adorn, equip history

Image from Nicola Lane's Aesthetics of ProstheticsIn 1998 an open conference was held at De Montfort Hall, attended by disabled people, artists, makers, designers, and manufacturers of disability equipment. The conference was organized by The City Gallery and East Midlands Shape, and received funding from East Midlands Arts to start the research process essential for the success of the exhibition.

This enabled the Gallery to consult with the community and to form partnerships between makers and users. Not only have these partnerships resulted in understanding and inspiration, but they also allowed for the works to be given a ‘test-run’. For example, artist Tim Register collaborated with Janie Spencer to create a style-conscious set of crutches.

Another example of such practice is the sweater with challenging logos created by Freddie Robbins for Mat Fraser. An image of Mat wearing his sweater has been used on all promotional material for adorn, equip.

In September 1999 The City Gallery held a pilot exhibition called adorn, equip - Work in Progress. This explored the workings and reasonings behind the selection of invited makers; exhibited work in progress; and showed existing items of equipment that have been redesigned to be more functionally and aesthetically pleasing.

The pre-exhibition allowed for wider consultation with disabled people, makers, and visitors and for the Gallery to test its approach for staging adorn, equip in 2001.

Illustration: Detail from Nicola Lane's Aesthetics of Prosthetics

© The City Gallery, Leicester and the artists: 2001

This site was built by Ju Gosling aka ju90 during an artist's residency at Oriel 31 in November 2001

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