The curatorial text for The Many Costs of Living is available to read, listen to, or watch translated into BSL below. 

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📢 Listen to this text:

We are living through a sustained period of crisis, but this intense difficulty and danger is not evenly felt. Disabled people are disproportionately impacted by the rising costs of living, with greater portions of income used on necessary expenses like energy bills, medication, and transport. The daily costs of living for disabled people are one of the most significant barriers they face. In a time of spiralling inflation, the chaos of a crumbling welfare state and national infrastructure, and set against a backdrop of climate breakdown, this has turned into an ongoing crisis. The Many Costs of Living is a collective response to this emergency.

Making use of alternative, public platforms for exhibition, this artistic campaign is designed, through medium and message, to generate unexpected moments of communication, solidarity, and perhaps, even, a little relief.

The Many Costs of Living picks up threads of conversation started by 2022’s Adam Reynolds Award winner, Jay Price, and their major artwork unveiled last year: The Mine. Through an interactive and evolving virtual narrative, Jay’s work makes reference to the role of mass dissemination (wide and popular distribution) and technologies like the Printing Press in the defiance and survival of marginalised groups. In adopting a cheaper, more efficient approach to the sharing of knowledge, the disenfranchised were empowered. These artworks follow this method, not only seeking to widen the reach of their collective impact, but to bring into question where we draw the lines that define an exhibition in the first place.

The Adam Reynolds Award is Shape Arts' flagship award, set up in 2008 in memory of the life and work of sculptor Adam Reynolds. It is designed to support mid-career disabled artists through bursary, residency, and exhibition opportunities. The Many Costs of Living is the 2022-23 ARA Shortlist exhibition, and takes the Awardee’s work as its original inspiration. 

Find out more about the Adam Reynolds Award

Banner image: credit Baroness Jane Campbell, The National Disability Arts Collection and Archive. Description: An old photograph of a crowd of protesters gathered for a rally in Londons Trafalgar Square. Many of the protesters are wheelchair users.