Disability Daily Drawn (1000 encounters)

Disability Daily Drawn (1000 encounters)    JoAnn Purcell

Special Projects Gallery

Joan and Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts

86 Fine Arts Rd, North York, ON M3J 1P3

York University

October 12 – 18, 2019
Hours as follows:
October 12-13 by appointment
October 14- closed (Thanksgiving)
October 15 – 18 Hours: 11 – 4 p.m. daily

Reception: Wednesday October 16 from 5 – 9 p.m.

This project began three years ago in the ordinary days of family life where JoAnn Purcell drew a 4-panel comic everyday alongside her thirteen-year-old daughter, Simone, born with the genetic difference Down syndrome. It was to create a regular forum to slow down, pay attention, listen and make room for difference and collaborate with a child with an intellectual disability. Simone has leant her body, affect and trust in this project and to value her contribution, no object or event was too trivial or banal to exclude.

The daily comics refract the everyday experience of living beside disability and reveal the imperceptible. The transposition of encounters considers the element of time, visual representations, text, individual panels and juxtapositions, compositions, page layouts, and gutters. It is in this multimodality that comics can impart a different way of knowing and provide an entry into uniquely humorous, difficult, peculiar or lovely daily encounters with disability and difference.

This exhibition makes visible a body whose genetic makeup has been historically institutionalized, marginalized or disappeared so the display of all the encounters without editing in this exhibit allows the volume of work to take up the full space of the gallery.


Special Projects Gallery at York University is accessible by Ontario standards and is on the main floor of the Accolade West Building of York University. There is an accessible washroom on the same level. The nearby subway TTC is wheelchair accessible.