Disabled Welsh artists showcase their work in prized exhibition

Over 20 pieces of artwork have been created by artists who might not normally have the opportunity to have their work shown

Alan Whitfield, stood centrally against a white wall in an art gallery, alongside two paintings by Tina Rogers on his left and Lia Bean to his right.
Alan Whitfield, who has played a huge role in setting up the exhibition, stood in g39 alongside work by Tina Rogers to his left and Lia Bean to his right. Credit: Owain Gwilym

A new art exhibition is giving a platform to disabled artists to showcase their work in g39 gallery near City Road until the end of the month.

The exhibition, which features 26 pieces of work by disabled Welsh-based artists, is part of the Disability Arts Cymru (DAC) arts prize exhibition, as DAC celebrates its 40th birthday.

The artwork featured has been chosen from over 100 entries, inspired by the theme Aildanio, which translates to ‘reignite’ in English.

Funded by Arts Council Wales, Aildanio has started its tour in Cardiff at g39 on Oxford Street, where it will remain until 17 December, before travelling around Wales in the new year.

Owain Gwilym, executive director of DAC, said, “It’s essential to showcase work by disabled artists, not only to give us new perspectives on the lived experiences of disabled people, but also to showcase cutting edge and provoking art that could otherwise be left unseen as a result of societal barriers.” 

The exhibition will incorporate accessibility measures such as British Sign Language (BSL) and audio descriptions in the event and feature a range of styles including knitted sculptures, photography, linocut prints, and much more.

Gaia Redgrave, a neurodiverse artist, who’s work Shizen features in the exhibition, added that although the accessibility measures put in place by the exhibition are welcomed, “Accessibility is not just about wheels; it is about lighting, sound, height, captioning, BSL, sensory and content warnings and accessibility for those who are not able to travel to the space.”

Redgrave added she would rather not be seen as a disabled artist, but unfortunately society requires these labels.

I look forward to the day where I can simply be an artist and my disability is irrelevant

She added: “I look forward to the day where I can simply be an artist and my disability is irrelevant.”

However, Redgrave stressed the importance of events like these being vital to showcase the voices and talent of disabled artists, due to common barriers which might prohibit or prevent them from showcasing their work.

Artists to look out for at the exhibition

Phillippa Walter – Specialises in linocut prints – Piece is titled: Salt Marsh Otter

Booker Skelding – Photographer – Piece is titled: Odyssey

Lia Bean – Painter – Piece is titled: Dreamer