This week I have been reflecting on accessibility and inclusion.
In July for The Weather Report programme I took part in Accessible Marketing training by Paula Dower from DASH. I have started to implement some of the really important changes that I need to make in my communications.
I have also started to recognise some of my own accessibility needs as a neurodiverse artist.
I have always struggled with giving talks and decided to use visual notes with drawings and annotations. This enabled me to remember key points when I gave a talk to fellow artists: Andrew Howe, Jean Atkin, Emma Plover and Jamila Walker Thomas; Olivia Hames from the Hive and Kate Green from Meadow Arts.
In other news:
I attended The Body as Vessel: Priya Mistry AKA What’s the Big Mistery, provoking, evoking and amplifying. (Axis Web)
I Visited British Columbia and was inspired by indigenous knowledge. I found affinity with Raven who teaches us to be creative, playful and curious.
I’ve just booked a course in Mental Health First Aid with St John’s Ambulance. This will help deal with any issues that come up during workshops. It will help create a safer space.
This new knowledge will be embraced and disseminated in The Weather Report Inclusion Tool- Kit.
“This is a time to take a lesson from mosses” Robin Wall Kimmerer, renound writer and botanist
Mosses have survived 350 million years of catastrophe. They are ecologically important, absorbing huge quantities of water, helping to soak up rainfall and create humidity, offering a home for creatures, like woodlice and nematodes.
There are around 1,000 bryophyte species of mosses and liverworts in the UK. Many require microscopes to distinguish between closely-related species, how can we get to know and learn from them?
For this workshop during Participate’s exhibition a-kin, Jill Impey will take you on a brief artist’s guide to learning from mosses. No experience necessary, there will be some fun drawing and mark making and a gathering of words to make poetry snippets you will need pencil / pen and A4 paper.
Suitable for Adults & Children Age 8 upwards ( no unaccompanied children)
Session lasts 1 hour, Sunday 13th of February at 1 pm
Face to face: at the Unitarian Church Shrewsbury ( max 6 including carers – please note there are stairs up to the workshop room ) booking via : firstname.lastname@example.org
Weather was lovely, sunshine & cloud with a light wind close to the sea. I watched from the Hoe as the light grey fog that hung over Plymouth Sound on Wednesday afternoon, obscured the jagged volcanic rocks of Drake’s Island, then lift almost as soon as it came.
1940’s mental health nurse Lucida, having just returned from New Plymouth, New Zealand, had many fruitful interactions with visitors to her events, sharing stories and comparing experiences of the COVID 19 pandemic with WW2 and the post war period.
Many people recognised the importance of the moment, reflecting on the divisive events of 1948; the building of the Berlin Wall, the beginning of Apartheid in South Africa and the establishment of the State of Israel. All acknowledged the impact of those post war devisions and the need for global unity now, in 2021 not just for humanity but for all nature’s sake.
If ever there was a time to send a postcard it is now, we all live under the same sky, reach out and communicate.
As a neurodiverse artist I often find that I miss out explanations about how to engage with my projects and invitations to share in my practice. In fact throughout the project I’ll be exploring my own neurodiverse ways of communicating, with artist Heather Peak who is mentoring me.
This is the first project I have applied for Arts Council England’s Access Fund, and it has made such a difference from the usual stress of bid writing – I would urge neurodiverse (dyslexic etc) artists to apply for bid writing support. I went to DASH, https://www.dasharts.org/ for advice on this and in relation to the general accessibility of the project . Mike Leyward was brilliantly helpful.
Julie Hoggarth from Brass Tacks (https://www.brasstacks.org.uk/), a long time friend and fellow artist, helped me hone the bid with her magical recomposing of words.
I would also recommend this podcast : https://www.movebeyondwords.co.uk/podcast to any one who is or thinks they might be dyslexic/neurodiverse or wants to understand links between creativity and neurodiversity.
The workshops for The Weather Report are dedicated to specific groups at the moment, but I would like people to follow and respond to the blog which will be weekly mainly visual snippets and will invite participation further into the project.