Professional Development for D/deaf and disabled artists in Southampton
From January to May 2021, in partnership with Rachel Gadsden and led by the New Carnival Company, we ran a skills development course with four Southampton-based emerging D/deaf and disabled artists. Announced on International Day of People with Disabilities 2020, the programme led to a series of free participatory workshops for communities, both disabled and non-disabled, in March 2021.
The scheme provided seven online training sessions for artists to develop or extend skills in their community engagement practice. This had a particular focus on delivering online and to participants with diverse needs. Sessions were led by the New Carnival Company, with additional one-to-one support from their staff who also supported delivery of the artist-led final sessions.
There were four group mentoring sessions and support from experienced visual and performance artist Rachel Gadsden, who also worked with the emerging artists to be part of her international Mayflower 400 exhibition, Displaced.
The artists taking part in this scheme were:
Photographer, moving image maker and creative.
Juanrie’s current body of work experiments with concepts of digital image making and collage to reconstruct photographs of flowers, an ongoing project, which took inspiration during Lockdown 2020.
As a Postgraduate Research Student, her research project focuses on Transnational Narratives as a topic; considering how as an immigrant from South Africa, her family and disability narratives intertwine with her transnational narrative to construct her identity.
Ashleigh Turner came to Southampton to study Fine Art at Solent University and loved it. Creative storytelling and alternatives means of communication have always be of interest to them. As a queer, fat, disabled trauma survivor, they make work to express their lived experience and the way these identity markers intersect with each other.
They have made brightly coloured crochet dolls with stretch marks and scars as a means of celebrating bodies for what we tend to shame about them. They also explore their relationship with their body, and its quirks and obstacles, through large choatic paintings including text from streams of conciousness, music and social media.
PhD Student Deborah Goatley-Birch is an interdisciplinary artist from Southampton. She is currently researching European carnival and mask whist working part-time for local Autism Charity, Autism Hampshire.
During her Master’s degree she was selected to show her work in ‘Response to Leonardo’ work at Southampton City Art Gallery. In 2019 she was awarded an internship at Southampton city art Gallery as part of the MA Knowledge Exchange Programme and as a consequence of this placement was elected events secretary for the charity ‘Friends of Southampton Museums, Archives and Galleries’.
Her practice focuses on identity and representation, a theme she has explored in her experimental short films. “Being autistic does not define me as an artist, however the way in which I perceive the world and interpret my experience is something which cannot be separated from my art practice”.
Gullu Kandrou is a BIPOC, neurodivergent, disabled, second-generation immigrant womxn who has seen the duality of the experience that coming to the UK has had on her parents. On the one hand lies trauma, but there is also hope and happiness in what is found beyond and behind in the memories before the trauma began.
Gullu graduated Solent University with a First-Class Honours degree in Fine Art: during 2020, she has been included in nine exhibitions, including one by the Tate. In 2021, she has three local exhibitions, one of which explore her heritage as a Kurdish woman and neurodivergent individual.
As a development exercise, each artist was given the same backdrop image of ships on the shore and asked to manipulate the image to express something about their personal journeys. See what was created here.