Portal documents a performance by the artist in a swimming pool in Eqypt in 2007. Austin was exploring ways of transcending stereotypes in society and representing a strong and empowered image of disability. While capturing something of the experience of finding one’s identity being ‘submerged’ by prejudice when acquiring a disability, another layer of meaning explored within this work is reshaping of the cultural stereotypes associated with the wheelchair. By creating a surreal juxtaposition, the intention is to create a visceral response and open up a new thinking space. This has the potential to reshape the preconceptions of the viewer, presenting the wheelchair as an object that acts as a ‘portal’ which can take us through to unexpected new ways of experiencing the world.

Portal

Artist: Sue Austin

Year: 2008

Medium: Digital C-type archival print mounted on Dibond

Dimensions: 90cm (w) x 82cm (h)