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Celebrating London 2012

Posted by Camilla Brueton, Thursday 17th May, 2012

Jewlry designer Lin Cheung stands behind a transparent lecturn, in a gold top, in front of a blue backdrop which features pictures of the goddess of victory, Nike.

With one of my other ‘hats’ on, recently I was responsible for pulling together the content for an event celebrating the links between the University of the Arts London and London 2012. This resulted in a showcase exhibition featuring the work of students, staff and alumni for an evening celebration event at the new Central Saint Martins campus in Kings Cross.

The exhibition included the designer of the Paralympic Medals for London 2012, Lin Cheung who is a Senior Lecturer in Jewelry at Central Saint Martins. She spoke eloquently about her inspiration- Nike, the goddess of victory and described how she worked alongside the Royal Mint and the British Museum to take an impression for the medal directly from a cast of Nike of the Paionios – the original resides in Greece.

Other highlights for me included:

• Kerry Dean’s fashion photography featuring Paralympic athletes Jonnie Peacock and Stefanie Reid for i-D magazine as part of an ongoing collaboration “i-Sustain” between the magazine, and London College of Fashion.

• Wiff-Waff, an interactive 3m long gilded ping-pong table by sculptor Susan Forsyth, which proved to be rather popular on the night.

Of interest may also be the work of MA Narrative Environment students from Central Saint Martins who undertook a brief to develop the visual identity for Paralympic training camps and the athlete’s village at the games.

To see and read more about the UAL Celebrating 2012 event itself, see:

Photo credit: Paul Cochrane

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Tuesday 22nd May, 2012

Camilla Brueton

Maybe you feel it's just not 'newsworthy' anymore, for a writer to write about how they have had their eyes opened to equality? By writing about this moment- the writer is suggesting it is something out of the ordinary, something worth sharing with a wider audience but he hasn't developed the piece beyond this initial reaction, to something more interesting. Also, the writers use of language clearly shows naivety around disability, which is shared probably by the majority of the population- another thing which may frustrate...

Anyhow- just some thoughts- I did wonder about posting the link to this work on the blog, as I thought the writing might kick off some comments- but decided the visual work deserved sharing.

Tuesday 22nd May, 2012

Kristina Veasey

Looks like a great celebration of art and sport Camilla. Must have been very exciting to be involved in. The photos from the event give a real flavour of the diversity of it all and I have enjoyed following the links. I particularly liked the fashion shoot photos of Stefanie Reid; beautiful shots.

I was less keen on the article they wrote to go with the photos.

When I deliver equality training, I love witnessing the penny-dropping moment when participants finally 'get it'. But, more and more so, I find it tiresome to read about it in the press.

Why is that I wonder?

The article is well-intentioned; disability is not the defining factor. Perhaps it's the need to point it out that grates? Such wonderful and powerful imagery said it all. There was no need for words.

Perhaps I am reminded of how far behind, the majority of people are?

The article reads,

"Spending a few hours in a room with Jonnie and Stefanie calls into question every preconception of what it means to be able bodied. Far from inducing discomfort or sympathy, the ingenuity and sleek simplicity of the blade is surprisingly compelling... the first word that springs to mind isn’t disabled."

Why do I find that so annoying?

Why aren't I punching the air and saying "whoop whoop, another penny has dropped?"

Perhaps it's the result of more 'disability' stories in the press?

I should be pleased about that, but somehow the flavour of them doesn't seem quite right yet. Perhaps that's the problem.

I don't mean to give this author a hard time, it's all in the right vein, and it is good to have more positive press regarding disabled people, so sorry if it sounds too critical. But I am genuinely curious to know, why did I sigh when I read it?

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