YSABELLE VAUTOUR // Questioning Access Creatively from the Sidelines

Installation Info

We live in a visual world where our sense of sight is the dominant, particularly in the arts. But, what if we used our other senses to interpret and experience art? I am a visually impaired visual artist. I have created a tactile painting using many types of recycled cloth that is meant to be felt rather than seen. 

I also have some sculptural installations that showcase disability pride. Disability is the largest minority group in the world. It is incredibly diverse, and any of us can become a member of this minority at any time. It can feel so rare to have a disability, but, at 26% New Brunswick’s disability rate is the second highest in Canada. Within that group invisible disabilities are the most common. Some have the choice to make their disability show and others do not.  How can we showcase something that is invisible? Our ableist culture encourages us to hide, but disability pride wants us to celebrate. I have used recycled and donated materials to build my installations to emphasize the importance of care and community in my work and in creating accessibility. 

Another installation, where foam heads in plant holders are suspended from trees, represents chemical sensitivity, chronic pain, and vision loss.



Ysabelle Vautour (she/they) is a multidisciplinary artist and founder of the NB Disability Art Collective. A graduate of Artslink’s Catapult Arts Accelerator Program, Ysabelle explores accessibility and ableism in a fun and playful way through visual and installation art. She began her art practice in 2019 and has been featured in numerous galleries, magazines, and news outlets. Ysabelle has had three solo exhibitions across New Brunswick. The legally blind artist collaborated with Theatre New Brunswick and the JRG Art Society for the Arts for Atlantic Canada’s first Disability Arts Symposium. She has participated in multiple artist residencies, one of which was with the NB Coalition with Persons with Disabilities.