During a workshop at the 2017 Art and Disability Forum, participants were asked to pair up, hold a single pen, and draw a pineapple in two minutes.
The activity had two rules: They were to have a clear idea of how to draw the fruit, and not to give way. They were also not to communicate with each other, not even on basic things like which part of the pineapple they intended to start.
The result was 120 seconds of struggling over blank sheets of paper. Many drawings didn’t resemble a pineapple.
The exercise, supervised by Dr Alice Fox, the keynote speaker at the forum, was meant to illustrate the experience of collaboration between two artists who couldn’t communicate, each forging on with their own idea of what the work should look like.
The Arts and Disability Forum was a two-day event, with presentations by overseas and local experts and practitioners on the first day, and workshops on the second day. Here’s some of the lessons that we picked up.
1. There will be pressure on the product.
Meeting the expectations of the audience and sponsors can be a challenge for inclusive creative projects. It’s often the first time artists with very different abilities—physical, intellectual or sensory—are working together. The creative process can be very improvisational, the final work very different from what the sponsor had envisioned.