These stories form part of the Inclusion Ready Project's What's my Story? Digital stories of inclusion series. They aim to raise awareness about inclusion and the opportunities of the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grants to support inclusion activities in communities.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is looking to fund creative, innovative, accessible and inclusive projects for people with disability in your community. CSIA is partnering with NDS to help you, your organisation and your community better understand inclusion and the related Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) grants.
I am Gabe and I am an artist.
I come from a place of community and I come from a place of needing to belong because I think that’s just the…that’s the starting point of inclusion. So the day-to-day situation of our family life is that we have a son with high support needs.
Gabe’s art practices is a sensory art practice. It’s about tapping into things that we need to tap into. It’s meeting his needs, like when he’s at TAFE he will have three or four canvases on the go. His art calms him.
His colours change in terms of his emotions. He needs to express a lot of things in his life. He needs to express the things that he loves, but he also needs to express the things that hold him back and he finds hard as a person.
My first reaction to his work was very much a visual reaction. I was absolutely excited by the work itself. I think he’s an extraordinary colourist and I find his work really exciting. And then when I discovered the difficulties he’s had in his life and the backstory to Gabe’s work I was even more astounded by what he’s done.
I think by Gabe being in the gallery, it really helps people to understand that he’s got his dreams just like they have their dreams. There’s no disability. They are artists.
He broadened the perception of someone with a disability. He was being recognised as an artist. A serious artist. And to be able to share that, that’s inclusion.