Monday, July 15, 2013

The arts, study, disability and awards

.. now that is some title. You see I have so much in my head that I don't quite know what to write first!

Metamorphosis © Corina Duyn 2012
So, the Arts, as it appears first in the title. Well, as you know I had an exhibition in the Spring and as I was writing the 'blab' for the gallery, I realised how my work had changed from wanting to be free and"fly away" from illness, to becoming much more grounded. Sculptures like  To be Born and Metamorphosis came into being, all created from roots and tree branches. I think this came about from finally fully accepting chronic illness and disability in my life.

I am aware that we go through many stages of acceptance and every time we think "this is it", and then we come upon some other challenge and have to start the whole process from grieving to acceptance all over again. This time though it feels different.
I felt a kind of freedom from this acceptance, a freedom to stop seeing complementary treatments as a possibly cure to seeing it as helping me to stay as good as I can, and manage the ups and downs of my health accordingly. I can just fully live my life as it is.
Again this I think is evident in my art created during the past year and a half. (Please see the exhibition link above if you'd like to see the images.)

Also, I think it is because of this acceptance that I ended up taking up the rather huge challenge of attending college to study Disability Studies. (One night a week) It certainly was not easy, and I had to overcome many a difficulty, practical as well as emotionally. But. It has brought me further on my path and I do hope to attend the second year in September.

This course has broadened my understanding greatly about what it is like to live with a disability in today's society, and for me personally, it has, in a round about way, opened up my mind to the world of Disability Arts/ arts created by people with a disability.
Nothing new there you might think, but I am now aware of so many artist and their work and it has wet my appetite to delve into the subject much further.
Part of my last assignment was an oral presentation. My chosen topic was "The artist as Educator" as I truly believe and now much more fully understand, that through the arts we can nibble away at the preconceived ideas by people who think they are the healthy ones, that when you are ill or disabled your life is not worth living, and you have nothing to add to society, and that we need to be cured.

I am hoping to write more about all this, and maybe in drips and drabs will put part of that writing here on my blog.

So what about the 'award' bit of the title?
As I am so excited to study Disability, the Arts, my own reflections, and keep developing my own creative output, I had written several proposals for funding to make this happen.
I have been so incredibly fortunate to have been awarded three separate bursaries. The Waterford County Arts Bursary (shared with many others) to spend two weeks at the The Tyrone Guthrie Centre an Artist workplace. I will be accompanied by Jane Jermyn who also was with me when I worked there on my book Hatched  in 2005. I will work on my writing and look for images in nature which represent my life.
Through Artlinks, a support organisation in the south east, I have been awarded a place at the mentoring session for literature later in the year.
The most exciting, I think, is the being awarded the Ted and Mary O'Regan Arts Bursary. This bursary has been set up in the memory of Ted O'Regan and his wife Mary, who were very much involved with anything to do with the arts in County Waterford. Every year family and friends sponsor a few artist to live their dream. The chairperson rang me a few weeks ago with the news that I had been one of two recipients, and that the panel was very excited about my arts and disability project.
To me, it is the recognition that touches me most, for all the bursaries. The recognition that I am on the right path in my life and with my work. Of course the financial contribution from the O'Regan bursary is wonderful too!

Tomorrow there is an award ceremony at the Mayor's Office in Waterford, and afterward I am going out for dinner with a few friends to celebrate my new, or continued path.

The last time I was at a Mayor's office was when I was about 8 years old. Our school was adjacent to a very busy road and traffic light were installed. The celebrate this, I was one of the lucky children from the school to be invited at the Mayor's office. My mother had knitted some very intricate knee socks and I wore them for the first time at this event.
No knitted socks this time!

ps... As always it is lovely to know that you stopped by to read my musing and follow my creative adventures. It would make my day if you leave a comment...
Many thanks & Lots of love Corina


Unknown said...

Great news about your bursaries. Congratulations!

hayleyeszti said...

It's great that you are able to study something to close to you. I'm sure you gain a lot of knowledge from it. Also congratulations on your bursaries! Excellent news! x Hayley-Eszti

Corina Duyn said...

Thank you both! And Hayley, a warm welcome to my blog. I hope you are well. Corina