Our struggles and difficulties are often what make us stronger and force us to forge a unique path. In (This) Ability artists take us down a new road by acknowledging and working with limitations, pathological or otherwise.
(This) Ability opens with an Artists Reception 5-7 p.m., Friday at Fuller Lodge Art Center. Trish Ebbert’s show, From The Subconscious, also opens Friday in the Portal Gallery.
For (This) Ability, each artist submitted a written explanation of what challenge they faced while creating the art or what challenge the artwork portrayed. Although the explanations are in a binder along with artists’ biographies, the work in the show stands by itself. The written words just provide a new level of understanding.
To many, a wheelchair is a symbol of confinement. In (This) Ability a wheelchair has been yarn-bombed in a rainbow of colors to show those of us who take our legs for granted, that wheels provide others with the opportunity to be mobile.
In this case, a wheelchair isn’t just meant as a source of transportation. The viewer is invited to sit in this wheelchair, to see the world from a different perspective, bringing the viewer into the world of those who sit in a wheelchair day in and day out.
The artist behind this display, Irene Berenstein, collaborated with a friend to “dress” the chair. Berenstein was part of a company called Dance-Ability, where dance instructors would teach dancers who were amputees and/or in wheelchairs the art of dance. These dancers would be on stage, either on the floor or in their wheelchairs, experiencing the graceful movements for themselves.
Photographs of actual Dance-Ability sessions in Argentina create a “hallway” on either side of the wheelchair. The black and white picture opposite the chair is hung at eye level to those sitting. This installment is a reminder that even though people who sit in a wheelchair day in and day out are working through a “disability”, they are just as capable and strong as those who are not.
Preview (This) Ability here.