Freewheeling is a disability led initiative focused on providing a ‘hub’ around which to foster integrated arts projects. They aim to allow ideas and artistic concepts to develop while maintaining an emphasis on promoting academic research that acts to reposition Disability Arts and the status of disabled artists within the arts and cultural sector.
Through the dissection of narratives that act to dis-empower, and deriving an understanding of the thought patterns that act to hold them in place, previous Freewheeling collaborations have used surreal juxtapositions and quirky re-presentations of disability equipment to facilitate new ways of seeing, being and knowing.
To achieve this, techniques such as direct intervention into the cityscape, multimedia installation and performance have been used to convey these messages and generate a wide spread public debate about the nature/value of a contemporary arts practice shaped by the experience of disability.
While being disability led, their work also has a focus on valuing the interplay between disabled and non-disabled artists and arts producers, creating spaces where mutual learning can take place. This is seen as an effective strategy when aiming to raise the profile and value of work informed by the experience of disability because, through that integration, disability and disabled artists are modelled as being an equal, valued and integral part of the diverse range of embodiments that form part of our arts and cultural sector.
Images credits: Susan Austin by Norman Lomax.