Eleven young disabled people are working together on a unique new project based at ARC called 45 Days to Find My Way which is part of the Cultural Shift project, in partnership with STEPS. The first public sharing of their work is a portraiture exhibition called Know Who We Are which will launch on Mon 30 Nov and will run until Mon 4 Jan.

45 Days to Find My Way is a journey of discovery, but not  just for those taking part. Vici Wreford-Sinnott who is running the project said: “Everyone at ARC is being affected by the work of disabled people in our programme – it’s really beginning to shift how we view disabled people. And this also applies to audiences new to the disability related work in our programme.”

The young people have been working with local digital artist, Black Robin, to look at identity and how they present themselves publicly. The group have taken portraits of each other and have developed statements about themselves to accompany the photographic image.

One of the young people, Emily, said: “We want people to know who we are. Yes there are disabilities, but there is more to us than that and this exhibition shows that”.

The statements are based on the group interviewing each other and asking key questions about each other.

Vici continued: “The resulting statements are surprising, vibrant, at times moving, but definitely reveal the whole person. We hope people will look beyond the cover of any book they try to judge after seeing this exhibition. Truly wonderful interesting young people.”

The exhibition has been enabled by Cultural Shift, a three years strategic programme which aims to change the way disability and disabled people are viewed.

45 Days to Find My Way is a participation project where young disabled people gain new arts skills such as photography, film, animation, and drama whilst also gaining new transferable skills which will be valuable for the rest of their lives such as communication, working as part of a team, confidence in speaking up and working towards both personal and professional  goals.

The exhibition will be displayed on second floor gallery from Mon 30 Nov when it is launched at 1.30pm until Mon 4 Jan and is free for anyone to view.