Meet the team – Riona Tindal
Riona is the Deaf Arts Officer and supports Deaf and hard of hearing artists through the provision of advice, information, promotion, collaboration and mentoring. Riona also coordinates the Deaf Arts Network.
What attracted you to the role at Accessible Arts?
I first heard about Accessible Arts back in 2014 and finally here I am! It’s a great fit because I am Deaf and I am an artist. I’m also passionate about equal opportunities for Deaf people and for the need for structures to be in place so that Deaf artists have the chance to reach the same levels of artistic excellence as our fellow creative peers.
What do you do in your role?
I support Deaf and hard of hearing artists through advice, information, promotion, collaboration and mentoring. I also offer advice on Auslan interpreting in workshops and seminars within the creative sector.
I also facilitated a project that is very close to my heart — a week-long residency for three Deaf Artists at the Bundanon Trust Residency. The Trust was gifted by the late artist Arthur Boyd. He was a great inspiration to me when I was studying art 20 years ago because of his use of colour and the vibrancy and storytelling in his works. Thus, I was really excited to be involved in this project!
What do you hope to achieve in your role?
I hope to see Deaf artists — regardless of their creative specialty — succeed using the same resources as non-Deaf artists, with access, support and equity! I want to see Deaf artists and creative people be powerful in their field and inspiring to other Deaf creatives so that they finally have role models. That is my goal.
What excites or inspires you about working in the arts and disability sector?
Deaf artists getting professional recognition as artists! I have worked for years in different fields and I often come up against barriers. I am resilient and have overcome these barriers with support and I want to “pay it forward” in my job by helping others.
Do you have any hobbies?
Yes — bush hiking, frogging (I did my PhD on illustrating frogs using scientific illustration methods), painting and drawing.
Describe yourself in three words.
Resilient, artistic, unique.