Everything Is a Journey
S A F E is a social(ly engaged), collective art project, involving adult participants living with physical and intellectual disabilities, communication challenges and access support needs.
Funded through the Arts Participation Project Award (Round 1, 2022) by the Arts Council of Ireland
VOCABULARY for a Conversational Project
We = participants, artist collaborators, project partners
is the compass of S A F E Project
Two previous projects were instrumental in the formation of our focus and our processes:
Deenview Project (2017 – 2019): a project that created extended time and space for working together, slowly co-developing our conversations, questions and dialogues. Creative works and art making became a vehicle for discussion and sharing.
A collective research process (2020-2021) investigated how online or hybrid engagement can sustain collaborative arts practice and co-creation during times of social restrictions and physical distance. This project gave us space and time to experiment and to expand our collective methods. Funded by the Arts Participation Bursary Award 2020 by the Arts Council of Ireland.
Ableism and the Right to Access:
we aspire to create a S A F E space for sharing the challenging, sometimes troubling lifelong experiences of social injustice, access barriers, exclusion.
Access isn’t only physical or logistical. Access is relational. We hold a magnifying glass to this relationality, investigating everyday locations, publicly funded cultural spaces and arts venues.
We investigate the construction and the presence of ableism and the barriers that hinder the right to culture and to cultural participation.
We aspire to start a dialogue and build connections with arts organizations and propose long term partnerships. Our proposition is to work together.
We utilize art to invite social change.
is our presence. Participation is to contribute, to question, co-create and share. It happens when we meet and when we are elsewhere. Participation is cultivated slowly, based on listening and trust.
Participation can be long term or partial, it can shift and change. There is a right to participate and choose a suitable mode of participation. There is also a right not to participate.
Sometimes our workshops overlap with other creative programmes – for example when we used wheelchairs for a wet felting process…
Listening is reciprocal. We try to eliminate any hierarchy between us. Decisions are made collectively.
The project is co-created and continuously shaped by its participants, who also named the project.
This is a practice of solidarity, support and care.
Conviviality and the presence of humour is essential to our work – it’s important to keep a balance and enjoy the process, especially when dealing with difficult experiences and challenging issues. Our day trips and gallery visits are focused investigations of access and inclusion, while ensuring that the day is fun and enjoyable for everyone.
We document and record our project collectively – through photography, video, text, reflective drawings and graphic recordings. We are building an archive, both digital and physical. Our web pages and the Deenview Project website are co-curated:
Artist: Tunde Toth – artist. researcher. educator. paper maker. www.tundetoth.com
Artist Collaborator: Sarah Bowie – author. illustrator. comic book artist. www.sarahbowie.com
Deenview Centre (SOS Network), Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland (project partner and supporter since 2017)
IWA (Irish Wheelchair Association) Waterford City, Ireland (Project partner, supporter since February 2022)
VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow, Ireland (arts organisational support, co-creating a partnership with participants)
Connections Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland (supported participants February – June 2022)
Butler Gallery, Kilkenny City, Ireland (supported gallery visits and relevant programming 2016 – 2018)
We are people coming together in three diverse groups in Ireland.
We explore experiences of inclusion, exclusion, communication challenges and access barriers.
We share the good, the not so good and the troubling in our lives.
Some of us can walk on our legs. Some of us have wheels for legs. Sometimes, the car is our legs.
Some of us can travel. Some can’t.
We all think. We all feel. We are all humans.
We use creativity to tell, to question, to share, to show, to research, to learn,
to make visible.
We aim for social justice.
We fight ableism.
Suitable Access For Everyone.
S A F E