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

What are the alternatives? / 30 May 2012

Colour photograph of creative networking event

Colour photograph of creative networking event

Zoom in to this image and read text description

I am currently assisting an artist in scribing a Grant for the Arts application, through the Arts Council England Access Fund. On reading the artist’s blog I’ve been introduced to the particular barriers society creates for those with a disability. This artist spends most of their time in their home. This has significant impacts on their artistic practice, not only in terms of adapting art practice to their situation, but also how they are able to interact with the art world.

Through my work at The Art House, I see the immense value that this interaction with the art world has on a daily basis. Whether it’s attending other artists’ exhibitions, networking events, training opportunities, exhibition previews of their own work, or a host of other events. The chance to meet with other artists and art professionals allows for peer exchange, creative dialogue, shared experience, a support network and an opportunity to share and evaluate your own work. This in turn can lead to a whole host of opportunities, as well as inform the development of artistic practice.
What many of us take for granted and often put off to another day, others are not able to engage in on a regular basis. So what is the answer? How do individual artists who face difficulties in leaving their homes gain the advantages that such activity can bring?
If only we knew and had the perfect formula! 
The artist in question has been proactive in sharing their work and experience as a way to generate this useful peer exchange. They have done this mainly through traditional online platforms, such as publishing their own website, posting a profile on a number of visual arts organisations websites and setting up several blogs. 
But are there more possibilities, or alternatives? Is there something out there that would allow these artists to be transported into the art world more directly?
We’re keen to know, so please share thoughts, ideas and experiences.  
Elinor Unwin
Project Manager - Artists in Wakefield

Keywords: access issues,art,arts and health,disability,disability art,visual art,visual arts