Don’t Stare



Don’t Stare

“Staring is a type of look that isn’t returned; consuming rather than collaborating with the other. It is the opposite of intimacy and equity: it’s a gaze that strips the subject of their agency.” G. Sian

Ikon Youth Programme (IYP) showcases new photography and moving image by artist Ashokkumar D Mistry as part of his ongoing series Don’t Stare.

Originally commissioned by Onyx Collective at Disability Arts Online, Don’t Stare (2022) incorporates generative and symmetrical portraits of the artist taken by others; in this instance IYP. Using collage, IYP has collaborated with Mistry on his process of making photographic images. The resulting work touches on how our perception of ourselves does not match that of others.

Treading a fine line between the hyper-visible and overlooked, the photo series is accompanied by Mistry’s film Don’t Freak (2022), which similarly conjures a type of seeing that is oppressive and unreciprocated. In the context of disability discourse — where the uninvited look, or stare, becomes a form of violence — the work affronts the gaze. 

This project is co-created with Ikon Youth Programme on Slow Boat, supported by Freelands Foundation.

About the artist  

Ashokkumar D Mistry is a proudly Leicester-based, Neurodivergent multidisciplinary artist, writer, researcher, activist and curator working in the UK and internationally. Subverting technologies and ideologies, he challenges conventional ways of making and viewing art. Mistry’s research scrutinises differences in expanding our understanding of the human condition. A co-founder of the Disability in British Art Research Group, part of the British Art Network, Mistry has written extensively for Disability Arts Online. @ashokdmistry

About Ikon Youth Programme 

With the support of Freelands Foundation, over three years (2021-24) Ikon Youth Programme (IYP) navigates the waterways on board Slow Boat, a converted narrow boat. IYP are collaborating with creative thinkers and makers to reimagine Slow Boat as a local art school.


Ashokkumar D Mistry and Ikon Youth Programme in conversation
Thursday 23 November, 6–7pm
Free, booking essential 

Join artist Ashokkumar D Mistry and Ikon Youth Programme for a discussion examining Don’t Stare. Together they explore themes of masking, societal pressures and expressing identity as a young person.

Exhibition Details

Open Thursday 23 November – Sunday 3 December, 11am-5pm. The exhibition will close at 3pm on Thursday 30 November. 

Events Room, First Floor 

Free entry, please consider making a donation. 

Please note the film Don’t Freak contains adult language.

Seating is available 

Information on Ikon Gallery’s accessibility is available here

For additional access enquiries please contact education@ikon-gallery.org


Ikon Gallery

1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2HS


3D Visit


Ikon Youth Programme/Talk23.11.2023 / 6.00pm7.00pm
See more
Ashokkumar D Mistry and Ikon Youth Programme
In conversation 
Join artist Ashokkumar D Mistry and Ikon Youth Programme for a discussion examining Don’t Stare, a collaborative showcase of photography and moving image.
Online/Ikon Youth Programme/Events29.01.202411.02.2024
See more
Ashokkumar D Mistry and Ikon Youth Programme
Online film screening
Ikon Youth Programme (IYP) presents an online screening of two films by artist Ashokkumar D Mistry, Don’t Freak and Just Don’t!  
Slow Boat26.01.2024
Read more
Reflections on Don't Stare
By Sonia Boué
Reflections on IYP and Ashokkumar D Mistry showcase by Sonia Boué.

1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace
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