Resources, Research & Rants

An empty wheelchair in the corner of a busy gallery
Touching The Surface, Surface Gallery, Nottingham

Central to Nott Normal’s core aims is to ‘become irrelevant as the world wakes up to diversity’. Those with a level of awareness or experience of what it is to live with extra barriers to participation and know this remains a long way off.  It may be getting closer in some ways and more distant in others. Our core aims and working practices detail some of the different ways we choose to adapt and model practices. Our goal is to raise the glass ceiling and let in more energy, dynamism, and fresh perspectives.

Every project we do is a mixture of entertainment, a gentle provocation, and an experiment. Whatever the form or aesthetic a work invokes there is an element of pushing boundaries. 2D, 3D, conceptual, decorative there is a process of education and adaptation. This is practice as research. For those of us living with extra access needs life itself often becomes cutting edge research. Antonia has a lifetime of first and second-hand experience of living with progressive visible and invisible barriers to access.  Her academic background includes a BA in Theatre and an MA in Human Security. Dan also has longterm first and second-hand experience of barriers to access. He is a senior lecturer of both fine art, drama and theatre at Lincoln University. He has a BA in Fine art and Performing arts and an MA in Contemporary Arts. We take a multi-disciplinary approach in our work and thought processes. This is all part of breaking down boundaries.

We all exist in a world where almost everything from architecture to attitudes is governed by dominant, terrifyingly normal ableism. Nott Normal’s work is meant to open doors, ask questions, assess what gets people in the room and what keeps them out; what allows access and what restricts it. It also celebrates achievements past and present. We strongly feel that doing so can breathe new life, ideas, and directions into the broader art world and beyond. Living and working with challenges and past limitations is education. It is a creative act.

Work is ongoing and we welcome contributions and partnerships with artists and creatives of all kinds, researchers, social justice historians, galleries, NGOS and businesses. Above all, we want to work with anyone who has ever felt or been made to feel like they don’t fit in due to ableism and other discriminations.