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Friday, April 8, 2011

What Will Become of Us?

This is about the life of a physically challenged person. We hear about them in the news when a physically challenged person enters the Special Olympics and wins, or does some other amazing thing. But we rarely hear about the daily life of physically challenged people and the things they have to deal with daily. And I suspect that most people don't want to hear about it. It makes them very aware of their own vulnerability.

This little quilt is one of my early journal quilts. It is painted on a wholecloth ground.

For the physically challenged person, there is often isolation not just because of the challenge itself, but that of not being able to get out and connect with a wide network of people in many ways, something that we all likely take for granted. And there is another type of isolation that comes with having barely enough money to survive and having government regulations make it so hard for people who have any kind of challenge to work and earn money without losing their benefits.

I think too that without the all important social connections, it is difficult to teach oneself how and what is needed to do in order to do one's art more easily. More time is needed to try to create ways to deal with certain issues that have to be addressed, like how to set up the working space so that the work can be done at least somewhat comfortably.

As funding gets cut more and more, I suspect that will serve to isolate more people with physical challenges as well. The economic disparity of the classes does seem to keep them very separated from each others social class as well as within their own social class.

It is my dream and hope that ALL physically/developmentally artists who really want to practice their art can do so without feeling that overpoweringly isolated.