Leading disabled artist showcases cartoons in Belfast
A new exhibition at the Arts & Disability Forum (ADF) on Royal Avenue is bringing issues which affect the disabled community to the fore, showcasing satirical cartoons by renowned cartoonist Dave Lupton, aka Crippen. The exhibition, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, will run in Belfast until 12th August.
Pictured at the launch are: Noirin McKinney, Arts Council; Chris Ledger, Arts & Disability Forum; Margaret Mann, Arts & Disability Forum; Monica Wilson, Disability Action; and Dave Lupton, Artist (AKA Crippen).
The show, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council, will run until 12th August at the Arts & Disability Forum’s premises in Belfast, before touring disability accessible day centres, libraries, colleges and exhibition spaces across Northern Ireland.
Through cartoons Crippen exposes the barriers that continue to exclude disabled people from many aspects of everyday life. As a disabled artist himself, Crippen’s cartoons challenge discrimination and prejudice with a sense of humour and impudence that frequently make his work controversial.
Margaret Mann, Chair of the Arts & Disability Forum, says: “The content of this exhibition is challenging and informative but it also is enjoyable. Audio description is integral to the exhibition. I myself am visually impaired and have a strong sense of the work now and know other visually impaired people will have too. The tour will reach disabled people throughout Northern Ireland and, as well as the ADF’s usual target audience, this show is attracting interest from other socially excluded groups - it’s a prime example of the Arts & Disability Forum’s genuinely inclusive approach”.
Chris Ledger, the Arts & Disability Forum’s Chief Executive, says: “This work irreverently expresses ideas stemming from disability politics – as differentiated from the usual NI political concerns. Disability is a leveller, it doesn’t discriminate and it can affect people from any background. In the current general atmosphere of cuts, where there are particular fears about potential cuts to disability services, The World of Crippen is especially pertinent. The ADF is delighted to have had the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council to originate this exciting exhibition for Northern Ireland.”
Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: “Northern Ireland has a higher percentage of disabled people than anywhere else in the UK and Ireland; yet disabled people remain amongst the most marginalised in our society.
“As a successful artist Dave Lupton knows better than most about the power of images and words. His cartoons have the power to make us question our prejudices, and communicate to us in a very direct way about what it is to be a disabled person in today’s society.”
Over the next few months disabled people living in Northern Ireland are invited to identify the disability issue they would most like to see referenced in a cartoon. Crippen will then draw a new piece representing the issue with the most nominations. As part of celebrations for International Day of Disabled People, the Arts & Disability Forum will present this cartoon to key politicians on December 3rd.