Dollface, (c) Sasha Saben Callaghan 2019.

Not Going Back to Normal




Whilst our site is closed and we explore new ways of working, Collective is proud to announce the commissioning of a radical new manifesto, by and for disabled artists working in Scotland.

Under the working title Not Going Back to Normal, Collective is working with artists Harry Josephine Giles and Sasha Saben Callaghan to bring together contributions of art and ideas which show what the arts in Scotland could and should be like for disabled artists in the post pandemic era.

“Before COVID-19, disabled artists were already routinely excluded from visual arts and galleries, were already often failed by the arts and cultural sector. No one has to tell us the reasons why – poverty, prejudice, stairs, forms, noisy parties, austerity, tickboxes – we all know. Same old, same old. Normal was already no use to us, and we were never normal.

Now, at a time when all of our adjustments are suddenly reasonable, the world is experiencing just a fraction of our normal, and everyone else is suddenly interested in isolation, vulnerability and distance communication, we want to hand that provocation over to you. Because we're not going back to normal. The world is changing, so let's remake it with our ideas. If we want an artistic revolution, this is our chance.”

Harry Josephine Giles

To build the manifesto, which will be produced both online and in print, artists are being asked to consider questions such as ‘What would art be like if it was always centred on disabled people?’, ‘How is art in Scotland set up to exclude disabled people?’ and ‘Can art ever include disabled people in a society that excludes us’?

Submissions will be paid and are invited from artists based in Scotland, at any level of experience who identify as Disabled, D/deaf, chronically ill, neurodiverse, crip, mad, sick, spoonie or otherwise. To find out more about the manifesto and how to submit a contribution before the deadline of 30 June, visit the Not Going Back to Normal website here.

Harry Josephine and Sasha will also be leading two free online chats for any artist interested in contributing to the project to attend.

Not Going Back to Normal is produced by Collective and is supported by a group of Scottish visual arts organisations working on improving disability access and inclusion. They are: Arika, Artlink, CCA, DCA, Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions, Project Ability and the Scottish Sculpture Workshop.

The project is funded by Creative Scotland and Engage.

Image Description: Dollface. The porcelain head of a doll stands out from a black background. The face is covered in tiny cracks and the top of the head is broken, revealing Victorian scrap paper and flowers inside. One of the doll’s eyes is ringed with pearls. It wears drop earrings and a choker decorated with a gold key. (c) Sasha Saben Callaghan 2019.


Not Going Back to Normal: Disabled Artists' Chats #1