The Artist and Her Art
‘Little Big Woman‘
A Story of Resilience
Being a Different Kind of Different
My multi-disciplinary art practice explores Critical Disability Aesthetics. As a woman with dwarfism, I work collaboratively to experiment with the representation of my embodied difference. The focus of my art to date, has been upon features and dynamics of interactions and relations within physical and social environments that define the dwarf person as an Other. By experimenting with the power of the gaze and changing point of view, I emphasise the politics of visible difference. Employing the mediums of performance, video, VR, photography, and sculpture, my oeuvre has evolved to culminate in cross art-form works. I explore the capacities of each medium to communicate a different and dynamic perspective of lived experience.
My approach to Critical Disability Aesthetics experiments with shifting point of view to engage with and immerse participants and audiences into my world. I constantly challenge traditional stereotypes about those who look different, and to date, the subject of my work in this endeavour is my lived experience. As my art practice evolves, I aim to move beyond the perspective of the individual. My current works explore the experiences of those who share my body type from the four corners of the world, different gender identities, ages, strata of society and those at intersections of disadvantage. Experimenting further with cross art-forms – visual and auditory – I aim to produce work that invites audiences to engage with these different perspectives and points of view to gain new insight and understanding of what it is like to be “a different kind of different”.
As an artist and academic my experimental approach to Critical Disability Aesthetics has been exhibited in both National and State galleries and festivals, published in chapters, discussed in interviews, presented at conferences and workshops.
I am a lecturer at Western Sydney University in Humanitarian and Development Studies, and my first PhD was in Psychology on the subject of Dehumanization. Currently studying for my second PhD in Visual Arts at Art & Design UNSW, my research focuses upon developing a Critical Disability Aesthetic through the representation of the female dwarf.