Article on Disabiliy Art Onine
An artist is launching a series of collages tracking bus journeys from people excluded from public transport.
The Walkie-Talkies was created by socially engaged artist Michelle Baharier, who is originally from Camberwell.
Her inspiration came from a poem by David Morris, a disabled wheelchair user who could not use London buses and therefore felt excluded from London life.
“I am humbled by what people are sharing and very proud of the work we’re making,” Ms Baharier said.
Each collage tracks the weird, wonderful, and unfortunate bus journeys.
They are told from the perspective of those who have used the buses, and highlights both the ordinary and the extraordinary.
Ms Baharier’s project will bring the number one bus, which used to go to from Penge to Woodgreen, to the front of the queue.
The collages highlight the experience of differently abled people’s ability to use public transport.
There is a particular focus on pensioners, many of whom have acquired disabilities over time.
Ms Baharier’s collages explore the themes of inclusion on public transport, the Routemaster experience, David’s poem as well as the very famous double-decker bus.
At the centre of all her artwork is a focus on the human condition, and she is particularly interested in how we thrive and survive.
Ms Baharier has been making art for as long as she can remember, and has been influenced by having to get by in an ableist world with severe dyslexia.
She studied at The Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, and has worked with a number of community groups for her work.
Ms Baharier is also working with groups like the Golden Oldies, Southwark Irish Pensioners and Golden Oldies.
Of the collages, she said: “I’m so grateful to those who have trusted me with their intimate stories of the everyday.”
The series of digital collages will be released starting on June 8, with two being released each week after that.
This project has been made possible by the support of Disability Arts Online and funded by Arts Council England, more information can be found here https://disabilityarts.online/events/michelle-baharier-presents-the-walkie-talkies-online/.