Nothing About Us Without Us

Venu: Gallery Gachet, Vancouver
Date: December 13th, 2013 – January 19th, 2014
Curators: Carmen Papalia & Kirstin Rochelle Lantz

I am very excited about this current project, Nothing About Us Without Us. I have made two pieces that people can explore by touch, and which is completely interactive so the viewer’s participation becomes part of the piece.

Interpret: To explain or tell the meaning of; to conceive in the light of individual belief, judgment, and or circumstance. To represent art, to act as an interpreter.
Perception; capable of being perceived by the senses often to a minimal extent.
Accessibility; able to be reached or used.
Tangible; suggests what is capable of being handled or grasped both physically and mentally.

These are the words that stood out for me in creating the pieces for this show about accessibility in Galleries or Museums for people with disabilities. The blind tour of the Vancouver Art Gallery really moved me and brought about such clarity with regards to accessibility for someone who is blind.

My assemblage is a tangible and interactive experience for the viewer. Rather than a sculpture that you cannot touch, and that someone else sees and interprets for you, I invite all to gentle touch, caress and imagine in your mind’s eye what all the different but connected parts might look like and come away with your own conclusions of what is, what it means or may represent for you.


Hands Of Time
I altered an older wind up alarm clock. I first made numbers out of aluminum wire and glued them to the face of the clock. Then by taking out the protective glass covering the face, it is now accessible to touch the numbers, and hands of the clock to be able to, not only tell the time but set the time. I have provided some glasses that are blacked out and I encourage the viewer to wear them gently and explore the clock by touching the face of the clock and gently feeling the numbers and position of the hands to tell the time. The clock has been made with a mixture of junkyard finds to create something not only pleasing to the eye but by touch as well.

Madders of the Brain (or Brain Madders)
This sculpture in of itself is an assortment of small locks, clock parts and an odd assortment of found objects all put together to represent the human brain. I also scattered different letters that spell the word brain. Having a different abilities (disabilities) whether seeing, Deaf etc., can make everyday living much more challenging. It’s as if parts of our brain become locked and we have to learn and create different ways of not only doing things but learning and comprehending because the brain is now wired differently from the norm, or what was the norm for that person.

Again, I invite you to close your eyes or put on the glasses provided and touch and explore the sculpture by touch . . .  try to find the letters that spell brain.