Possible all along is an exhibition of work by 13 disabled artists in Leeds, launched in 2020. It is a place to show that disabled artists are an essential part of the cultural landscape of our city.
As disabled artists, we look back on this turbulent year with mixed feelings. We’re pleased that arts organisations are now regularly showing their work and events online and engaging with audiences in virtual spaces. At last! In a world of disabling barriers, the internet offers possibilities for greater access and connections for many disabled people. And it gives us an opportunity to share our art.
But without doubt, the pandemic is affecting disabled people really badly. It’s affecting our health, making us more isolated and causing financial problems.
We believe that arts and culture in Leeds have a vital role to play in making disabled people’s lives better. Recognising the work of disabled artists and including us as equals has to be part of that role.
You might think that this was possible all along. Many artists and arts organisations think so too. They’ve aimed to be accessible and they’ve worked with disabled artists. Others, however, have said that access and inclusion is too difficult (or too expensive). But this year has taught us that the impossible can become possible and things can be done differently.
Barriers in the arts are being broken down or worked around. This must continue! As you enjoy this exhibition of disabled artists’ work, we hope you will think about the possibilities ahead, to make the arts in Leeds more accessible, more inclusive and more equal.
We know there are many more disabled artists in Leeds. We’d love to learn more about your work – please get in touch using the contact page.
This video is a BSL version of the information above about Possible all along. It was produced by Kirsty Ramsay Hogan, one of the artists in the exhibition.