Research

Putting disability on display to challenge people’s views

13 November 2017 @TeesUniNews

 

Members of the public are being asked to visit a ground-breaking exhibition at Teesside University and contribute to a study exploring perceptions of disability.

Renowned artist Kev Howard is bringing his photography exhibition d-FORMED to the University’s Constantine Gallery in November.

He has collaborated with Teesside University PhD student Louise Logan who is using the exhibition to help aid her on-going research into how disability is represented and perceived.

Louise wants visitors to d-FORMED to sign up to be part of a focus group which will provide valuable insight for her research.

Louise began her PhD at Teesside last October and is researching representations of disability in literature and museums and is interested in how people engage and interact with disability.

She has already established focus groups with students at Teesside University, but is keen to attract members of the local community to view the exhibition and form a focus group with local people of varying ages and backgrounds to establish a deeper understanding of their perceptions of disability.

The focus groups will be held on the weeks commencing 27 November and 4 December. As a participant, you will be asked to provide thoughts and feedback on the exhibition and spend some time examining the exhibition as a group.

Participants will come together to talk about both responses to the work and broader thoughts on disability representation in culture. The focus group aims to open up new conversations into how society perceives and engages with disability, and provide insight into how to improve disability representation through a communicative and open dialogue.

To register to participate and find out more about the scheduled timetable for the focus groups you can email l.logan@tees.ac.uk.

Louise, who completed her undergraduate degree in English with Creative Writing at Teesside University, said: 'I am interested in developing a broader understanding of the representations of disability - both in literature and in our museums.

I am really pleased to be working alongside Kev Howard on this exhibition and would encourage as many people as possible to come along and take a look at the work which will be on display and to get involved even further by joining one of my focus groups.

Louise Logan.

'Part of that work involves exploring the public’s perceptions of disability and how they interact and engage with disability. I am interested in the interplay between fiction and museums in creating cultural narratives of disabled people and performers, looking specifically at body image, medicine, gender and sexuality. The research will hopefully contribute to a broader understanding in representations of the historical identity of disabled performers.

'I am really pleased to be working alongside Kev Howard on this exhibition and would encourage as many people as possible to come along and take a look at the work which will be on display and to get involved even further by joining one of my focus groups.'

d-FORMED is an autobiographical and highly personal series of photographs, comprising challenging and striking images of disability and the surgical experience. It was staged at the Dorman Museum earlier this year and attracted almost 30,000 visitors.

Kev’s social documentary and observational photography has reached global audiences for more than a decade.

'The reaction to the exhibition earlier this year was incredibly positive and, amidst all the uplifting feedback, it has inspired Louise Logan to work with me on this Teesside University display,' explained Kev.

'She’s helped transform the exhibition into a project that may, somewhere along the line, help make a difference to the way that millions of disabled people are treated in future generations.

'So, not only can people enjoy and hopefully be inspired by the exhibition, they can also potentially contribute to some important research while they’re here.'

d-FORMED will run at Teesside University’s Constantine Gallery from 15 November to 8 December and is open 8.00am to 6.00pm during that time.


In the News

Putting disability on display to challenge people's views
North East Chamber of Commerce (Web)16/11/2017; Darlington & Stockton Times, 17/11/2017; Fansonline, 17/11/2017
Members of the public are being asked to visit a ground-breaking exhibition at Teesside University and contribute to a study exploring perceptions of disability.


Kev Howard on `d-FORMED' his new photography exhibition
Disability Arts Online, 14/11/2017
Disabled photographer, Kev Howard's latest solo exhibition d-FORMED explores the physical and emotional challenges he has experienced as a result Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita.