Autism, Arts and Access

by Debbie Goatley Birch in Southampton, England, United Kingdom

Autism, Arts and Access

Total raised £85

raised so far

+ est. £21.25 Gift Aid



Let’s get Deborah’s artwork to the Venice Biennale!

by Debbie Goatley Birch in Southampton, England, United Kingdom

The Biennale is arguably the most prestigious exhibition in the world, filled with history and often referred to as “the Olympics of the art world,”

Deborah has been invited by an esteemed venue to exhibit her work during the 59th Venice Biennale, the Exhibition will run from the 23rd April until the 27th November 2022 by an official collateral partner. Exhibiting during the biennale will be of huge benefit to Deborah and her artistic practice, her presence in this prestigious event will also help to pave the way for other artists who are autistic. 

Twenty-five years after the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act in 1995 Disabled people are still under-represented within the arts and cultural sector workforce in all role types and levels of seniority. Disabled people are also underrepresented within the creative industries workforce (Arts Council England, 2020).

Deborah is an interdisciplinary artist and PhD Student researching Carnival and masks. Venice is famous for staging some of the most extravagant carnivals in Europe, therefore the opportunity to make new site-specific work will not only be a significant contribution to her doctoral research but will also be beneficial in developing it further with the wealth of first-hand recourses Venice has to offer in this field.

Deborah is committed to her artistic practice and further developing her career as an artist, but she is also an advocate for other artists who are on the autism spectrum and sits on the Experts by Experience panel for Charity Autism Hampshire. During 2020 Deborah curated two online exhibitions for Autistic artists and created Autism Hampshire’s first collaborative digital magazine for local adult social groups. 

“Being autistic does not define me as an artist, however, I have faced many barriers in accessing the art industry. It’s important to keep working, stay passionate and lead the way for others in the process. The way in which I perceive the world and interpret my experience in it is something which cannot be separated from my art practice. Culture should be accessible for all and by celebrating our unique, diverse ways of being human, then the arts will continue to thrive, giving voice to those who are all too often not heard

What is the money for? 

Without financial support for this once in a life-time chance she will not be able to exhibit. Here is a list of what the funds will help to cover:

· Qualified personnel for installing, handling, maintenance and dismantling the exhibition; wall painting and production of shelves/podiums if needed

· Adoption of the necessary Covid - 19 restrictions by following the local and national regulations,

· Adoption of all obligatory exhibition permits,

· Sufficient quantity and quality lights,

· Regular video and audio equipment,

· Publicity

· Assistance with customs formalities and shipping.


Deborah will pay for all of her own travel, accommodation and production costs. 

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