Shape Arts is a disability-led arts organisation which works to improve access to culture for disabled people by providing opportunities for disabled artists, training cultural institutions to be more open to disabled people, and through running participatory arts and development programmes.
2020 has been a paradigm shift for many, a year like no other. A time of raw hardship and sudden turmoil in the midst of which we have witnessed gestures of care and support capable of reminding us: we need each other.
For many disabled and marginalised people, familiar with adversity, witnessing the world come to a halt in a matter of days has paradoxically generated hope. Hope that, for once, the world might take greater heed of what it means to be shut away, impoverished and excluded.
With this in mind, Shape Arts' exhibition projects into tomorrow the visions of those we believe are integral to the construction of something better. Artists, acting as society’s antennae in many ways, must play an essential role in this project. They will help us imagine, or rather, reimagine, the way ahead. And in bringing together exciting and talented artists from society’s margins, we aim to give voice to those less heeded and recognised in cultural spaces, so that this period of reimagining is, at least in part, owned, informed, and described by them.
Taking current conditions into account, and aware that many people will continue shielding, this exhibition will be hosted online, a place where many of us now live for hours of the day. Speaking to this online experience, then, the future is loading.