The official launch of the Unique: A Disabled Perspective, Disability Art and Poetry Exhibition took place in An Mheitheal, Printing House Square, on Tuesday, 29th November 2022. The exhibition was successfully launched by Provost Linda Doyle. There were also guest speakers, including Gale Aitken, Ben Rowsome, and Ross Coleman from the Trinity Ability co_op.
The Unique: A Disabled Perspective exhibition was run by the Trinity Ability co_op and the TCDSU, showcasing the work of disabled Trinity students and staff living with disabilities. Following on from last year’s successful ‘Defining Disability Exhibition’, the exceptional creativity and talent found throughout the Trinity community were witnessed once again. Drawing on vastly different personal experiences, the works shared an essence of profound authenticity, giving a unique take on disability.
A recent article in Trinity News entitled ‘A Unique take on Disability’, by Ross Coleman mentioned that there are many notable themes, such as living with an impairment or a disability in the Unique: A Disabled Perspective exhibition. The works welcomed you to a diverse world of disability shown through art, poetry, sculpture, and fashion. Inviting you to experience the emotions, insights, and creative minds of artistically talented disabled Trinity students and staff. In essence, the works can be seen as visual narratives accessible to everyone that can inspire change and promote dialogue about disability, while being mindful of what you want your audience to take away or how didactic you want to be.
The exhibition is about being open about disability through different art forms, offering disabled Trinity students and staff the opportunity to use their works to inspire others and to show that we not only value and appreciate their differences, but that we can learn from them as well. What comes across from all the artists whose works are displayed, is that they view their disabilities as strengths that enable them to see the world from a unique and mindful vantage. For others, the act of creating art and writing poetry sustains them and helps them to cope with their disabilities. Perhaps for some, it’s both a gesture of love and a defiance of the systematic exclusion of persons with disabilities.