The Disability Arts Movement were a civil rights group of artists and activists who fought the marginalisation of disabled people. Their work supported the struggle of Disability Rights activists, which led to the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act in 1995.
This exhibition presents some of the art work, along with objects used by activists, that raised awareness and effected political change for disabled people.
DASH, MAC, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) and Wysing Arts Centre are working together on a 3-year programme of curatorial commissions providing individual residencies for artists/curators who identify as Disabled people. The long term aim of the programme is to support the development of Deaf and Disabled curators, so they can become the Directors / Curators / Programmers of the future, addressing the cultural changes that must be made within the visual arts sector in order for it to become a more inclusive and accessible art form.
Artist Anna Berry has been undertaking a year-long placement at MAC, working closely with our Visual Arts team to learn how we approach the curation of our shows. This exhibition, developed and curated by Anna, is the culmination of her placement, showcasing her new skills while linking to the wider programme here at MAC.
A huge thanks to Shape and the-ndaca.org for supporting this project with advice and loans from the NDACA and Shape Collections. With thanks to the Imperial Health Charity Art Collection and all the exhibiting artists for their loan of work to the exhibition.
Image: Tony Heaton OBE, Great Britain from a Wheelchair, sculpture, 1994. Courtesy of the artist.