Sunday 1 May 2016

And now: the Gallery…

Last year, for #BADD2015, I created a collage of disabled folk doing various quotidian activities entitled "We Live" (NB NSFW) along with an eponymous poem. The following blog-post is one of two that make up my contribution to this year's Blogging Against Disablism Day (#BADD2016). It is a cyber-gallery of artworks that I hope will speak to some of us with disabilities and/or chronic illness.

As part of the curating duties, I shall keep labelling to a minimum, for I want the observer to draw their own inferences, meaning and significance, if any. I have come across all the images over the past few months via social media. I have done my best to track down the artists and/or copyright-©-holder. This will be stated firstly. Where I have done so, the name will also serve as a link to further information or the artist's own website. Then, for the sight-impaired, I have attempted to describe each piece. This latter task took several hours, far longer than anticipated. I hope therefore that my descriptions prove helpful.

I am not aware of any musea or galleries that have specifically curated for disabled people (although no doubt it has been done previously). However I am aware of one professional disabled artist, Liz Crow, who very much presents her work, both live and on-line, in the most accessible ways. I do not know the disability/able-bodied status of any of the artists featured below. This is not a collection of art by "the disabled"; but rather images and objects that have spoken to me personally. I hope that at least one or two might also speak to the reader/observer.

Like the bloggers for Blogging Against Disablism Day, the artists (where known) come from across the globe: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, UK, & US. Apologies to Africa and South America that your continents are not represented on this occasion.

Please feel at liberty to write any comments in the section below the blog-post. I shall endeavour to respond in due course (but note I suffer unpredictable, long periods of ill-health so cannot guarantee an immediate response!). Remember to cite the artist or, in the case of unknown artists, the number (#) of the title unknown.

artist/© unknown
title unknown (#1)
A teddy-bear lies tucked in pastel-coloured bedding
in a room suffused with sunshine;
the toy faces away from the window.

Ben Ashton (London, England)
A naked man levitates above a bed, covered with rumpled, dark-blue bedding,
his arms & legs dangling below his body and head.

A bust of a man looking upwards with most of his head missing;
constructed from bicycle chains.

Bookonbook (US)
A blank, transparent acrylic tome lies open on an unpolished wooden surface.

Momentform (Paris, France)
photograph b/w
Three flights of down-lit stairs with lit hand-rails;
leading down to an empty room with a polished stone or concrete floor,
where reflections of windows can be seen.

Carl Holsøe (Denmark)
"Interior with an open window"
C19th interior with tall windows, one open looking out on to a bosky perspective;
a door to the left stands open leading to a darkened area which cannot be seen;
on a polished wooden floor against the wall stands a folded, medium-sized gate-leg table,
upon which stands a covered dish and a small glass bud-vase with a sprig of flowers.

Carolus-Duran (France)
"The Convalescent"
A thickly bearded man sleeps in a chair,
his head propped by a large pillow;
he wears a crimson pyjama top and grey pants;
his complexion is sallow,
the skin on his uncovered face, throat, upper chest, hands and left forearm is pale;
in the foreground is the back of an easel and a painting -
is he an artist resting from working or looking at a favourite picture?

Christian Lemmerz (Denmark, b. Germany)
The outline of a person levitating,
arms and head dangling backwards,
knees and legs drawn upwards;
streaks of red and grey-blue wash across the image;
there appear faint outlines of at least two other people, reclining.

Dragan Bibin (Serbia)
Viewed from above,
a young woman is tucked under the bedclothes;
her bedspread is a pattern of the reverse side of ordered playing-cards;
in her hands are cards with which she is playing a game;
in the foreground are cards that are either falling towards or rising up from the bed,
amongst them only the ace of clubs and an undetermined king can be seen face-up.

José Davila (Mexico)
Above a white shelf on a white wall is the black outline of an oblong;
atop the shelf, leaning against the wall and part of the outline is
a pane of clear glass the same size as the rectangle on the wall.

Mattia Surroz (Italy)
"Everlasting love"
Two agèd men in hospital:
one propped up in bed with an intravenous drip,
a smile on his visage;
the other standing over him, holding his hand,
looking sad or concerned;
the colour palette is subdued - white, pastel blues and soft greys.

Mirko Stoedter (Germany)
"Falling Apart"
Photograph (digitally altered)
Left-side profile of a young, thin man, wearing a white T-shirt,
he stares downwards, expressionless;
triangular flecks, fragments of his head, neck, back and left arm scatter above and behind him.

artist/© unknown
title unknown (#2)
An interior shot of a log-cabin;
a box-bed is built into a bay with windows on two sides,
a wooded scene can be seen through the windows; 
the bed appears filled with puffed up, comfortable white bedding;
a framed image, a book and a plant stand on a shelf at the unwindowed end of the bed;
below the bed are two drawers and a cupboard;
on the floor is an intricately patterned, richly coloured rug.

Daniel Teixeira (Porto, Portugal)
In the centre of the image is a large, three-storey wood house with a tiled roof;
around the ground-floor large waves are crashing against the house;
above the house is a clear sky with stars and a large full-moon;
silhouetted against the moon is a boy with a fishing-rod sitting on the roof's apex.
The over-all shape of the image and the texture of the waves
could be construed as a bearded man.

artist/© unknown
title unknown (#3)
A very large pillow is cuddled, partially encompassed
by a thin female of indeterminate age;
she wears a top and briefs;
her long, flowing and full hair hides her face;
a slogan reads: "i just wanna SLEEP" (sic). 

Jenn Gietzen (Atlanta, US)
On a white background,
the word "sleep" is written in black with a brush in a cursive script;
below are a pair of stylised, closed eye-lids with lashes.

Justin House (US ?)
On a black background, in white, capital letters is written "PERMANENTLY TIRED",
above the middle-N is a crescent-moon,
on each side of this is a triangular formation of three four-pointed stars;
over-all the lettering & drawing form an egg-shape,
the bottom quarter of the egg is stylised ground,
on which stands a log-cabin to the right,
and three fir-trees to the left;
the space above the ground, but below the lettering is filled with more stars.

Illustration to “Resurrection” by Leo Tolstoy
A richly textured pencil drawing of a bearded man propped up in bed,
his right arm lying on the pillow behind his head,
his left arm raised in the air from the elbow and holding a smoking cigarette;
the man's bed-shirt, the pillow-case and the sheet appear white;
a coloured blanket lays atop;
to the left of the image is a side-table,
on which is a candelabra in the form of an angel holding aloft the candle;
the gaze of the subject looks directly at the observer/drawer.

Geof Teague (Chicago, US)
Photos in diary with label
An open diary with square-ruled pages:
in the upper half, either side of the spine, are two images of upturned palms & forearms
held above bedding;
in the lower half, on the verso are the words "I sleep"
and on the recto "all Day" (sic).

Michael Ancher (Denmark)
"The Sick Girl"
A red-headed young woman lies asleep facing to the right of the image,
a C19th bedroom interior;
in her right hand, atop the bedding, she clasps a closed book;
on a wooden chair to the right of her, stand
a pot jar filled with brightly coloured garden-flowers,
two medicine bottles and a table-spoon.

indojo (Germany)
"My Fairy Forest"
A lush, green glade dappled in light surrounded by pine forest.

"Standing Man with Stick"
A featureless man with a darkened face stands in grey top and grey trousers,
holding a walking-stick in his left hand;
the background is a mix of greys and beiges with no discernible forms.

Mr Jo Ji (Thailand)
"The warmth that can touch"
A giant, plush teddy-bear encompasses a seated, bearded man,
in shorts and a T-shirt, possibly bedwear;
the chap has a contented, sleeping visage;
he leans into and cuddles one of the bear's arms;
from faintly moving voile curtains either side of the image,
one can deduce that we are looking in through an open window.

"The Sleepwalker"
Photograph (digitally altered) b/w
Standing male buttocks, legs & feet from rear,
holding up a rectangular board,
upon which another male lies curled into a fœtal position;
the feet stand on a wooden floor before a smooth wall.

artist/© unknown, Bully **nter
title unknown (#4)
 A ruined and decayed library of a grand house:
the walls are covered in glass-door fronted, wooden bookcases,
some doors open, most shelves still full of books;
the floor is covered in debris and rubble;
a library table stands in the centre of the room covered in papers;
next to it stands a suitcase.

"Hypnos leads the man and cat to slumber"
the centre of the image is a slumbering Japanese man,
propped on two small white pillows;
he's covered by thick bedding;
in the crux of his left axilla sleeps a fluffy black cat;
on the wall above the sleeping pair either an ornament of Hypnos,
or the manifestation of the actual deïty.

artist/© unknown
title unknown (#4)
An old wall of a building, the window blocked in;
it is painted several shades of red;
mold & moss are spreading up from the ground;
In capital letters is spray-painted the words -

artist/© unknown
title unknown (#5)
The back, shoulders and upper arms of a man
covered in bruises down every vertebræ and randomly all over;
skin tone is jaundiced;
veins are highlighted in dark colours as if inflamed.

artist/© unknown
title unknown (#6)
Photograph with slogan
A photo-image of Audre Lorde
along with her quotation:

"I was born sick"
A frayed, rectangular piece of calico,
upon which is embroidered -

Charlie Brown snuggled up in bed looking worried;
in a speech-bubble are the words in capitals -

 artist/© unknown
Objet d'art
A mock-up of an orange & cream-striped, vintage Penguin paperback:
the main title in bold font is -
then the sub-heading in normal font -
below this are the words "COMPLETE" AND "UNABRIDGED"
either side of a penguin icon .

© Semi-Professional Pictures (New Zealand)
Film Poster 
Horror-film genre poster of a spooky house bursting out of barren land and dead looking trees,
held by a skeletal, bony, scary hand.

artist/© unknown
title unknown (#7)
In a background of deep black, a seated man in pale blue boxer-shorts,
bandages around his diaphragm, right shoulder & upper arm, right thigh and right lower leg,
looks downcast and is completely shrouded in spider-like webbing.

Photograph b/w
 A thin, bespectacled, bearded & naked man sits on a bar-stool in a tiny, cluttered kitchen;
he faces the observer/photographer whilst leaning on the breakfast-bar;
prominently, a pair of modern crutches lean on the bar also, at the end nearest the viewer. 

artist/© unknown
title unknown (#8)
The top three-fifths of the image is dominated by a huge, floor-to-ceiling painting
of a young man lying & leaning atop another man - they are either wrestling or engaging in coitus;
apart from the flesh tones of the bodies the colours are sombre blues, greys & browns;
the lower fifth is a floor of cardboard & masking-tape covered in the detritus of painting, e.g. gloves, rags, paint;
in the gap between the flooring and the painting lies a man in a prone position;
he wears black plimsolls, grey jeans and a black sweater with right sleeve rolled up to the elbow;
the man's face is turned away from the viewer/photographer;
two turned-on fans stand on the floor blowing air towards the painting. 

Pascal Mouawad (Lebanon)
On a cloudy, wintry beach, constructed from sand, the horizontal head of screaming man, eyes rolling.
is stretched and distorted as pulled out of the sand.

I very much feel and believe and quite frankly know that the art-world more often than not lets down one section or another of the so-called disabled community. I have also written "Art for All", which the reader may find of interest.

Additionally, in March I published a post entitled "Towards a Theory of Art" which the reader may also find of interest.


As per previous years the archive for BADD2016 is being hosted by Goldfish on Diary of a Goldfish and is being administered by her and her hubby, Mister Goldfish. There one can find previous years' full archives as well as this year's as it grows over the next few days. Please do take a look - one is bound to find something that is of interest or piques one's curiosity!


  1. What a great collection! I have been putting off looking through until everything had calmed down a bit. We're still in bed and I think that actually enhanced the experience. I used to be in a choir and there's an intense feeling of connection during choral harmonies. And lying in bed, experiencing the artwork (which feels on a similar level [quite literally]) really gives a sense of connection to the day. So thank you so much :)

    Oh, and I *LOVE* the Housebound poster! I'd quite like that framed in our hallway ;)

    1. Stephen, what a super sweet comment: that's made my day! %)

      Have you seen the film?