Close this search box.

Event | Past Event

Care in disability arts: A conversation with Claire Cunningham, Seo Hye Lee and the vacuum cleaner 


Event Details:
5 – 7pm, 7 March 2024 – Online

What happens when we consider care a craft or artful practice?

This panel discussion invites artists, Claire Cunningham, Seo Hye Lee and the vacuum cleaner to reflect on the care aesthetics in the disability arts context and how it might speak to how they make work. We will explore intuitive acts of care which often go unnoticed such as the ways artists interact with their materials, processes and people. 

Chaired by In Transit Director Celina Loh and researcher Kate Maguire-Rosier.

This event is organised by The Care Lab in partnership with In Transit Space CIC.

Event Recording

What is the care aesthetics? 

Care aesthetics understands care as embodied (something we do), crafted (something we refine) and made up of sensory experiences (something we feel) between individuals, in groups and communities and between people and objects.

We look at moments of care that demonstrate embodied, sensory and practical skills – the touch of a hand, holding the other’s gaze, a modified tone of voice. These are often felt as being done ‘intuitively’ by healthcare professionals and artists working in care settings, and so often become invisible in doing care work.

We believe that once we can more readily describe such skills in care, we might understand care in new ways, and we can begin to value care as a creative practice. 


Seo Hye Lee

Seo Hye Lee is a London based South Korean deaf artist. Drawing on her personal experience of hearing loss and of being a cochlear implant user, Seo Hye explores a world of sound and silence through the mediums of drawing, moving image, and multi-sensory installation.

Her work was recently commissioned by Shape Arts for Tate Exchange and she has had exhibitions at Science Gallery London, Hove Museum & Art Gallery. Her research and work has received support from Vital Capacities Residency and Arts Council DYCP funding.

Claire Cunningham

Claire Cunningham is a performer and creator of multi-disciplinary performances, based in Glasgow. One of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned disabled artists, her work is rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches. She is the Einstein Professor of “Choreography, Dance and Disability Arts “at the Inter-University Centre for Dance in Berlin and in 2024 she will premiere a new solo work, Songs of the Wayfarer.

the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter)

the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter) is the name of a UK based artist and activist who makes candid, provocative and playful work. Drawing on his own experience of mental health disability, he works with groups including young people, health professionals and vulnerable adults to challenge how mental health is understood, treated and experienced. His work has been shown internationally including Manchester International Festival, Chisenhale Gallery and Wellcome Collection. He co-founded the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination 2004 – 09. He received the Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Fund 2018. the vacuum cleaner is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation 23-26.

Access Information

  • This event takes place online on Zoom.
  • There will be closed captions throughout the session. Participants can turn on/off closed captions using the ‘CC’ button.
  • As the event is scheduled for a total of 1.5 hour, we will take a x minute break in between.
  • There will be British Sign Language interpretation for this event.
  • This event will be recorded. The recording will be made publicly available on The Care Lab as an open resource.

If you have specific access needs, please email Kate Maguire-Rosier at  in advance of the event, and we will assist where possible. We are always interested to learn what more we can do to improve our services and quality to support your engagement with our programming.