Sanatorium is a 10 month Research & Development project, funded by Arts Council England. It explores the role of the disabled body on land and in water.
As a disabled artist, finding ways for my body to navigate physical fluctuation is a particular challenge. I have written before about the disabled artist/writer using physical intrusions as a jumping-off point from which to form one’s own artistic practice.
As I navigate the space between fluctuation and flare-up, from water to land, I will actively be exploring ways to work these intrusions into my work, as I bend my practice to the needs of my body. The outcomes of my experiment will be recorded here, on social media, and at a series of access-led salons in 2018. I’ll be working with a team of incredible disabled and abled artists to explore concepts around space, land & water, and developing innovative approaches to ‘accessibility,’ within literary events. I’ll also be lucky enough to collaborate with some of my favourite literary heroes, including Sidekick Books, Jackie Hagan and Miss Jacqui.
Water, for me, has always been an incredibly transformative element: altering the impact of gravity, friction and movement, so that my relationship with space changes completely. As well as being a vital therapeutic tool, water serves as a metaphor for displacement, distortion & overcrowding: key themes in current discourse surrounding disability.
In November 2017, I travelled to a thermal water-based rehabilitation facility (a Sanatorium) in Budapest. I spent a month in a rehabilitation programme, & ‘taking the waters,’ in an attempt to relieve some of the symptoms caused by psoriatic arthritis and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.
Whilst working with the daily flux & changes in my body, I catalogued my experience through a number of mixed-media meditations: in writing, collage, video, sound recordings and multisensory exploration. These explorations form the basis from which the rest of my project is emerging.
Sanatorium is funded by Arts Council England. For more information, including how you can apply for funding, visit www.artscouncil.org.uk