The Art of Captioning: Making Access Work
Wednesday 25 May, 12.30–2pm (Online)

To register for this free event on Eventbrite, please click here.

Image credit: Nina Thomas, [the sound of memory] - work in progress (2021);

Join us for a discussion about access work with guest panellists Elaine Lillian Joseph, Nina Thomas and Natasha Trantom.

In this conversation, we will explore arts access from the perspective of those who translate, interpret and describe sound and image. Contributors include access workers who specialise in captioning, audio description and BSL interpreting in art contexts, and artist who are also accessibility-activists. By bringing together those who make access their work, we hope to open a conversation about how arts access might develop.

This event is open to all, but may be of special interest to artists and arts institutions keen to understand the nature of access work.

Making Access work will be streamed online, more information on how to access the talk will be sent to you closer to the date.

This event is a part of a series across 2022 supported by the British Art Network.


This event will be live-captioned and BSL interpreted.

The event will be 90 minutes long with a comfort break. The panelists will first present for 15 minutes each followed by a 10 minute break and the remaining time given to in-conversation and questions. The event will be introduced by Hannah Wallis (Wysing Arts Centre) and chaired by Sarah Hayden (Voices in the Gallery).

If you have any questions or further access requirements, please email Hannah on hannah.wallis@wysingartscentre.org.

About The Art of Captioning

The Art of Captioning is a research group, supported by British Art Network, that explores what creative captioning can bring to art while advancing vital work around access, equality and inclusivity in the sector.

In the current landscape of increased awareness and innovative activity, there is both huge opportunity and great need for collaborative research. The Art of Captioning hopes to generate new ideas and approaches, collectively — ideas with tangible, practical implications that will positively affect the way that the production and display of art is considered and resourced.

The Art of Captioning brings together artists, curators, researchers, activists and access workers to address the state of captioning and access awareness in British Art.  
Questions under consideration include:

- How do we build on the activist histories of experimental moving image practices to galvanise discussions about the politics of access to art?

- How can we develop new methodologies for retroactively making moving image and sound art works more accessible through captioning and audio description?

- What can we learn from the artists and access workers developing novel approaches to the translation of sound and image?

- What have the past two years of programming taught curators and organisations about access and accountability?

- How can we work together to embed caption-consciousness in commissioning, event-programming, and exhibition-making in British art?

For more information about The Art of Captioning and how to join its membership, please visit our website page here.


Elaine Lillian Joseph is an audio describer for TV, cinema and live shows. She has a BA in Modern Languages (German) and English Literature and trained as a describer at ITV under Jonathan Penny. She specialises in experimental films and dance but also loves to provide live description at queer cabaret nights. Over the years she has delivered a number of AD workshops and consultancy advice to clients in the public and private sector.

Nina Thomas is a visual artist and advocate for captioning and improved access to the arts, heritage and film for deaf and hard of hearing people. In her art practice, she often foregrounds stories and histories which might be overlooked or underexplored. Much of her recent work has focused on her experience of becoming deaf and subsequently seeking to understand other deaf experiences and deaf history. She has exhibited at venues such as The Crypt Gallery (NW1), LUX (online) and OVADA (Oxford). She is a founding member of The Film Bunch, where she curated the online screening ‘Deaf Experience’, and she was commissioned by Pan Macmillan to create an animation for the poet Raymond Antrobus. She has worked on access and advisory projects at the V&A, The Wallace Collection, NDACA, British Ceramics Biennial, The British Museum, Shape Arts and D4D. She is also a trustee at Stagetext.

Natasha Trantom began her career as a communication support worker, working for a small Deaf led charity and supporting Deaf students in higher/further education. After completing her studies in BSL and qualifying as a registered sign language interpreter in 2009, she became a freelance interpreter working predominantly in mental health services for Deaf people. 

After years of working in mental health services and with a wealth of experience, Natasha decided she wanted to go back to her theatre roots, (BA.hons in Theatre Studies and Spanish). Natasha has been working alongside Deaf artists, actors, dancers, directors, and writers in theatre/ dance/ TV for several years. From auditions to R&D's, from rehearsals to film shoots, Natasha loves to be a part of the creative process and strongly believes in access to the arts for all.