Biographical information: Sue Austin

Sue Austin is a multimedia, performance and installation artist. Over an extended period of time her practice has operated as a vehicle to open up a thinking space around the materiality of the wheelchair. This is being used as a metaphor to raise questions about the value of diversity to society through raising the profile of ‘difference’.

Sue, who lives in Devon is currently completing her MA in Fine Art at University of Plymouth, having gained a First Class Honors degree in Fine Art in 2009, with a thesis on: Self-Narration as a means of restoring the alienated body:  An Investigation into the power of Discourses on Disability and Ontological Theories to reposition the Embodiment and Art-Practice of the Disabled Artist. She also holds a BSc Hons in Psychology, from University College of Swansea, University of Wales.

Sue founded Freewheeling – an emerging disability led initiative – in 2009, focusing on providing a ‘hub’ around which to foster integrated arts projects, allowing ideas and artistic concepts to develop while maintaining an emphasis on promoting academic research that aims to reposition Disability Arts and the status of disabled artists within the mainstream cultural sector. Through this she has delivered Testing the Water (an initial project exploring the potential for her underwater wheelchair) and ‘Creating the Spectacle!’, her Unlimited Commission.

Sue has exhibited at Faith House at Holton Lee, University of Plymouth, Empire Gallery, London, Tate Modern, London and through site specific work in Plymouth City Centre and on the BBC Big Screens. She won the award for the Judge’s Vote, at the Second Holton Lee Disability Arts Open Competitive Exhibition and the Natalie Sitar Award for Outstanding Achievement, by Plymouth University.