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Sharona Franklin: Making art accessible for all

The Canadian sculptor on exploring disability through her work

Sharona Franklin’s jelly sculptures may look delicious but they are grand artworks that she makes to tackle her experience of the world as a disabled person. Confronting the fragility of the human body, and the complicated relationship she has with biopharmaceuticals and medicines, her work is made from her small home in Vancouver, where she feels safe to explore, make and rest her body as much as she needs - essential for her health, but all too often ignored by arts institutions. She talks to the Cultural Frontline about her work, and some of the barriers she faces as a disabled artist.

From his studio in Lagos Nigeria, renowned singer-songwriter and UNICEF ambassador Cobhams Asuquo tells us how his blindness contributes to his heightened sense of musicality, and how he overcame widespread prejudices in the music industry to become a household name.

Can we make arts truly accessible for all? As much of the world faced lockdown as a result of Covid 19 and people began to talk about the difficulties of not being able to visit museums, theatres and exhibitions, many disabled people have taken this moment to highlight that they have never been able to access these spaces due to their needs being continually ignored. Two disabled artists, Bella Milroy and Diana Niepce, talk to the Cultural Frontline about their experiences of inaccessibility in the arts world, and what needs to change.

Performing Ben E. King’s iconic song Stand by Me, a group of disabled artists from 15 countries have come together virtually to record a music video as part of the True Colours Festival. Raising awareness of how disabled people have been affected by the pandemic, we hear from two performers in Singapore and Australia about why they want to be involved.

Presented by Kat Hawkins

(Photo: Sharona Franklin)

Available now

27 minutes


  • Sat 27 Jun 2020 01:32GMT
  • Sat 27 Jun 2020 16:06GMT
  • Sun 28 Jun 2020 04:32GMT
  • Sun 28 Jun 2020 08:32GMT
  • Sun 28 Jun 2020 21:06GMT