CREATIVE PRACTICE ART AND WRITING

Making sense of the world

As a non-diagnosed Autistic female, I have had a wobbly path through childhood, adolescence and my 20s. Always the oversensitive one, the touchy one without a sense of humour, the black and white thinker, short tempered, childlike tantrums, mainstream schooling, socially active, but volatile. I was diagnosed on and off with intense anxiety and depressive symptoms, eventually PMS and BPD. Now as a mother in my 30s I know what I really am, a strong Autistic female. I can recognise what helped, what didn’t and what went wrong, and how these misdiagnoses were unhelpful and damaging in adulthood. As a young woman, I continued to search for answers to my ‘craziness’. Historically I made abject artwork about the body, in an attempt to understand myself and asking all the time, why am I broken, what is wrong with me? I made visual art and writing about some of the answers I discovered. Body image, domestic control, violence, hormones and gynaecology all intrigued me as emotional responses but physically tangible ways to express my complex feelings. Some of my work is extreme, explicit and unashamedly expressive. I am a proud alternative artist and writer, and it isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is the work of a genuine autistic person’s journey to self. More recently I have been expanding my practice to include the stories of my children’s journey as well as my own, and even starting to include others experiences in my artwork. I realise I am becoming more ‘mainstream’ in my approach but highlighting the issues of Autistic families is important to me and my projects ‘Accused; an autism mother’ and ‘From the Horse’s mouth’ bring attention to the challenges in a different way. I have an impressive Arts CV having received Arts Council England and Lottery funding several times, and had exhibitions and performances at the Barbican, Goldsmiths, Act Art, Cultivate London, Hippodrome and fierce festival, Arts & Architecture week and Women in Theatre in Birmingham, as well having worked with the most influential performance and spoken word artists of my lifetime.

My artwork deals with difficult themes and does so in an honest, visceral and personal way. This is often very explicit and not to everyones taste. The live art aspect often uses my own body as a canvas and I am proud to share my stories this way, however, please be aware that it might not be suitable for everyone, particularly those under 18.

I will be pleased to discuss how my artwork across different platforms, mainstream and underground, can be beneficial to those on the autism spectrum, especially females who have different life experiences. I would be happy to be of assistance to you and/or someone you know.

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