I have been doing a lot of thinking recently about the value of making more political artwork, relating especially to disability arts. This has partly been triggered by discussions with Alicia Grace, a dramaturg and Kaleido board member based in Totnes, with whom I have been sharing some really interesting discussions on Art, Disability and Ecology.
I won't try to sum up Alicia's work in case I misrepresent her, but she will shortly be writing an article on the Alias Arts website, so keep an eye out for that - www.aliasarts.org
I value what Disability Arts has to offer those who chose to take part and those they aim to represent; the way that limiting models of reality can altered or deconstructed. From time to time I choose to make work which is explicitly informed by my experience of disability, but on the whole, I tend to focus on work which explores and shares my whole experience as an individual, learning through the interaction between my physical environment and sensing body, and then reflecting on my place within it.
I have been reading some of the blog of Philip Patson today (" I am a comedian, consultant and social entrepreneur. Sometimes I describe myself as a creative philanthropist ") and I thought it might be interesting to add some of his thoughts here too .
' if we want to create a world where that uniqueness can be valued as much as common experience, we need to start changing language. When we call ourselves disabled artists, what are we thinking about ourselves? What are we putting out to the world and what is coming back to us from the world? What if we used different language, like the 'art of unique experience' or 'art of experiential diversity'? I don't know exactly what the language should be, but let's start thinking about it so that we can move forward.'
James Aldridge - exploring art and ecology , 16th February 2009