I create art to see myself, to soothe myself, to heal myself. I then present these art offerings to disabled others. The ritual of creation from my own experiences, especially the ones invisible to the nondisabled world, are risky. Each of these creation projects take a long time from imagining to planning to making to sharing.

These are gifts of self-validation and of community love. If I can dare to show myself just as I am, to ask questions, to create unthinkable-to-many pieces of art using my own often-discarded body then what else becomes possible?

Wheelchair Bound #1

First study to explore the theme.

How does the ubiquitous phrase “wheelchair bound” get subverted? Through a fat, old naked body in a wheelchair? Through images of hands tied to wheels?

8″ x 10″ photographs
Photographer: Michelle Mantione
Model: Corbett Joan OToole

 Wheelchair Bound #2

How does bondage rope challenge the paternalistic meaning of “wheelchair bound”?
If this image used professional rope bondage designs, how would that impact the viewers perception?

Photograph of the legs of a pale skinned large bodied woman. Pink rope wraps around her legs encasing both her skin and her lower leg brace and orthopedic shoes.

Wheelchair Bound #3


How do orthopedic braces and shoes speak to a rope-bound wheelchair rider?
How does the word “Cripple” from a disabled-run business bag invite questions?

large bodied light skinned woman sits facing the camera. Her head and lower legs are not visible. On her broad naked body are embroidered stencils of ancient Goddess images.



How to portray a fat disabled body?
How does the use of traditional craft, in this case embroidery, to stitch ancient goddess images onto a contemporary body shift the meaning?

12″ x 12″ (2018)
fabric, hand embroidery on printed photo
Quilter & model: Corbett Joan OToole
Photographer: Michelle Mantione