GADIM Awards Scholarship to Australian Art Student for Practice-led Research on Disability Representation
Image description: Welded metal square stock cube outer frame (900mm x 900mm), welded steel rod cube inner frame (200mm x200mm), corroded barbed wire, steel stringing wire, metal turnbuckles, metal eye hooks.
Artist’s statement: Internal chronic pain often leaves me isolated from society, due to having to remain inside to manage it properly. It isolates because it is hard to communicate just how bad it gets to others. And it dissociates myself from my own humanity as I find it hard to remember what life was like before my chronic pain set in.
Curtin University visual artist Michael Miocevich received a GADIM scholarship in June 2023 to advance his disability representation work. Miocevich is a disability-arts scholar who does practice-led research on disability representation.
Miocevich is a Curtin University Bachelor of Arts (Honours) student and is an associate member of the Curtin Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT), and part of the disability-and-the-media and fine-arts fields at Curtin. He shares his work online at @ozmikeart on Instagram.
CCAT director Professor Katie Ellis says Miocevich’s honours project highlighted the importance of disability inclusion in the arts.
“Miocevich and his research are a logical match for GADIM as the alliance also takes a critical perspective on disability representation and narratives of disability in the arts,” Ellis says.
As Miocevich explains: “So much of earlier art saw the use of aesthetics and idealized perfection in the human body to present ideals of beauty, divinity, strength, character and power. By contrast, works used to show evil, corruption, cruelty, greed and those who possessed a bad character as warped, deformed or malign, often incorporating physical disabilities as a method of portraying these themes.
As a student with a disability, Miocevich’s work is informed by what some describe as lived experiences, in addition to historical research and experimentation with different creative methods.
Miocevich’s co-supervisor, CCAT research fellow and multidisciplinary disability scholar Dr. Gwyneth Peaty says, “the interplay between these elements is leading the project down a fascinating path and the scholarship will play an important role in supporting this journey.”
Miocevich says, “I use critical analysis of existing artworks made during many periods of fine art to help me create a body of work which incorporates or pushes back against the narratives which are being presented by the historical works.”
On 15 June, Miocevich gave a CCAT Adventures in Culture and Technology Seminar Series online presentation on his work so far. It was followed by a question-and-answer discussion about art, media and disability with his supervisors, Dr Peaty and multidisciplinary artist Dr. Kieron Broadhurst. GADIM Co-Director Beth Haller presented Miocevich with the scholarship after Miocevich’s online presentation.
The Curtin University press release is here: