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It's been a funny couple of months ...

1 September 2014

Blog Crippen

It's been a funny couple of months, especially with being locked out of facebook again. Seems that one of my cartoons caused offence to someone (again), who complained, the cartoon gets suspended and investigated and then I'm told my work is too Political for a place on Facebook. I've put in the usual appeal, about non-disabled people finding a lot of my work innappropriate, especially when confronting their misconceptions about disability and challenging their stereotypical beliefs...

Toranomon - Tiger's Gate

31 August 2014

Blog Gini

Two plastic looking cartoon characters, presumably both cats, stood infront of glass and steel doors that look out on greenery and more skyscrapers. The cat figures are bith weaing colars with brass bells around their necks. Like humans they stand upright

Today's outing to Roppongi is to see a display of 60 variations on what looks to me like a cartoon cat; a blue blob with whiskers who can go anywhere through a magic door. I'm optimistically reminded of the 100 or so artist decorated figures I discovered in the skyscraper Marunouchi Building on a previous visit. When we get there, the Roppongi Hills figures have gone, but there is a lot of promotional material for a Gaudi exhibition at the Mori Gallery - an outing for next week. A snap...

Conversing in English

30 August 2014

Blog Gini

This Japanese notice also warns in English  'KEEP OUT bicycle skateboard' has a cartoon kid looking cross, together with an image of a bicycle and a skateboard

Making the best sense I can of the little bits of Tokyo I am becoming familiar with is a gradual thing. Nothing is static, nothing is set in stone. And the Japanese strangers who converse with me may have their own agenda. More Japanese than ever are making the attempt. Notices and instructions in English are increasing, I put this all down to preparations for the Olympics - it's a prestige thing. A conversation about culture leads into talking fairy tales. How do children get introduced to...

Identity crisis?

29 August 2014

Blog Gini

A grey and white gull sitting on the blue railings alongside the Sumida river has the brownish river and pinkish skyscrapers for a background on a grey overcaste day

Waiting for the guys to come and service my wheelchair, I watched the tail-end of a TV programme that had a sweet sounding Japanese female cooing about the laying and hatching of insect eggs and the emergence of new life. It was followed by a male voice talking the science of stars in the night sky. A young female appeared on screen with a sketch pad, followed by a mature male who explained the sky to her and allowed her to look through his giant telescope while she marvelled and cooed in...

Tsukiji, kabuki and giraffes

28 August 2014

Blog Gini

A colourful poster for the new season kabuki performance, with the all male caste in traditional Japanese costume and made up as males and females, heroes and villains

It's the biting season, hot and humid with the electric fizz of cicadas interfering with my tinnitus. I make a second foray to the river - passing a gigantic hole in the ground where a new building will shortly enhance the space. The earth is a rich dark brown, almost black in places; the river itself is less red-brown, more grey today. I decide to roll on into Tsukiji, the Tokyo fish market, and maybe further to reacquaint myself with the new Kabuki theatre and Wako - surely the most...

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

Unlimited 2014: Chisato Minamimura: Ring the Changes+

29 August 2014


Whilst eagerly awaiting the delights of Unlimited Festival next week, Sarah Pickthall attended a recent sharing of work in progress of Chisato Minamimura’s commissioned work Ring the Changes+ at TripSpace Studios in Haggerston - a collaboration with digital artist Nick Rothwell, produced by Body>Data >Space.

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.


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.