MAY 2022

“BEING DIFFERENT” officially launched at the Casula Powerhouse Art Centre 14th May 2022

After several delays due to Covid 19 cancellations I’m proud to announce the launch of my solo exhibition at the Casula Powerhouse Art Centre.

It’s a fully immersive experiential work in several parts including the premier of my short film on two screens ” Smashing“.

BEING DIFFERENT is a creative happening which presents multiple artworks across a variety of mediums – photography, sculpture, performance, VR, sound-art and workshops. It draws upon the lived experience of the principal artist and encourages understanding of the critical social model of disability as reflected in Debra’s comment – “My dwarfism doesn’t disable me. What disables me are people’s attitudes to my dwarfism”.

Presented in a variety of artworks that engage the spectrum of participants’ senses, BEING DIFFERENT invites immersion into Debra’s world in which the viewer will see, hear and experience the physical and social environment from a different point of view. This creative happening provokes reflective social critique on the blasé ill-treatment of people with dwarfism but also constructively reveals strategies of stigma management which show that ultimately it is the dignity in the acceptance of self and respect for differences that carries the day.”

Click here for more detail

February 2022


Griffith Regional Art Gallery: 9 January – 13 February 2022

Lake Macquarie Museum of Art and Culture/Yapang: 26 February – 8 May 2022

I’m extremely proud and honoured to be included in this exhibition which examines contemporary and historic feminist issues. Congratulations to Julie Montgarrett and Sarah McKewan for creating this important program.



After many months of work “SMASHING” is finally complete and we are excitedly looking forward to the launch December 2021at the MCA and Casula Powerhouse ( Covid permitting )

A huge thanks to Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW and Art Screen for their critical support and funding. A big thank you to Bus Stop Films for their production assistants, and Merrigong Theatre Company for providing the talented extras during the making of the work, and the Sydney Theatre Company for the props and costumes.

A special thanks to Katrina Douglas, dramaturge and producer; Louis Pratt, director; Simon Rippingale, director and editing; Evan Papagiourgiou, director of photography; Paul Prestipino, sound design and original music; Jamil Yamani, editor; Kate Shanahan, costume design; Lu Lu, hair and makeup; Daniela Viola, wardrobe, plus all the talented production crew for their hard work and technical expertise.

The interior scenes were shot at Anita’s Theatre,Thirroul and exteriors were filmed around Thirroul

Stills photography Brindleyimages,

Here are a selection of stills and screen grabs from the production

August 2020

Myself and the rest of the team from Little Big Woman Productions are now entering the pre-production stage of our new project, “SMASHING”, due to be completed December2020.

SMASHING” is an Audio/Visual work in 5 Acts on two big screens. More details here


November 2019

Communicating the Arts 24th International Conference – Sydney

Presentation and Panel DiscussionConnecting: How do contemporary digital practices lead audiences today?


October, 2019

Anxiety, Culture and Future Conference

 The Big Anxiety Festival – Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia

Presentation and Panel Discussion Empathy and the Overlooked – Options for Action


August 2019

The Horizon Festival

The Deconstruction breakfast-Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Presentation and Panel Discussion Awkward Conversations and The Big Anxiety 




Pre production stills from “Being Debra”

A Virtual Reality Project

Supported with funding from the Australia Council For The Arts


This work is currently in post-production phase with  the  world premier on 26th September 2019 at The Big Anxiety Festival, Sydney. 

Scenes from the project shoots in a green screen studio.




Australia Council for the Arts

Thanks 2SER for airing this wonderful initiative from the Australia Council for the Arts

I was pleased and proud to participate.  2ser-logo.png

Here is the podcast.  

                   Funding for Artists with a Disability                  


June 2019

The Arts In Society 14th International Conference- Lisbon, Portugal

PresentationDisability Aesthetics and Empathy: A logical fit for a desirable outcome, but how to get there?

June 2018

Arts In Society Conference, Vancouver 2018

                   Arts In Society banner

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Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, Canada

Presentation  “Little Significants” in the Visual Arts: Defining Disability Aesthetics through the analysis of the representation of dwarfism.


This year I was honoured to participate in the Arts In Society Conference, an annual event, this time at the Emily Carr University Of Art and Design in Vancouver, Canada.

“Founded in 2000, the Arts in Society Research Network offers an interdisciplinary forum for discussion of the role of the arts in society. It is a place for critical engagement, examination and experimentation, developing ideas that connect the arts to their contexts in the world – on stage, in studios and theaters, in classrooms, in museums and galleries, on the streets and in communities.”

Below is a summary of my paper to the conference:

“Little Significants” in the Visual Arts: Defining the Disability Aesthetic through the Analysis of the Representation of Dwarfism

“The physical difference of disability is not commonly associated with beauty, but rather its opposite. Theorists acknowledge the vicissitudes of taste in aesthetic judgement. Similarly, theorists acknowledge the vicissitudes of the valuation of disability – that is, physical difference is not always and everywhere defined as a disability. This interesting parallelism between the vicissitudes of aesthetic taste and disability is acutely illustrated through the representation of the dwarf – particularly the achondroplastic/disproportional dwarf. The purpose of the disability aesthetic was to produce a shift in the standards of beauty away from the notions of harmony, bodily integrity and health. However, despite such development of terminology, and claims of purpose, the definition of the disability aesthetic remains obtuse. Through the analysis of images in paintings, photography and sculptures of dwarfism this work first critiques current descriptions of the aesthetic of disability. Then adhering to a feminist critical disability studies framework – focusing upon the interface of the social milieu with the subject as limited agent – this work analyses a series of photographic representations of the author who is a female artist with achondroplasia. Through analysis of this self-representation, this work endeavours to provide clarification of definition of the disability aesthetic.”


Presenting my paper

Sydney Writers Festival 2018

This year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival is now bigger and better than ever and one not to miss.

My daughter, Sarah and I will be performing during the festival in the People Of Letters event.

We invite you to join us for this great concept where  writers, sometimes with a  significant other, read  letters that highlight a deep personal and significant insight.

Sydney Writers Festival






“Condescension” 3D Print: Debra Keenahan

We had a great turnout for my Artist Talk at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences on Saturday 28th where my sculpture ” Condescension” is on display as part of the Big Anxiety Festival. I was humbled that so many people came to hear my talk about the piece. Thanks to all that participated.

The audience were invited after to view “Condescension” afterwards.



Big Anxiety Festival Nov 2017

I’m extremely proud to be part of this unique Sydney festival from 20th September to 11th November, 2017. As an ambassador to the festival I encourage you to visit the various activities and exhibitions that are a part of The Big Anxiety.

This inaugural festival, Big Anxiety, brings together artists, scientists and communities to question and re-imagine the state of mental health in the 21st century.

A radically new kind of international arts festival, in which every project is an open conversation, designed to promote curiosity, awareness and action, The Big Anxiety presents over 60 events across Greater Sydney, tackling the major anxieties of our times, as well as the stresses and strains of everyday life.

Laura O’Sullivan from THE DAILY TELEGRAPH writes:

“ONE in four of us will suffer from it in our lifetimes but how do you get people talking about anxiety?

The Big Anxiety Festival is heading to Sydney this month to change the way we think about mental health and help visitors improve their wellbeing via innovative arts, science and technology events.”  See the full article here

I will be participating in Awkward Conversations and Lived Experiences so come along and say hello, have a conversation or even have a look at my unique 3D Sculpture at the Museum Of Applied Arts and Sciences ( formally the Powerhouse Museum )

                         LITTLE BIG WOMAN: CONDESCENSION 3D print sculpture at the MAAS  


Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 9.21.11 am


April, 2017

DisArts Now! Symposium-Grand Rapids USA

Presentation Little Big Woman: Revealing the female dwarf figure through the lens of feminist Disability Aesthetics.

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