I’ve been really excited to be in that place where I’m putting accessibility at the forefront and as part of the creative process rather than an afterthought. As disabled artists we really need to think about how we make work that’s accessible because if we’re not thinking about it there’s no reason for mainstream to consider it.
I’m a ‘learn through doing’ kind of person so doing these workshops has been really beneficial and I’m sure it’s really going to influence the way I make work in the future, which is what I wanted to get out of it.
I’m constantly thinking about everybody’s experience of the artwork I’m making and how can I make that experience more accessible?
I’m also thinking about how different tools for accessibility can change the experience of the work. It’s been really fascinating to experience how audio description could make a work more powerful or less impactful or it can really change how we relate to what we’re seeing.
And it’s been really interesting to work with AUSLAN outside the usual what’s happening on stage and an interpreter thing. It’s been exciting to explore other ways to incorporate sign language into the work.
What is the beauty of you?
I haven’t really had a feeling of beauty in my body for as long as I remember but I’ve always thought of myself in a functional sense but I’ve always asked how can I make this or that and that’s where I derive my pride in myself.
What are your flaws?
Not thinking of myself as beautiful in a way and I think that everybody should be able to recognise the beauty and divinity in themselves. So it’s all great to think functionally but I think it’s important for us all to think of ourselves as beautiful and as divine beings.
Your quirkiness and idiosyncracies?
The way my body works is my quirkiness and it’s something I’ve learnt not to be apologetic for and if there’s something I can’t do…it also informs my attitude. I’m unapologetic and I’m pretty good at advocating for my needs. If I fart now I’ll be ‘I farted’. We shouldn’t be apologetic. This is how I am. This is how I go and I’m doing my best.
In what do you find comfort?
I find comfort in things that are familiar to me and that I have control over. The nature of my condition means there’s not often control over things. I get a great deal of comfort in controlling things like colour coding my books or doing my accounts.
The phoenix tattoo on my chest represents my ability to adapt. To rise from the ashes. If you burn down you come back stronger.
Who catches you when you fall?
A lot of people – usually strangers or acquaintances. I think that’s because the people I’m closest to put me on a pedestal and I don’t want to corrupt that image so I keep things close to my chest. Sometimes it surprises me when someone catches me when I fall because somebody has seen the cracks.