The word 'disabled' still carries a lot of stigma with it, so much so that many disabled people avoid using the label in case they find themselves subjected to ridicule, disability discrimination in the workplace or some form of social stigma.

Declaring that you're a disabled person affords you some protection in the workplace but often not.  Declaring your disability with Disabled Artists' Network is a preference but we understand if it's difficult for you to do.  This is why we prioritise help for disabled artists.  We exhibit the work of non-disabled artists too, providing their statement describes how their creative process generates a sense of well-being.

The statements are as important as the art work being submitted.  The story adds something and gives you an insight into the soul of the artist ... making it a holistic experience rather than just looking at art.  You can view examples here.

Many artists have benefitted through exhibiting with us over the years - quite a few have then forgotten about the help we gave them and mentioned nothing of the project.  We've helped artists gain more recognition and a track record so they could go on and obtain grants from arts organisations ... but they weren't comfortable mentioning DAN CIC or their connection with us.

Many people look at the title of our application pack and go no further than the title page.  They often make the assumption that the project is just for 'handicapped' people.  Part of our work is about educating people about the breadth and depth of disability through reading the statements of some people - some are more open than others about their lives.

The bottom line is this:  yes most of us have some form of disability but you should see what we can produce as art.  We're not conveyor belt artists - each piece takes time, energy and contains something of our spirit.  We create within the limitations of our conditions but we're ABLE to create some mind-blowing art.  We maintain a sense of dignity in the main; concentrating on what we can do and how creativity helps us, rather than complaining about our disability.  In this respect we become ambassadors for promoting creativity as a coping mechanism for disability.

If you're invited to exhibit with us ... or if you've seen our call for submissions - please read the application pack carefully.  We may prioritise people with disabilities, particularly mental health issues, but we don't discriminate against non-disabled people and welcome you all to join us.

You can find the application pack here.  What are you waiting for?

Popular Posts