Emily De Boer

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I worldbuild a future history, one that speaks to what our environment could be like: inclusive, caring, decolonized and accessible. Lady, my alter-ego and pink breezeblock, is able to exist in this imaginary, idealized world allowing me to play uninhibited in this potential world. While Lady roams freely within the installation, viewers are manipulated within the gallery, asking them to consider their navigation.

As a person with a disability, I have an extraordinary desire to take up and claim space. I have been repeatedly denied access to space in the past, this thesis project is an act of taking it back and making it mine. There is nothing wrong with my body, it is the environment and hostile architecture around it that debilitates me. Disability is defined as ‘a condition of the body or mind that makes it difficult for the person with the condition to interact and access the world around them’. Within this definition itself there is blame placed on my body, but I urge you to consider why it is my body that is the problem and not the infrastructure that was built to exclude me.

My work questions the ways in which lived experience can inform an art practice. Specifically, how does my body, and my fascination with the inaccessibility of the street, inform how I make space for play and worldbuilding? Like graffiti writers, I am interested in claiming space in a world of inaccessibility and discrimination.
This is made manifest through experiments with photography, collage, sculpture and print. How can I draw on my lived experience to create alternate worlds with these collected materials? I then ask how these worlds can then be brought together through installations that further question access by manipulating the institutional space of the gallery.

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