The LAB Gallery presents, ‘A Consideration of All Bodies’, a group exhibition of work by Declan Byrne, Philip Kenny, Paul Moore, Hugh O’Donnell and Áine O’Hara. All the artists and the curator have disabilities. The exhibition is installed in the gallery and available to view from the street. It also has an online programme of events and discussions.
‘A Consideration of All Bodies’, contemplates disabled people’s bodies and our ways of navigating a world designed for nondisabled bodies. Rather than explicitly referencing disability, the artworks in this exhibition reflect the artists’ experiences of interacting with their environments. The artists examine bodies, their own and other people’s. What support do bodies need, and how might this support change in the future?
Despite the western world valuing individual autonomy over the collective, our democratic freedom in fact rests on people creating support structures and working together. This has been made even more evident in our current time of Covid 19. Disabled people have always needed support systems. The western emphasis on individual autonomy has undermined and undervalued our experiences. As disabled people, we develop some of our sense of self from this dependence on other people and things, and from our struggle against this dependence. From prostheses, wheelchairs, and canes to chairs and benches in public spaces, to a network of family and friends, to public services like health and transport, the supports we have come in many forms. These are vital to our well-being. The exhibition and events programme for ‘A Consideration of All Bodies’ focuses on how bodies are, are not, or could be supported.
The programme of events will have access for people with hearing and visual impairments. However, the focal point of ‘A Consideration of All Bodies’, is a social narrative for the LAB Gallery, written by the curator Róisín Power Hackett, and designed by Dara Ní Bheacháin. This social narrative is an access tool and will be available to download here and from the gallery’s access page as a PDF for use by all future visitors to the LAB when we return. A social narrative is a great tool for everyone planning to visit the gallery, but it is specifically designed for autistic visitors.