Mindscape – Donna Richardson (Interview)

In response to FCA’s website 1st birthday, Donna Richardson, Aidan Moesby, Kristina Veasey and Simon Wood were each awarded £1000 to produce fully accessible artwork that engages with digital technologies.

We wanted original work on any theme which we could display on our DigiCommission website.

All artworks commissioned were to show:

– That digital creative accessibility solutions can produce more interesting work for everyone, whether they have specific access needs or not.
– That technology provides excellent tools for solving access to art in its focus on connectivity and joining people up.
– That making something more accessible doesn’t have to be expensive.

We feel that the artists selected fulfil the brief and we’re excited to launch the website.

We hope to commission accessible digital artwork each year and build on the website to create an archive

Here we interview Donna about her work


1. To what extent if at all do you feel your work represents/reflects (your feelings about) disability? 

My work reflects my feelings that despite a person’s disability they can still offer a valid contribution to society, expressing ideas and opinions through a creative medium.

2. Had you previously thought about creating fully accessible digital artwork prior to this commission? 

I had not considered the fully accessible nature of my work before submitting to this commission. It now seems obvious to me that as a disabled artist I naturally use digital media as a way of expressing myself.

3. To what extent do you feel that digital technology is a useful tool in improving access to art? 

Digital technology is without a doubt the most influential tool in improving access to art. Not only for disabled people but for anyone who might previously have found the gallery environment too intimidating or that their location and demands of family and work life were not conducive for easy participation in the Art world.

4. What or who influences your work or whose work do you get inspiration from? 

I am inspired by many people and things. I look to interior design, architecture and fashion to keep my work fresh and current feeling. I am also inspired by painters like David Hockney and photographers like Martin Parr who are both in different ways embracing modern technological advancements to forward their work.

5. What was your intention in creating this piece? 

My intention in creating this work was to explore my own brain’s responses to symmetry, balance and composition within landscape painting and to highlight my emotional and physical challenges following stroke both for myself and in the viewer.

6. Have you learnt anything in particular in doing this commission?

Following the completion of this commission I have learnt that no matter what physical or mental disability you may have, your contribution to the Art world and to life is no less valuable than anyone else’s.

7. What tools did you use to create these digital paintings? 

I used an Apple ipad, laptop PC, Photoshop software, Brushes application and a digital SLR camera to create my work.

8. How important was it for you to create abstract/symbolic works that are open to interpretation?

I purposefully created my paintings with an open interpretation to allow for a discussion to open up around the details found within the landscapes and the ideas around the brain and it’s functions.