 

Still time to take part - To Go DIY:  You don’t have to attend an official event to join in with Dysarticulate 2.  You can create and plant your own flags and bunting in any location which has meaning to you.  This can be in your back garden, in a local park or school, on your holiday, anywhere!  Take photographs of it in situ and then send me the photos along with some brief information about your event - how many people participated? why did you choose the venue? how many flags did you plant? Photos of your event can be uploaded here.  Tell me about your event if you wish on this facebook group.

To make the flags: you remove the pages from the books, wrapping and glueing them to the bamboo. These you can then take out and plant in patterns, circles, clumps or straight lines. You will need to carefully remove the pages and not tear them, as the books are not being destroyed, just changed, and metamorphosed into a ‘synchronous’ artwork. Bunting is made in a similar way, but you attach to fishing line.  You can see examples of flags and bunting on the Dysarticulate 2 website.  Don’t forget to count your flags as they will all count towards the 1 million we hope to plant by the time the Olympic games arrives in London next year.