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'International Exhibition on Art & Disability' - Launch - Eleanor Worthingt...

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York St John University

Quad South Foyer

Lord Mayors Walk

York, England YO31 7EX

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Opening of the 'International Exhibition on Art & Disability - Eleanor Worthington Prize 2017'
York St John University, Quad South Foyer
5.00pm - 8.00pm

The Associazione Premio Eleanor Worthington (APEW) is pleased to present the third exhibition on Art and Disability in York St John University; the exhibition shows works submitted for the Eleanor Worthington Prize at the level of secondary and tertiary level of education, and also videos documenting the activities of the Associazione. The first and second exhibitions on Art and Disability have been shown in York, at the New School House Gallery in 2015 and 2016.

The Prize has been established in memory of Eleanor Worthington, a severely disabled Anglo-Italian young woman who throughout her brief and difficult life kept a strong enthusiasm for living, which was inspiring for the many people who met her. She lived mainly in York, where she was born, and in Urbino, and this explains the focus on these two places. The Prize concentrates on visual language, because of its immediacy; it is addressed to young people, whose work requires sustained concentration on the issue of disability.

It is the aim of the Associazione to raise awareness of the problems and the potentials of people with disabilities, in accordance with the United Nation Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. As it is well known, the Convention was issued by the United Nations in 2006; at Article 1 it says:

Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”. (our italics)

The UN Convention definition of disability is highly innovative, compared with the definition of disability in the previous legislation of various countries, which was concentrating on the concept of impairment. The message of the UN convention is clear: disability is a dynamic concept, which depends on existing barriers; to overcome disability it is necessary to lift barriers in whatever area, such as for instance the layout of the physical surroundings, the organization of the work place, the setup of teaching, the nondiscriminatory attitude of civic society. General awareness of the problems and the potential of disabled people is essential to bring societies to eliminate these barriers. It is hoped that this exhibition contributes to the task of awareness raising

The exhibition has been curated by Nunzia Invernizzi, artistic director of the APEW. The exhibition is arranged in different parts.

All the works in the form of posters, plus two videos on plasma A, have been submitted by students at university level for the latest competition, held in 2016. The theme for this competition was “Disability and Interaction; the body as a means of expression”. The prize giving event for this Prize took place in Urbino, Italy, on 3 December 2016, the day which since its establishment by the UN General Assembly has been celebrated by the United Nations every year as the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”. Students from several British and from Italian institutions have taken part in the competition; participants are students from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen; Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne; York St john University; the Glasgow School of Art; the Accademia di Belle Arti in L’Aquila, Bologna, Urbino, Rome, Palermo, Brera in Milan, Albertina in Turin, and also from the Centro Sperimentale Cinematografico in Turin, and from the Scuola Superiore di Perfezionamento “Scuola del Libro” in Urbino. Two parallel sets of first, second and third prizes have been awarded to students from Italian and from British institutions. For students from British institutions the first, second and third prize were awarded respectively to Lauren Dixon from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen; to Jack Laycock, form York St John; and to Sarah Holmes from Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne. For students from Italian institutions the first, second and third prize were awarded respectively to Malihe Kianian of Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, Jing Jun Zhang of Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, and to Claudio Santelli from Accademia di Belle Arti in Urbino; he submitted the sculpture exhibited on one of the tables. .

Plasma B shows the works submitted in April 2017 for the competition reserved to secondary school students on the theme “Friendship”; the prize giving event for this competition, which has now reached its ninth year, will take place in Urbino in May 2017.

Plasma C shows various videos made by students at secondary and tertiary level of education who entered the competition in past years, and on different themes. Works for the competition at tertiary level of education have been presented by students from British and Italian institutions.

Plasma D documents initiatives promoted by the Associazione in various years. In particular, there is the film made for the Retrospective exhibition on the first six years of activity of the Associazione, which took place in the Ducal Palace of Urbino in 2014; the film made for the crowdfunding launched in 2015 in order to finance the first celebration in Urbino of 3 December as the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities..

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York St John University

Quad South Foyer

Lord Mayors Walk

York, England YO31 7EX

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