Sue Austin

Multimedia, performance & installation artist

More about Sue

Exhibitions 2014

Cover of festival brochure featuring 'Sue in the Blue' image

Photo 'Sue in the Blue' Artist: Sue Austin. Photographer: Norman Lomax: ©

European Parliament: Brussels:
Exhibition of images for International Day of Disabled Persons 
3 - 12 December 2014.

L’Art Impossible Festival: Barcelona, Spain
Use of 'Sue in the Blue' image for poster
14 February 2015

InShadow Festival: Lisbon, Portugal:
Screening of 'Finding Freedom' 

26 November - 7 December 2014.

Gesellschaft zur Förderung von Kunst und Kultur: Mainz, Germany:
First International Performance of the Underwater Wheelchair
12 - 13 September 2014.

Tate Modern, Turbine Hall: London
Large scale screening of 'Finding Freedom'
13 - 14 June 2014.

Boston Society of Architects Space Gallery: Boston, USA:
Rights of Way: Mobility & the City
5 December 2013 - 26 May 2014.



Sue sits in her powerchair at Salisbury Arts Centre being interviewed by BBC

Sue being interviewed at Salisbury Arts Centre for BBC South

Berkeley University: California, USA:
'Fixed' Film screening incorporating ‘Finding Freedom’
5th December 2013.

Islington Exhibits: London:
Screening of ‘Finding Freedom’
20th - 31st July 2013.

Plymouth University, Devon:
MA Exhibition: 360 degree installation
11th - 18th July 2013.

ICCI 360 Conference: Plymouth University, Devon:
360 degree installation
21st - 22nd June 2013.

Salisbury Arts Centre:
People Like You: 360 degree installation,
Screenings of ‘Finding  Freedom’ & ‘Finding the Flame’
10th March - 14th April.

Lighthouse Gallery: Poole:
People Like You: 360 degree installation,
Screenings of ‘Finding Freedom’ & ‘Finding the Flame’
4th May - 19th June 2013.

Salisbury City Centre:
Freewheeling: Traces from a Wheelchair
Paint Wheelchair producing white lines, performance & installation in City Centre
10th April 2013.

Steirisches Feuerwehrmuseum: Austria:
‘Finding Freedom’ screened at ‘Tauchen, Faszination & Wagnis’
9th June - 27th October 2013.

Ottawa, Canada:
'Finding Freedom’ screened in collaboration with Propellor Dance 
31st May 2013.

Doha, Qatar:
'Finding Freedom’ screened in collaboration with The British Council
14th March 2013.


Sue Austin Sits in her powerchair, looking at a large scale projection of her work, featuring a huge image of the wheel of the underwater wheelchair

Photo: Trish Wheatley ©

The South Bank: London:
Large Scale panoramic projection of ‘Finding Freedom’
30th August - 9th September 2012.

ICCI Dome: Weymouth, as part of London 2012 Festival:
Premier of Creating the Spectacle!’
Part 1 ‘Finding Freedom‘ in 360 degrees
29th Aug 2012.

Osprey Leisure Centre Swimming Pool: Portland, Dorset as part of London 2012 Festival:
Performances of the Underwater Wheelchair
29th August & 1st September 2012.

Paralympic Torch Festivals: London, Cardiff & Belfast:
LOCOG commissioned film 'Finding the Flame’
Premier & screenings
August 28 - 29th 2012.

Performance of Underwater WheelchairPortland, Dorset:
Fleet Lagoon
27th June 2012.

2011 and previous years exhibitions

In a large airy space a power wheelchair sits facing a full length glazed door, with a view of a greenfield beyond. On the wall to the left there are large paper panels with swirling pirals of paint tyre tracks created by the wheels of the power chair

Artist: Sue Austin: © Photographer: Trish Wheatley

Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy:
Artist in Residence during Paralympic sailing rehearsals 
August 2011.

Gallery Space, Scott Building: University of Plymouth:
'Testing the Water!',
Exhibition and Live dialogue with Curator Edith Doove
29th March to 2nd April 2011.

University of Plymouth: Artist’s Open Studio:
'Testing the Edges': 'All the Questions and All the Answers?’
26th July 2010.

Empire Gallery:, London:
Swan Song Group Exhibition
Interviewed by Sue Perkins for “The Art on Your Walls’ on BBC 2.
6 Aug – 17 Aug 2009. 

BBC Big Screen: Plymouth:
Exhibition of five films exploring the freedoms of the wheelchair
July – Aug 2009.

University of Plymouth: Degree Show:
Freewheeling: An Absent Presence or a Present Absence?’
19 – 26th June 2009.

Plymouth: Temporary public art installation through City Centre:
Freewheeling: 'Present and Absent’
7 Jun 2009 – 5 August 2009.

Faith House: Holton Lee: Poole, Dorset:
'Freewheeling – Traces from a Wheelchair’ Exhibition
24 Mar – 1 May 2009.

Holton Lee: Disability Arts Open:Poole, Dorset:
Group exhibition
17 Jan – 8 Mar 2009.

Roland Levinsky Atrium Gallery and Artists Studios: University of Plymouth:
Multi-space Installation ‘Self Narration –a Writerly Text’
22 Jan 2009.

Tate Modern: London:
'Architecture Inside Out':
A collaborative intervention/performance in the Turbine Hall
Easter 2008.

Second Holton Lee Disability Arts Competitive Exhibition:
19 Jan – 8 Mar 2008.

Artist’s Open Studio, Exeter: ‘
Exposing the Semiotics of the Wheelchair’
25 Jun 2007.

Artist’s Open Studio, Exeter
Multimedia installation
26 Sep 2006.

Artist’s Open Studio Exeter:
Sculpture and multimedia installation
6 Jun 2006.

North Devon College Arts Exhibition: Barnstaple:
14 - 28 Jun 2003.

Art Portfolios: Barnstaple Library:
2 –9 Jun 2000.

Talks, Residencies & Workshops

sue and trish pictured at NASA with a group of people from the SAIC team, in front of an image of the Earth and part of the moon in the background

Sue & Trish with the SAIC team at NASA, Houston.

University of Plymouth Marine Institute:
Artist in residence
September 2014 - present

Edinburgh Napier University:
25th November 2014

Monterey Bay Aquarium, California USA:
9th December 2013

Stanford University Spinal Injuries Unit, Palo Alto, California, USA:
6th December 2013

NASA Johnson Space Centre: Houston, USA:
Talk to Employees & Contractors, as part of their Technical Speaker Series
3rd December 2013

Points of Contact, Arts & Disability: Peoples Palace: London:
Talk given to Brazilian delegation
31st November 2013.

Bowlby Centre: London
Talk at UK Centre for Attachment based Psychoanalytic  Psychotherapy
12th October 2013.

ICCI 360 Conference: Plymouth University:
21st - 22nd June 2013.

Stroud Arts Centre:
Talk to Artbridge
29th May 2013.

TEDMED: Washington USA:
18th April 2013.

Salisbury Arts Centre:Symposium on Disabled Arts
Talk People Like You
10th March 2013

TEDxWomen: Washington USA:
1st December 2012.

Plymouth University: Devon, Artist’s Talk
15th December 2009.

Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy:
Artist in Residence during Paralympic sailing rehearsals 
August 2011.

The Gallery, Scott Building: University of Plymouth:
'Claiming the Audience as part of one's Artwork',
Live Dialogue with Edith Doove, Curator,
29th March 2011.

The Barn, Holton Lee: Poole, Dorset:
Workshop with residents:
Painting with the Wheelchair and Encouraging Audience Participation
21st March 2009.

Holton Lee: Poole, Dorset:
13 – 23 March 2009.

North Devon College, Barnstaple, Devon:
Artists talk
6 January 2009.

Tate Modern: London:
Presentation of outcomes from Architecture Inside-Out:
Collaborations between disabled artists and architects
20 October 2008.

Plymouth University: Devon:
Artist’s talk,
25th October 2008.



MA Fine Art: University of Plymouth:
2009 - 2014

BA Hons. Fine Art: First Class: University of Plymouth;
2003 - 2009
Thesis: Self-Narration as a means of restoring the alienated body:  An Investigation into the power of Discourses on Disability and Ontological Theories to reposition the Embodiment and Art-Practice of the Disabled Artist.

Fine Art Access Course, North Devon College, Barnstaple:
2000 - 2003.

Art Portfolio Course, North Devon College, Barnstaple:
1999 - 2000.

Strengths Assessment Diploma, Mental Health, Research and Development in Psychiatry:
June 1992 - 1994.

BSc Hons. Psychology, University College of Swansea, University of Wales:
1984 - 1987.
Dissertation: Investigating the therapeutic benefit of introducing professional artists into mental health day care settings in Carmarthenshire, Wales.

PADI Dry Suit Training:
April 2008.

PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Certification:
Panorama Sharm, Oonas Dive Club
November 2005.

PADI Nitrox Certification:
Camel Dive Club, Egypt,
July 2005

PADI Adventures In Diving Certification:
Camel Dive Club, Egypt,
July 2005

PADI Open Water Diver Certification:
Camel Dive Club, Egypt,
July 2005.


Sue Ausin sits in a standard NHS wheelchair, underwater in a swimming pool. She is wearing a summer dress and white sunglasses

'Portal 2008' Artist: Sue Austin ©

Judge’s Vote, Second Holton Lee Disability Arts Open Competitive Exhibition:
for ‘Portal’ image
January 2008.

Natalie Sitar Award for Outstanding Achievement,
Awarded by Plymouth University Fine Art Department following presentation of “Freewheeling: An Absent Presence or a Present Absence?’ for Degree Show and ‘Freewheeling: Absent and Present’ public art installation through the centre of Plymouth,
June 2009