British artist Sue Austin has been in a wheelchair since 1996 after contracting ME (chronic fatigue syndrome). In 2012, she was asked to be a part of the Cultural Olympiad in Britain, a celebration of the arts leading up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games held in London. For the event Ms. Austin and a team of diving experts created the world’s first self-propelled underwater wheelchair to be used in a series of stunning underwater scuba performances she called ‘Creating the Spectacle!’.
This is what Ms. Austin had to say about her wheelchair and her art project:
I’m thrilled that lots of people have been inspired by the project, many of them telling me how seeing the wheelchair underwater has made them want to try it too. They’re realising that it’s actually extending the boundaries for all of us. We’ve created something new and exciting and it’s really getting people talking. As a result, they’re realising that viewing the world from a different perspective inspires them to be free to explore new experiences. I now call my underwater wheelchair ‘Portal’ because it has literally pushed me through into a new dimension, into a new way of being.
The ingenuity of people when trying to express themselves in various ways is astounding. Good job Sue.
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