“Context is everything” - a concept summed up by artist Alan Kane when we were discussing a new commission; without a context my work does not exist. As a second-generation immigrant with parents from countries on different sides of the world, I have always felt out of context. How we feel and respond to situations and events, how we are identified by and identify through language, has also been deeply impressed on me with English, German and Urdu heard at home.
As someone diagnosed as Autistic late in life, I have recently understood my deep connection with art as a way to make sense of the world, a way to question it and to try to find a place within it where I feel comfortable. As an Autistic person I tend to see issues in black and white. Recognising and resisting this tendency has enabled me to observe it, such as in the debate around contemporary art interpretation. At times heavily worded labels act as a barrier, at other times they are non-existent, whilst simplifying the language to the lowest common denominator risks losing the joy of discovery and knowledge.
Mianam Bashir collaborated with Emma Powell, to join 31 other d/Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent artists taking part in the DASH award winning project: We Are Invisible We Are Visible (WAIWAV).
The artists staged Dada inspired interventions in 30 museums and galleries across Britain and Northern Ireland on 2 July 2022 only, marking the 102nd anniversary of the 1st Dada International Exhibition in Berlin.
Their intervention, THIS IS NOT A PIPE (a Dada guide to interpretation) took place at The Hepworth, Wakefield. Find out more.
Visit the Project website waivav.org
Visit the DASH Project page