Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

My first 'Art in Context' Review

Expand Messages
  • Keith Armstrong
    This is my first attempt at an (or a) Art in Context Review . . . If you have any comments please post them on: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Art_in_Context
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 20, 2001
      This is my first attempt at an (or a) 'Art in Context' Review . . .

      If you have any comments please post them on:


      and NOT here on disabilitystudies.

      thank you


      @(C) Copyright 2001 by keitharmstrong, all rights reserved, except
      those described below. Permission is granted to download, archive,
      and repost provided that the contents are not altered, including the
      disclaimers, copyrights and limitations on use and provided that no
      fee is charged for access. The author asserts his moral rights at all


      An Exhibition of photography by

      Julian Burgin, Nicky Coutts, Marcus Doyle,
      Photini Papahtzi and Stephen Walter

      10th August until 1st September 2001
      10.00 am until 6 PM Mon-Sat.

      Gallery: Inside Space

      Great Tichfield House
      14-18 Great Tichfield Street
      London WIW 8BD, UK
      Tel: 020 7299 6699


      I live in London in the U.K.

      One morning, an invitation dropped through my letter box to an art
      show view on the ninth of August. On one side of the postcard there
      were details of the show, but without any access information and on
      the other was a black and white image by Nicky Coutts, depicting a
      reproduction of 17th century Dutch painter Johannes
      Vermeer's famous 'Lady standing at the Virginals' with the human
      representation removed. It is simply titled 'Seem 2000'.

      One of my first reactions was to ring up the gallery and ask them
      about their access details. I use an electric wheelchair.

      Then I thought why should I have to ring them up about this, I am
      certain that nondisabled don't have to do that. Anyway it has now
      been six years since the Disability Discrimination Act has been
      passed, New Labour are now in Government and London is the capital of
      the fourth most wealthy country in
      the world.

      I should be more positive. After all this is 2001.

      The ninth of August, was a typical London summer's day, there were
      gray clouds and it had rained on and off all afternoon. I set off on
      my journey. Great Tichfield Street is situated in the London borough
      of Westminster. I arrived in Westminster. I have traveled around
      the streets in many parts of London, but somehow I have never found a
      reason to visit or pass through Great Tichfield Street. So I asked
      some friendly people for directions. They pointed me in the right

      As I neared, I realised why I had never traveled down that street. I
      discovered that nearly the whole area is inaccessible. A number of
      times I was forced back, and then had to go out on the road and 'play
      with the traffic' in order to continue with my excursion. The grey
      streets seemed to match the grey damp clouds overhead. Well I was
      going to an art show, surely all artists share a sensitivity of

      I arrive at the outside of the gallery. I am faced with a grey
      step. The step is too large for my chair to climb.

      Luckily the outside of the building has a big window and I can see
      in. I can see the exhibited version of 'Seem 2000'. Sadly, while
      this is far larger than the invite image, it is still in black and
      white and represents a sad reflection of the colours of the
      original. During World War II, some of Vermeer's paintings were
      forged and sold to the Germans, I feel sure they had colour.

      I was told that there no visual descriptions of the images in formats
      that blind or partly-sighted people could use.

      It is interesting to note that the original Vermeer can be seen in
      the accessible National Gallery also in London, in its colourful
      full glory.

      The rest of the show seems to represent poor illustrations that look
      backwards rather than any sense of the here and now, so represented
      by the brilliance of Johannes Vermeer in his time of the late 17th


      After the view I was invited to a local pub, unfortunately up another
      large step. As I was not going to be review that establishment, I
      allowed my chair to be carried in. I felt I had to leave before all
      the users got to intoxicated, I do not feel safe in buildings with
      steps and no ramps. In addition the nearest accessible convenience
      was over a mile away. Not a good area to have an impairment.

      .@(C) Copyright 2001 by keitharmstrong
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.