We were priveleged today to meet Sue Austin and her team, Sue is Artistic Director of “Creating the Spectacle” an incredibly interesting live art performance using her wheelchair to challenge our preconceptions of the wheelchair and to generate discussions on the subject of disability and breaking perceived boundaries.
Sues’ incredibly bubbly personality and her enthusiasm for the project is totally infectious and everyone around her was clearly moved by her passion for both this live art performance of “Creating the Spectacle” and the ethos behind it.
The performance of “Creating the Spectacle” today was for Sue to enter the water in her adapted wheelchair at the mouth of the Fleet Lagoon and travel across the mouth of the waterway, working against the considerable currents to make it to the otherside, challenging for anybody attempting it, but was it much moreso in the wheelchair, a concept that Sue was exploring live in front of an invited audience.
It’s clear that Sue feels a freedom beneath the water in the chair that herself and other users with a disability wouldn’t experience under normal circumstances on land, but those barriers are removed or at least challenged once you introduce the medium of water, and an artist with great passion, drive and enthusiam to work with an alternate environment.
Just being around Sue and the team you can’t help but be whipped along by the great ‘can do’ approach they brought to this performance, and to making not only the crossing a success but that everyone present had a fantastic time and understood the concept at the same time.
If you have chance to watch the pool videos and the performances yet to come you’ll see exactly what Sue describes as a previously unfound freedom as the chair and herself fly through the water, swooping, looping the loop and many other moves that wouldn’t be possible under any normal circumstances.
The whole event and the extremely positive aura around it are something that has to be seen in person to fully appreciated, so do watch out for the future parts to these performances and make a point of trying to attend.
We thoroughly enjoyed both the experience and the chance to meet such an inspirational artist such as Sue.
This live art performance forms part of the Cultural Olympiad, as part of the London 2012 Festival.