an essay from a soon to be published book by Amanda Cachia

excerpt from intro to chapter

For more than two decades, Artlink has pioneered the use of contemporary arts practice as a form of collaborative research with partner Cherry Road Learning Centre in Midlothian, Scotland.1 Through the Ideas Team, an Artlink project, it paired artists and thinkers with individuals within a care setting over a sustained period, creating the conditions for new ideas and influences to radiate from people with profound and multiple developmen- tal disabilities (PMLD) and their carers. In 2015 Artlink and partners began to devise a large-scale exhibition that would bring these insights and sensi- bilities to a broad and diverse public—an exhibition that would celebrate the common threads that make connection between people with complex disabilities and the wider world. The exhibition would provide an oppor- tunity to look at who we are through a completely different lens. Artlink set up a partnership with Tramway, a publicly owned and run arts space on the south side of Glasgow. The immense scale of Tramway’s exhibition space and its utilitarian fabric would allow us to devise an exhibition that was ambitious in size and accessible to the widest range of people. In 2019 Artlink organized some public performances at Tramway to test out some of the principles of the upcoming exhibition. This essay written by free- lance curator and writer Nicola White and Artlink Artistic Director, Alison Stirling traces the development of the challenging road to realizing an exhi- bition that centers on the experiences and interests of one of society’s most marginalized groups. At the time of this writing, work is in production, and the exhibition is scheduled to take place in May 2022

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