A PLATFORM for all, Eastern Riverina Arts in collaboration with IDEAS brings the Riverina’s first fully accessible art space to West Wyalong.
Disability awareness at arts and cultural events took centre stage at Cooinda Park as Eastern Riverina Arts and IDEAS brought PLATFORM to the West Wyalong 125th Anniversary celebrations.
Following the official launch in Wagga earlier in March, PLATFORM will see more than 20 local artists with disabilities showcase their finest works in the Riverina’s first fully accessible and transportable art space.
Housed in a uniquely refurbished shipping container, PLATFORM is able to easily shift between a sensory space, chill out area, exhibition space and even a small stage.
“When we sat down to design the space, flexibility was key”, said Project Coordinator, Adam Bannister.
Enlisting the help of multi- sensory installation artist, Bliss Cavanagh, achieved just that. After months of work, Ms Cavanagh created what can only be described as a ‘sensory roller coaster’. Furry armchairs and rainbow pom-poms greet visitors as they enter the container. However, the real magic begins once you’ve walked inside the colourful container. Closing the large sliding doors, audiences immediately leave the stresses of everyday life behind. The cooling exhibition space houses a number of illuminating light displays and calming relaxation tracks a welcomed reprieve from the often chaotic outside world.
Accompanying the shipping container is Ezy-Dun: A fully accessible, portable bathroom with a toilet, hoist and adult changing table. Ezy- Dun is available to all festival attendees and is specially designed to assist people with a range of disabilities and their carers.
“The vivid realization of an arts space accompanied by the much needed portable, accessible bathroom gives the opportunity for all people to get out amongst their own community festivals” said IDEAS Executive Officer, Diana Palmer.
Behind the scenes, PLATFORM staff have been working with the Bland Shire Council to increase accessibility options throughout the course of the festival. As part of an ongoing strategic planning program, PLATFORM also funded a number of courtesy shuttle buses to and from the festival sites in order to assist members of the public with transportation difficulties.
“Every member of our community has a right to contribute to the cultural life of where they live”, said Eastern Riverina Arts Executive Director, Scott Howie.
“Over the next 18 months PLATFORM will lead a conversation on ways in which we can all remove barriers and become more inclusive”, he said.
Keep up to date with the latest PLATFORM news by following us on Facebook and Instagram. To find out more about the project send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
PLATFORM is an initiative of Eastern Riverina Arts in collaboration with IDEAS. PLATFORM has been funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS) as part of the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Program.
Images by Jack of Hearts Studio