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Award 9: i burn but i am not consumed

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

Our ninth grantee is Sahsa Callaghan, a disabled artist based in Edinburgh ...

"As a disabled artist, my aim is to bring vivid and strange imaginings to life. Recently, I’ve been using a blend of collage and photomontage to create surreal and rebellious artwork. Much of my work uses myths and fairy tales to critique the legacy of colonialism and portray alternative visions/versions of a future Scotland.

The images I make are a mix of the uncanny and the everyday. Each piece is constructed to challenge the viewer’s assumptions. I want to encourage them to think about difference, see beauty beyond the mainstream, and question conventional notions of ‘reality’.

I live in Restalrig in northeast Edinburgh which is one of the poorest areas in Scotland. It’s a community with high rates of ill health and financial exclusion and although we are bordered by gentrified Leith and Portobello, we have no community art hub of our own.

Support from Artcry is enabling me to produce five new pieces, under the heading of ‘i burn but i am not consumed’, reflecting the experiences of disabled people during the pandemic. This is great, but more importantly, it will pay for postcards of these images and deliver art directly to 2500 households in the Restalrig neighbourhood.

The postcards will have links to a streamed performance of ‘i burn but i am not consumed’, including embedded audio description, meaning the AD is an integral part of the work and not something bolted on as an afterthought.

By doing this, my hope is to counter the eugenicist narrative, running through the pandemic, that the deaths of people with ‘underlying heath conditions’ are no great loss, and also to find a core of disabled people interested in setting up an arts collective locally.

I know it’s a bit of a cliché but without Artcry ‘I burn but I am not consumed’ would have just stayed an idea. Now it’s a reality. "

More here soon and on our socials to share the info for the live stream of Sasha's work so you can engage with it wherever you are.

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