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Caroline Cardus

"I feel this is the right time in my career to be selected for Sync South East. I'm a mid-career artist who is looking to have some impact on disabled people's lives in the arts alongside continuing my own practice."

Caroline Cardus is a visual artist interested in language, identity and sub-cultures. She originally trained as a painter and printmaker, and now her work covers a range of mediums including digital photography, collage, text based work and steel signage. Some of Caroline's work is about hers and others experience of disability.

The picture shows a blue rectangular road sign at the side of a road.  At the top of the sign is the word Equality?   Below there is an arrow pointing straight ahead which says

Caroline's journey

I’ve always chosen to make art about people’s experiences at this point in time, because I’m here now and I’m interested in what is happening in our society here and now. Seeing as we’re all traveling toward the future together, my work is concerned with the direction and the journey.

What I didn’t choose is to be a member of a sub-section of society often considered less valuable by others within it. I will maintain until the day I die that this is a big mistake. As a result, my work questions why society disables people, and what the disabled people think about this.

Paralympian basketball player Andy Blake leans toward the camera. He is wearing a white glove and spreads his palm to show writing on the white glove which reads 'Success breeds success'

For me Disability Culture has diversified from its starting point during the early disability rights protests and is now also about the differences in how people move, how people think, how people communicate and how people live together. Where there’s muck there’s brass, which is what I remind myself during difficult times - such as the time the local wheelchair service made me sign a form saying I wouldn’t drive my electric wheelchair down a ramp into the conservatory, let alone out into the garden, because they genuinely couldn’t trust me not to drive it into the pond...

An old charity box in the shape of a small girl holding a money box fills the screen.  The girl has been dressed up in a long red wig and a pink glittery cowboy hat.  A caption on the front of the money box says 'Make me look fabulous!'

I said to someone recently that when subject matter and personal purpose are in Sync (pardon the pun), that’s powerful. Direction feels instinctive.

I’m part of Sync because I want to be able to make this happen in my own career, to be part of a culture that acknowledges and celebrates art - and life - in all its forms, and enables anybody - no matter who they are, to be a conscious participant.

To catch up with Caroline on Facebook..


Portrait photo of Caroline Cardus

Equality? Road sign taken from The Way Ahead Exhibition, 2004, by Caroline Cardus. The signs were made to represent disabled people's views on important access issues, launched to coincide with 1st October 2004, the day that new Disability Discrimination Act legislation came into force.

Success Breeds Success The picture was taken as part of the Driving Inspiration project, where paralympians and disabled artists worked with children in schools across Buckinghamshire to inspire them to think about art and sport prior to the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Make Me Look Fabulous An early outing of Caroline Cardus' and Barbara Lisicki's upcoming project Plastic Spastic Fantastic. The project aims to take old charity boxes in the form of begging children and give them a funky 21st century makeover. At the Liberty Disability Arts Festival in 2008, the public were invited to give the original charity boxes a makeover.