Naomi Ortiz

Naomi Ortiz's work has been described as “cracking apart common beliefs to spill out beauty.” A proud Disabled, Mestize (Indigenous/ Latinx/White) living in the Arizona U.S./Mexico borderlands, Ortiz explores cultivating care and connection within states of stress. In this reading of their poem “Heart Remedy for Mountain Scars” and interview from the Disability Poetics video series, Ortiz connects the actual scar in the Catalina Mountains with a body’s physical and emotional scars, creating an ecopoetics, showing how metaphor, when first being actual, can expand our understanding of our body’s place, and misplacement, in the world.

Naomi Ortiz, Disability Poetics Video Series. Courtesy of Kenny Fries and the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.
Book cover for Naomi Ortiz's Sustaining Spirit: Self-Care for Social Justice

About This Site

A Picture of Health: Jo Spence, a Politics of Disability and Illness is a multi-pronged project curated by Kenny Fries and Elisabeth Frost.

In 1986 the British artist, educator, and activist Jo Spence (1934-1992) described the question fundamental to her work: “how to represent a body in crisis.” Spence’s work reveals powerful political and artistic responses to the experience of inhabiting such a body and is as timely as ever. This website places her work in the context of the lived experience of chronic illness and of contemporary Disability Arts.

The Artists

Links to artists, with an image representing each artist that is explored in further detail on the artist's page.