As part of its “Springboard” series, gallery@bcs is presenting a thought provoking exhibition, ‘No offense, but…’ by 2013 ANU School of Art Honours graduate, Daniel Savage.
Savage won the gallery’s 2014 Emerging Artist Support Scheme Prize, which included 3 weeks’ gallery hire, catering, and printing of promotional material.
His work, gallery@bcs says, is not just on the surface, but also looks deep into the issues of stigma and discrimination surrounding disability, issues that are faced every day by many of Belconnen Community Services’ participants as a major service provider to the Belconnen Community.
Contemporary western countries, Savage believes, are arguably more inclusive than ever. However, powerful words and terms, based on race, sexuality and disability, continue to denigrate groups considered to differ from established norms. The misunderstanding and fear they represent manifests in seemingly innocuous, frequently asked questions, such as, “Where are you from?”, “Is it just a phase?” and “Will you ever get better?”
‘No offense, but…’consists of two complementary series of portraits that bring together universal paradigms of offensive language and the individuals who have to deal with ignorance and insult as an inherent part of their lives. It attempts to address the way words mark individuals as outsiders and questions not only how far we have come as a contemporary inclusive society but also how much further there is to go.
Savage is on the up and up. He has also been awarded an Australia Council “Artists with Disabilities” grant, for an exhibition he plans to hold at the Canberra Contemporary Arts Space in 2015, in which he plans break down accessibility barriers by employing alternative printing methods to create life size printed portraits and by inviting the audience to interact with the artworks in both visual and tactile realm. He also plans to use some of the grant funds to make the proposed exhibition universally accessible to people of all abilities through the production of all written materials, gallery labels, gallery sheets, exhibition essays etc, in both braille and audio formats.
‘No offense, but…’ official opening by the head of ANU School of Art, Denise Ferris, 6pm, Thursday August 28, all welcome. The exhibition runs to September 12, Mon-Fri 9am-4:30pm at gallery@bcs, Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Crt, Belconnen.