Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

Including artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.

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In Solitude, Unity

Alice Crawford

Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba is proud to present a juried exhibition for Nuit Blanche Winnipeg 2020.

Often those with disabilities are isolated from the larger community as a result of physical or social barriers. With the need to self-isolate during the pandemic, the general community has experienced the solitude that those with disabilities often face in their daily lives. This experience has made the larger community more aware of the issues faced by those with disabilities and we are beginning to see more accessibility being offered, such as curb side pickups, online exhibitions and presentations, home deliveries, etc. 

This exhibition hopes to celebrate the unity that the disability community has experienced with the larger population as we have all had to live in solitude these last few months.

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Can You Read my Lips?

2020

Hand pulled collagraph prints with oil-based ink in archival watercolour paper, hand pressed type with water-based inks, grey drawing paper. Eye masks, watercolour paint and tissue paper, red fabric and acid free glue.

13.5” x 13”

200$

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I Cannot See Your Voice

2020

Hand pulled collagraph prints with oil-based ink in archival watercolour paper, hand pressed type with water-based inks, grey drawing paper. Eye masks, watercolour paint and tissue paper, red fabric and acid free glue.

13.5” x 13”

200$

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Im Blind

2020

Hand pulled collagraph prints with oil-based ink in archival watercolour paper, hand pressed type with water-based inks, grey drawing paper. Eye masks, watercolour paint and tissue paper, red fabric and acid free glue

13.5” x 13”

200$

If you wish to purchase all three prints the cost is 530$

Bio:

Partially deafened at an early age, how I hear and interpret spoken language is in my art; a visual representation of when everything comes together for me in my aural interactions. Or not! 

I like keeping it fresh with unexpected imagery with innovative printmaking using typography, letterpress, collage, collagraphs, and/or other printmaking techniques.

Artist Statement: 

For me to communicate with the needed usage of masks by the population is next to impossible. When I go out wearing my mask, I do so with trepidation. I don’t know if I will be able to understand the person who I am speaking to. It varies with the type and pitch of voice and the background noise. I feel like I’m blind to peoples’ voices as I cannot read lips under their masks.

I experience anxiety, stress, frustration, and feel isolated from everyone. My trio of individual pieces “Can You Read My Lips?”, I Cannot See Your Voice”, and ??? I’m Blind …”, reflect my thoughts when I go out. In “Can you read my lips”, question marks in front of the eyes reflects how the masks obscure the voice. The eyelashes on the right forms the frame of the eye is made of tiny question marks. There is no pupil reflecting the blankness of what is said. No understanding has made it through. A Blankness.

With the 2nd piece, “I Cannot See Your voice” has letters with question marks reflects my guessing when I get snippets of information coming through. The person’s expression of their thoughts are not being heard.

The 3rd piece, “??? I’m Blind…”, I feel I’m blind when I cannot see the lips under the masks, no information is getting through, I’m blind to the voice under the mask. There is the feeling of isolation because it’s almost impossible to have a friendly verbal exchange with people. I like to banter with individuals that I come across in my errands.

COVID-19…DAM YOU!

Bram Keast

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The Closing

2020

Gouache on papier-mâché

51” x 30”

2500$

Bio: Bram Keast is an interdisciplinary artist whose work engages with a visual realm of instability that offers itself to continuous reinterpretation. Working playfully with the legacies of minimalism and hard-edge painting, his work expands the visual field into a haptic experience felt through both sight and touch. Keast lives and works in Winnipeg and holds a BFA (Honours) from the University of Manitoba. His work has been exhibited in Canada and the United States and is part of several private collections across the world including England and Sweden. He is a board member of Winnipeg Arts organizations and is an art educator who teaches workshops and private tutoring. 

Artist Statement:

Picture a lull in front of a window on an incandescent afternoon, when you stare too long at something bright and the edges of your vision fade into a shimmering fuzziness. A sleepiness that sneaks up on you, exploding into a clatter of clawed feet and leathery wings. Imagine a visual buzzing that makes play-doh of your surroundings, impressions drifting behind half-recognized suggestions, distinctions blending away. Transitory impressions that blur together: chimes brushed by no breeze, its silent notes echoing through your toes; an exquisite pantomime staged by no actors, your gaze captivated by a shifting curtain that tells an epic with a word.

A Moment When Your Eyes Glaze Over focuses on moments of solitude that emerge from long days and a progressive, creeping exhaustion that threatens to overwhelm the senses, where there is a kind of dissociation that becomes refuge. Definition and meaning fade, receding into raw sensory stimuli where vision, sound and touch dance around each other. These are moments filled with potential and a hallucinatory kind of richness. But there is nothing here, not really, only everything a second ago.

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The Opening

2020

Gouache on papier-mâché

51” x 30”

2500$

LANI ZASTRE

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Reflection

2020

Pencil & Ink

11” x 14”

NFS

Bio:

L. Zastre is a self-educated artist, social justice and mental health advocate, survivor and mother living with a disability.  For more on her art and journey please visit her on Instagram at l.zastre_art

Artist Statement: 

As an artist living with a mental illness, I have found this pandemic both trying and motivating. During this pandemic I have explored mental health and illness, recognizing that social isolation in people with mental illness is a common problem. With the forced isolation and quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic those with mental illness as well as those with no previous mental illness have had to adjust and deal with the consequences of isolation on their mental wellbeing. The pieces I have chosen represent others in the global community that who face barriers to maintain wellness. 

MARGARET SWITALA

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Tomorrow Never Knows

2020

Oil on Canvas

30” x 24”

750$

Bio:

Margaret was born in Regina, Canada and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has attended Red River College for Advertising Arts and also has taken advanced oil painting lessons at the Winnipeg Art Gallery under renowned Canadian artist Wanda Koop. After working as a graphic designer and illustrator for over 15 years, she returned to her first love – painting and began to take part in art exhibitions. She has received past awards and honorariums. Her work can be found in private and public collections in Canada, USA, Europe and Latin America.

Artist Statement:

Tomorrow never knows

Nobody knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. We make plans that are abruptly cancelled or postponed. The unknown can be a dark and scary place, especially for the vulnerable.

One can’t help but feel afraid of the present, it’s all unknown territory. We can hope to open the door to a brighter future.

Let her be/Letter B

Hearing loss is an invisible disability and telephone calls can be stressful for some. A word or sentence misinterpreted and not fully understood. They spill out jumbled and leave one struggling to understand and make sense of the conversation. 

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Let Her Be/Letter B

2020

Oil on Canvas

24” x 24”

650$

Marie LeBlanc

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Masked

2019

Photography/Digital Image

Price: Contact Artist

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Camp Crystalscape

2020

Photography/Digital Image

Price: Contact Artist

Bio: Marie LeBlanc is a Canadian photo-based artist broadening out to projections onto structures living with an environmental illness, namely multiple chemical sensitivity. Her art is conceptual and political.

Artist Statement:

Masked: In the first image, I am wearing a dress with a mask in an indoor toxic environment. I am forced into isolation by my environment because I can no longer tolerate indoor housing. On a search for where I belong, I am forced to undergo a life of isolation with a severe medical condition where a pristine environment is the prescription. Thus, I am forced into a life of exclusion. Seeking solidarity with those living with environmental sensitivities, we continue to remain (in isolation?) excluded during the pandemic. Covid-19 exacerbates the chemical industry’s effects on ES sufferers more and more spaces are chemically sprayed, making them intolerable to the environmentally sensitive. As we wear masks and unity in solidarity, we cannot access public spaces. 

My image, Camp Crystalscape, depicts a camper-van dwelling, isolated in the desert in an auto-wreck yard. Encapsulated in time, the world gains a temporary glimpse of my permanent reality; a life of seclusion. Life remains the same for many of those living with environmental sensitivities, forced to maintain seclusion in a constant struggle to survive. Meanwhile, after the pandemic wanes, the lives of others will go back to some semblance of normalcy. Unfortunately, Covid-19 does take a toll on one’s body and many of us deeply affected by the pandemic may not be able to go back to normal, and instead be forced to live in a world with undetected triggers, causing unexplained symptoms; The world of those with environmental sensitivities; The world such as mine.

MICHEL DUMONT

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Atlas Struggles with Covid 19

Aug. 2020

Photographic Print

24” x 18”

150$

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Sophia Sapphire Pandemic Pride

Aug. 2020

Photographic Print 

36” x 26”

150$

Bio:

Michel Dumont is a queer Metis two spirited disabled artist. He currently resides in Thunder Bay. He enjoys breathing new life into discarded vintage tile by making mosaic pieces. He also works in wearable art and installation art using packing tape, mylar, cellophane and LED lights. He’s shown at Gay Gardens at the John B. Aird in Toronto, Fierte 360 Montreal.and The Queer Arts Festival Vancouver.

Statement:

As a queer metis two spirit disabled artist in my 50s I had lived through a deadly virus.  In the first week of the pandemic in March 2020 I quickly went to work in lock down. This lock down did not look that different to me as an artist dealing with chronic back pain I work from home. 

The anxiety was key to manage so I started dealing with my fears which for me was the Covid -19 virus. I decided to shed light and fun onto this idea and made a corona virus disco ball with the items I had around my house which really is a studio with a hoard of supplies. I had already turned my sunroom into a mirror infinity room. This project was installed in June 2020 in downtown Thunder Bay, ON with the Steps Initiative, Insider Project. The installation was placed in an apartment building store front so the public could safely walk by or drive by to see the installation.  I also did a pandemic pride photoshoot in the room which resulted in photos being used by the queer arts festival in Vancouver and then Montreal Fierte (Pride).

As an artist with a few chronic health issues I stared at my fear and made something light and beautiful out of it. I incorporated a piece I call a deconstructed dream catcher under the virus disco ball so the result is the virus is the nightmare and my dream catcher is the antidote. 

STEW MCCULLOCH

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Bio:

Stew McCulloch was born in the small town of Rosetown, Saskatchewan. He moved to Saskatoon for University and studies music composition under Murray Adaskin. After two years of school Stew went into sales jobs where he sold everything from cars to real state to TV’s and photography until he found his niche as an artist and freelance photographer. After surviving a stroke and later cancer he was forced to retire in his early 50s. After a few years he found light weight digital cameras and got back into photo art. Now he takes portraits of people with their animals and turns them into paintings using his computer which can be printed on canvas or gallery mounted. He also paints original pieces on the monitor of his computer using a specialized pen.

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Lonely Tree

2015

Digital Image Printed on Canvas Like Paper

13”x 19” Printed

139$

SUSAN LAMBERD

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Manitoba Beaches

August 2020

Oil on canvas

20” x 10”

Sold

Bio: A multi-disciplinary artist interested in challenging the preconceived notions of what an artist with a disability can create, Lamberd uses the body as the main theme of her work.  Diverse media communicate ideas of access in the arts, reject the view of disability that convectional artists have maintained, and aid in discovering radical new ways in which to express these beliefs. Susan is also the Chair of the Board of Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

Statement: 

Isolation can be traumatizing to an individual, or it can be awakening.  For a disabled person, it is often commonplace.  When the pandemic started and everyone had to go into quarantine, it was the disabled population who knew how to deal with the feelings of exile and solitude.  Many people with disabilities spend their winters in alone.  I am somewhat of a recluse, often preferring my own company to others.  I work from home and I didn’t have a problem adjusting to the new regulations imposed on our society.  Luckily, it was a beautiful summer and I spent a lot of time outdoors.  It was a time to reflect by myself, enjoy the dazzling scenery Manitoba has to offer and still stay safe.  The beaches of Manitoba are a perfect example of this and I spent many hours there, as this painting will illustrate.  People were careful, giving everyone their space yet enjoying themselves with their families and friends.  Manitobans should be proud of how we handled the start of this pandemic and although there will be ups and downs, I’m hoping we’ll all continue to practice safe precautions.

SUSAN P. GIBSON

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Together and Alone (distance and solitude)

2020

Digital Photograph

ORF Digital File

Large prints by order

Bio: My first language is visual and art has forever been both identity and survival. My interest is the experience and value of those artists and audience who exist outside of the mainstream art lexicon. Lack of inclusion in ‘art world’ institutions leads to a loss for all.

Influenced by participation in celebrations and ceremonies with diverse friends, my understanding of spirit is that we are more alike than different and there exists an interconnectedness of everything and everyone. That expression of spiritual and artistic beliefs in Celtic and Indigenous art is evident in my attempt to express that nothing living is still; everything is related and in an ever-changing reality.

Artist Statement: 

The pandemic of 2020 has allowed the general population to taste the daily rations of the disabled and Deaf communities. Everyone’s experiences of isolation, economic insecurity and aloneness makes our shared humanity more greatly appreciated. We are all living the tension of uninterrupted time for reflecting on what is important, including how we value ourselves and others.

Similar to the images from Grief Work (solo exhibition Culture Days/Nuit Blanche 2019), Together and Alone (distance and solitude) is shot hand held in natural light from complex still life situations. It’s surreal reflective landscape suggests blue sky with a swirling path leading to or from potential. A reminder that distance and solitude can make even the familiar seem unsettling perhaps even frightening.

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