I’m on a mission to raise the profile of disabled artists, disability arts and access to cultural events in Leeds, and to spark more discussions across the city.

In Aug 2014 I organised an exhibition by disabled artists, of textile-based work, called The Reality of Small Differences. Originally conceived as a protest about the inaccessibility of an exhibition of Grayson Perry’s tapestries in Leeds, this became a significant exhibition in its own right, and showed that there is an interest in issues of access and inclusion that we aimed to highlight. You can read one of the press reports here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-28880537

Encouraged by Carrie Scott Huby, one of the artists who took part in this exhibition, I decided to organise another, giving ourselves a bit more time (the exhibition in 2014 was organised in about two months). Shoddy was open 6th April 2016 until 16th April 2016 at Live Art Bistro, Leeds. It was organised with a tiny amount of funding, in my spare time, but with help and support of many individuals and organisations.

I have a background in disability activism and in the disabled people’s movement, although I haven’t been involved in this for a number of years. Getting involved in disability arts is a way of re-connecting with the movement – at a time when disabled people have much to be angry about.

I have a degree in textile design.

This blog will cover the development of the Shoddy project as well as covering issues relating to its themes.

Gill Crawshaw

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