Cultivating spaces for extraordinary artists

Quality Dis/Abled Seminar

Quality Disabled seminar, funded by the British Art Network and Paul Mellon Centre. Hosted by Amanda Lynch.

This seminar explores how quality within art practice is judged between people facing barriers, who identify as disabled, and D/deaf disabled persons and non-disabled counterparts.

The quality of artwork has consistently been judged by ableist standards within the arts towards disabled people. This seminar will explore what contributes to these standards and what they are. Exploring this will open up discussion as to what makes quality arts practice, what are the barriers for disabled people and how this can turn into positive change.


Date and Time
The seminar will be held on 24 October via Zoom 11 am - 4pm with BSL interpretation.

Speakers include:

Mike Layward , has been the artistic director of DASH (Disability Arts Shropshire) for the past 23 years and recently moved on to be a freelancer and an art student. Mike will discuss, the assessment of quality as a disabled art student.

Claire Penketh, Professor of Disability Studies in Art Education and Head of Disability Studies at Liverpool Hope University. Will discuss the tensions within accessing ability within arts education and their impacts.

Tate Modern and Tate Britain teams will discuss how the archives, libraries and curatorial teams work together to be more inclusive.

Paula Orrell, is the lead for Visual Arts South West and the Director of CVAN England. Paula will discuss being a curator, and how after over twenty years in the sector has she felt brave enough to discuss the impact of being dyslexic. Paula will present her approach to creative curating, how she uses visual images and relates artists' ideas rather than through more formal practices of exhibition making. She will also present an idea for an exhibition that considers the value system of works of art and how quality is judged.

Christopher Samuels is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice is rooted in identity and disability politics, often echoing the many facets of his own lived experience. Christopher, an artist living with a chronic illness has often had to work out his own routes to navigate the arts sector. In this talk, I will explore how notions of 'QUALITY' have impacted my practice.

This seminar will provide a safe and open environment for this discussion, and questions from the audience are encouraged.

BSL interpretation on Zoom will be provided throughout the day. Live transcript, and audio description of all images. There will be frequent breaks throughout the day.

For any other access needs, please email

This event is facilitated by Disability Arts Online.