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What You Do Not See

What does it mean to live with a disability you cannot see?

This new exhibition from the Creative People and Places Hounslow Visual Arts Programme brings together the work of seven UK-based contemporary visual artists illuminating what it’s like to live with a hidden disability.

The exhibition has been curated in collaboration with members of the local community who devised the idea, and have selected the artists and works for the exhibition. The members of the group were inspired to create this exhibition by their own experiences of hidden disability, for example, as a disabled person, or as a carer. The exhibition aims to challenge assumptions of what people with differing abilities can (or can’t) do and to promote a more inclusive culture across Hounslow and beyond.

The artists included in this exhibition each use their personal stories to show what it’s really like to live with a hidden disability from different perspectives, including the social, physical and cultural impact on their day to day lives.

The works in the exhibition include a pair of photographs by Hannah Laycock which reflect on the artist’s experiences of being diagnosed and living with Multiple Sclerosis; text and photographic works by Christopher Samuel that expose the challenges of physical and cultural access to public spaces; and a series of graphics by Luca M Damiani that use a multi-layered approach to communicate the physical and mental effects of an auditory condition called Hyperacusis. Dolly Sen’s prescription works show the different experiences of the health service, while Leo Wight’s photographs explore autism as a queer man. Aminder Virdee’s vivid, immersive video work and stills are created from code, personal medical archives, biodata, and lifelong lived experience, to centre autonomy, subvert the medical and diagnostic gaze, and honour the neurodivergent act of stimming as a valid form of sensorial communication. Lizzy Rose’s video work follows a fictional narrative spoken by a teenage sperm whale blogging about her chronic nausea, linking themes of chronic illness, the culture of online communities, narrative storytelling, and humour.

The exhibition will be launched online on 18 March 2021. A touring exhibition to be displayed at London Borough of Hounslow Libraries will follow later in 2021 and tour throughout 2022. The exhibition will be accompanied by a printed and free-to-download publication and a series of meet the artist events both online and in Hounslow Libraries.

What You Do Not See will launch online at at 10am, 18 March 2021.

It will also tour London Borough of Hounslow Libraries later in the year, and throughout 2022. The publication will be available from 18 March 2021 via [email protected]

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