Zoe Partington, the Artist:
As an artist my work explores critical thinking in relation to my experiences as a disabled person. Artistically over the last year, I have used my creative time to reflect on my previous installation’s. I have explored my own impairment since being diagnosed in 1973 when a pertinent moment/object became a metaphor for my life and the facets which generated an artistic journey through domestic objects as multi-layered metaphors, these recently have become more powerful. Using ‘artistic audio description’, has allowed me to expand into non-visual experimentation of the visual through language, stories, sound and colours. The collaborative nature of my work has taken me on a creative journey to balancing rhythm, sound and words. It is about combining or shifting my creative skills in audio description to a higher level of producing an artistic interpretation of these facets, to create an art work, which connects many audiences or can just be an experience which allows the visitor/audience to reflect.
I have been developing my work with funding from Arts Council England, Shape Arts and Unlimited - touring my show and commission for a show in Madrid, featuring work by Disabled Women in October 2022. My intervention ‘Domestic Landscapes’ is a live digital platform, to share untold oral stories of Disabled Women. The installation will be experienced as the visitor enters the room and experiences a cacophony of whispers linked to a piano keyboard. The piano keyboard is important as it uncovers another story from a ‘Disability Aesthetic’, of blind people being piano tuners or physiotherapists in the past with little choice for other careers.
I continue to develop this idea created in partnership with other organisations and a curator in Madrid. Initially the idea was a playful perspective - and now it's an interactive digital installation for audiences. I try to capture the insights of Disabled Women, domesticity and isolation through vintage objects as metaphors for a blend of poetic alternate languages and hidden lives.
I am exploring an interplay between object, movement, sound and tensions. I explore the way we interact with art objects or installations and I experiment with unusual and alternative means of powering the work. I attempt to represent the domestic landscape as not only rural but in urban and domestic settings. It highlights through dialogue, the hidden lives and insecurities perpetuated by society of Disabled Peoples lives.
I use audio description to unravel visual imagery for blind and partially sighted audiences in my work - to ensure blind people can be part of the ‘visual experience’ in a different guise. I am building an archive of stories, snippets and inside perspectives from Disabled Women in a digital gallery and in physical spaces.