The Green Dress
Public Commission. BaptCare 2019
The Green Dress is a woman wearing a green dress taking a big step against a wall, arms stretched upwards.
The step she takes is a metaphor for the giant step all Australians had to take with the social reform the National Disability Insurance Scheme represents. It’s a big stretch but we all did it! And how good did everyone feel about it?! For me it meant I was able to have a Studio Assistant for 9 hours per week. This may seem minor, but it has meant I’ve been able get back into my studio and re-find my lost artistic voice. I feel like my best work is happening right now. I’ve developed specific tools and artistic practices to enable me to keep drawing and painting, and continue teaching. In 2018 I was commissioned by SBS and the SA Film Corporation to make a short documentary, and in 2019 participated in the Australian Film, Television and Radio School’s Talent Camp.
I’m a believer in art as an agent for social change and in a disability arts and culture that enables disabled people to strive for artistic expression, champion their own destiny and combat prejudice.
But that’s only half the picture.
The other part of the picture is of the woman in the green dress reaching with outstretched arms and hands and pushing with the other foot. This is a metaphor for my community of disabled people who, after taking the enthusiastic big step with every Australian, are the ones left pushing.
We’re left pushing against the barriers and ever-tightening imposed boundaries we’re confined within.
We’re still pushing for timely delivery of essential equipment and services.
Still pushing for the respect and self definition the NDIS promised.
What does the NDIS mean to your community?
All works photographed by Alex Makeyev.