Heist eGallery is an online art gallery. It’s run by Arts Access Victoria. Heist gives artists with a disability a space to exhibit their work. The website was started with a Victorian government grant. The artwork on Heist is full of color and beauty. It also stirs the imagination and awakens new ideas. Heist has different exhibits with thought-provoking themes. The current exhibition is Disclosure. It examines the relationship between disability, identity and creativity. The exhibition features a diverse range of artists. They use sculptures, paintings and drawings to intrigue and surprise their audience.
The Australia Council for the Arts is our national arts funding and advisory body. They have a new Artists with Disability Program. Individuals and groups can apply for funding. Morwenna Collett is the Australia Council’s Disability Coordinator. She hopes many people will apply for the program. A lot of high quality applications might mean it continues beyond 2014. Morwenna is sure the program will fund good art. Information sessions about the Artists with Disability Program will be held around the country. Details can be found on the Australia Council website.
Andrew Follows is a man who has a guide dog in one hand and a camera in the other. He does not let vision impairment stand in the way of taking photos. When Andrew wanted to take a photo course it was seen to be a joke. Andrew has since shown others that you can take photos even if you can’t see. Some scratch their heads to see a man with a guide dog taking photos. Andrew has shown his pictures in art galleries. He has trained others with vision impairment to use a camera. He really enjoys what he does.
The written word can aid in healing. Self-help books offer advice on living with disabilities. Memoirs help people relate to those who have illnesses. Novels can distract the reader from their health concerns as well as offer insights into disabilities. A reference book called The Novel Cure offers an A to Z of literary remedies. Apart from reading, writing therapy can also aid healing.
The Other Film Festival is held every two years. It shows films by, with or about people with disability. Entries for this year’s festival are open until 30 April. Rick Randall is its artistic director. He says it is rare for first-time filmmakers to have their work selected. But Gemma Falk’s first film screened at the festival in 2012. It has since been shown overseas. Rick advises beginners to seek support from experienced filmmakers. People can also contribute to the Other Film Festival as volunteers. The festival will run from 3 to 7 December 2014.
The Bearbrass Asylum Orchestra is a Melbourne band. Its members Jess, Anthea and Tim all have disabilities. They play original music and other peoples’ music. They sing about love, sex, death, disability and British mythology. The band has a song called ‘Welcome’. It is about the more challenging and personal aspects of living with a disability. The band hopes it can educate the public. The band won an award for the music video of the song.