Innovations photography project. 2023

Innovations photography project aims to build awareness of the physically disabled community through a photographic investigation of adapted and customized objects used to assist its members in their daily lives. The Innovations photography project acts as a seed for the larger concept of a SEE ME social art collaborative, which will activate disability awareness and drive social change by providing a platform for social identity and growing disability culture through the arts in Aotearoa/ NZ.

This project aims to build awareness of the disabled community through a photographic investigation of adapted and customized objects used to assist its members in their daily lives.

Following on from the Adaptations photography project pilot exhibition in June 2022, the Innovations Photography project had an online presence at the Auckland Festival of Photography continuing with the same aim which is to build awareness of a largely unseen and unheard disabled community through a photographic investigation of adapted, fabricated, and customized objects used to assist its members in their daily lives. Photographer Nicola Simpkin-Hill’s forensic yet open-ended approach is grounded in her lived experience of disability as the mother of a 22-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy. Simpkin-Hill understands first-hand the challenges of the disability landscape and advocates for a deeper understanding of the lived experience of these communities and further inclusion of their perspectives and voices in wider society.

The aim of the Innovations photography project acts as a seed for the larger concept of a SEE ME social art collaborative, which will activate disability awareness and drive social change by providing a platform for social identity and growing disability culture through the arts in Aotearoa/ NZ.

What is in it for participants?
Participants will receive an invitation to the Innovations photography project exhibition. The date and time of the exhibition are yet to be decided, however, if your adaptive device is part of the final selection, you will receive an unframed print of it to keep. You will remain anonymous if you wish and all efforts to protect your privacy will be met for this process. A percentage of proceeds from photographic prints and photo books will go to the disability community.

Adaptations photography project. Pilot. 2022

This pilot exhibition is the first step in the larger aim to build awareness of a largely unseen and unheard physically disabled community through a photographic investigation of adapted, fabricated, and customized objects used to assist its members in their daily lives. Photographer Niki Simpkin-Hill’s forensic yet open-ended approach is grounded in her lived experience of disability as the mother of a 21-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy. Simpkin-Hill understands first-hand the challenges of the disability landscape and advocates for a deeper understanding of the lived experience of these communities and further inclusion of their perspectives and voices in wider society.

The main aim of this pilot exhibition is to engage with and encourage participation from the physically disabled community who use devices to assist with their daily living. Purchasing prints framed or unframed from this pilot exhibition is also a way to engage and ensure the future success of this project.

Opening event for pilot exhibition of Adaptations photography project.                  7th April 2022. 

In conjunction with the Auckland photography festival at Studio One Toi Tu. Ponsonby, Auckland NZ

Buy Adaptations pilot prints.

Four images from Plato’s Paradox, Digital Project Screens, 2022

Northart, Northcote, Auckland

Selected images from the 2017 Masters final exhibition.
 

Plato’s Paradox

I have lived experience as the parent of a child affected by a life-long physical disability. These photographs are an expression of feelings and emotions experienced by myself. The figures and their poses, some of which have been inspired by religious paintings, represent the awkward on-going struggle against societal barriers that manifests in such circumstances. Photographs of landscape details have been projected over a body shrouded in a stretch fabric, set against a black background. The resulting images conjure alienated beings and dark atmospheres. These portraits visualize the other-worldliness and chaotic nature of life in the metaphorical disability landscape.
I make reference to the paradox of the prisoners in Plato's cave because disability is so unseen by the large majority of society, yet it exists every where and people choose not to see it.

 

Para-Zeitgeist: No ordinary spirit of the time.
2017 Masters final exhibition.

I come to disability art from lived experience as the parent of a daughter affected by a life-long physical disability. These photographs are an expression of feelings and emotions experienced by myself. 

The key image below is from my 2017 Masters final exhibition.

Scream. 2017

Scream. 2017 is a response to an ableist society that discriminates against those with disabilities. It represents the silent stultified scream of a parent in the face of never-ending political, social, and medical denial of their child's disability. Smothered into silence by a system that does not see disability.  

 

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