Dianna Temple MFA Thesis Exhibition: Wheelchair Tornadoes

George Caleb Bingham Gallery

Images of people with disabilities are often empathetic or inspirational.  In fear of exploitation, disabled people are often excluded from photographs, and the conversation remains unchanged.  Matt Ebert and I alter this logic through our collaboration.  We make photographs of wheelchair tornadoes and other images that are visible only with the intervention of the camera.  The images resist disability tropes that are hinged on truth and tragedy to acknowledge a need for new imagery and the conversations that surround it.  


Dianna Temple is both a working artist and an occupational therapist. She has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Bowling Green State University and an Occupational therapy Doctorate from the University of Toledo.  Her photographic work examines her experience growing up with a sibling with a disability and how that relationship changed her perspective.  In her project, she photographs her friend Matt Ebert to comment on the gaze between the photographer and subject.  Through the lens of the Social Model of Disability she interrogates invisible social constructions that affect the daily lives of people with disabilities.  The Social model emphasizes the social, political, and environmental barriers of disabled people and how the opposing Medical Model has informed tropes of disability into our image culture both currently and historically.  Dianna is an MFA Candidate at the School in Visual Studies from the University of Missouri teaching photography.