We are so very deeply saddened that Julia has died. She was very supportive of many disabled writers, and of Northern Disability Arts Forum, and she means an awful lot to us in all sorts of ways. Her energy will be missed in our cultural landscape but also in many, many more discreet ways in the way she supported, encouraged, developed and inspired so many writers and artists with amazing generosity. And this generosity is reflected in the beautiful, deliberately placed parcels of hope and happiness like First Aid Kits for the Mind with the fantastic rubber stamp saying “I know my body better than you do” referencing and challenging the medicalisation of so many of our experiences – and the thought provoking Manifesto, and so much else still to come. She took on all that surrounds people’s experiences of cancer and illness – doctors, attitudes, the bleakness of the hospital, and effected change which we hope will continue to grow as part of the legacy of Julia’s work. And she tackled fear to take the fear out of cancer and dying, again with an inspiring level of generosity. She left us beautifully crafted handbooks on how to get through it all. Amazing.
Thank you Julia, for your creativity, and the fires of creativity you inspired in others, and for showing us what is possible.
Director, Northern Disability Arts Forum