International Art and Disability exhibition at York St John University

Published: 3/03/2020

A sixth prestigious Anglo-Italian exhibition takes place in York this week on the theme of Pride and Disability.

Eleanor Worthington exhibition artwork by third prize winner Elinor Williams

Elinor Williams' artwork

York St John University is honoured to be hosting the Associazione Premio Eleanor Worthington International Exhibition on Art and Disability. The display shows the works submitted for the 2019 Eleanor Worthington Prize, under the theme of “Disability Pride. Hidden Disabilities”.

The Prize has been established in memory of Eleanor Worthington, a severely disabled Anglo-Italian young woman who, throughout her brief and difficult life, kept a strong enthusiasm for living, which was inspiring for the many people who met her. She lived mainly in York, England, where she was born, and in Urbino, Italy.

The Prize aims to raise awareness of the problems faced by, and the potential of, people with disabilities. It is also moving in the direction of universal accessibility to works of art: audio and written descriptions accompany all the submitted works, and this year, two works are exhibited in tactile form. The exhibition on display has been curated by Nunzia Invernizzi, artistic director of the APEW.

Two parallel sets of first, second and third prizes have been awarded to winning students from Italian and from British institutions. For students from British institutions the first, second and third prize were awarded respectively to Lindsay Gavine, Gray School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen; Ella Davies, Edinburgh College of Arts, University of Edinburgh; Elinor Williams, York St John University.

The Mark Bailey special Prize was attributed to Monica Marshall, York St John University, and the special Amicucci Maimeri Prize was awarded to Zuleika Connolly-Jones, College of Arts, University of Edinburgh.

Elinor Williams, third year Fine Art student at York St John and recipient of the third prize, said: “I am delighted to have been awarded third prize for artists in British Institutions from the Eleanor Worthington prize. The series of drawings I entered, entitled Bodies, explore fragments of human anatomy; creating new forms that celebrate the absurd and unique nature of the body. As an artist living with chronic illness, it means a lot to be involved in a prize that is committed to raising public awareness of disability.”

A preview of the Eleanor Worthington Prize exhibition takes place in Quad South at York St John University on Wednesday 4 March 2020, with the exhibition open to the public from Thursday 5 March - Saturday 7 March 2020, from 10am to 5pm each day. The preview of this exhibition will be supported by a British Sign language interpreter.

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