Who cares? The new radical in the Arts is to care, but some of us have been doing this for years.

The need for more caring approaches is emerging in the wake of the pandemic, which has torn through our sector like a house fire on a grand scale. Talk of care for artists, and care within arts organisations must feel shiny and new in this context. I welcome talk of care, but as the panellists intimated, care alone will not take us where we need to go without structural change.

Neurophototherapy Project

Neurophotherapy offers a gentle way in to a conversation with the self. Please do visit my Instagram and website to learn more. Share with others who might be affected. Leave a comment. I love to hear from you!

Sonia x

Autism and the Emotional Labour of accommodating Neurotypicals

So I write with a renewed sense of my identity as an autistic person who doesn’t want to spend her life passing, which is a bitter sweet moment. There’s a real rub to it, which is that ‘feeling more autistic’ is often a result of being more disabled. But until more progress is made in the wider world, anything else is a mirage.

Global impact: a way of thinking about neurodivergence, cognitive load, and the pandemic

I’m interested in viewing the global impact of ND challenge across a lifetime as potentially being an inherent and ongoing trauma, requiring specialised safeguarding, support and recovery. It could be especially useful to consider the concept of global impact in the present circumstances.

Could social media hygiene soothe us and bring joy?

Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Mind your tweets!

I’m not suggesting Twitter use is deadly, though my relationship with the platform has begun to feel like it could be terminal. Lately I log on and wonder what’s happened to us all?

Tight spot. Real talk. Access to Work.

Invisible disability is difficult to broker. Allies who get this are worth their weight in gold. I want to thank Arts Council England, Disability Arts Online, and DASH for getting me to the point of an Access to Work application. Due to my disabilities I couldn’t have accessed this alone. It takes a lot for me to own that my need is real. If granted, Access to Work could revolutionise my practice. Our sector needs to understand the myriad ways in which this is not a level playing field.  

Autistic emotional processing in a pandemic and the importance of guilt-free decompression.

I hope that in understanding myself, and in sharing this brief account, I can help other autistics, family and friends. Reaching a resolution of feelings really helps. Giving your autistic loved one guilt-free time and permission to decompress is the best thing you can do.

213 Things About Me Episode 1: You what? A Review.

I know a a lot about posthumous collaboration. As an artist I work in multiple forms to respond to my father’s life story and his plays. I’ve even written a play about a playwright with my father’s name, and adopted his voice to narrate my take on his story. In many ways I view Richard Butchins’ 213 Things About Me as a kindred project. At an artist’s talk last year, I was caught by surprise when asked what my father would think about my work. This question has stayed with me and makes me wonder what the real Rose would make of these podcasts. It takes a profound level of trust in a relationship for work quite so intimate. The first episode of the series is called, You What? 

Conceptual loo rolls.

Writing under lockdown can feel like trying to thread a broken needle. Adjusting to Covid-19 is a full-time job. This week’s been especially tough. A nation red raw with grief confronted by a government intent on rubbing salt into the collective wound. Somehow, I’ve taken to making proboscises (the nose of a mammal, usually long and mobile) out of cardboard tubes. It looks simple (and it is certainly makeshift) but it’s complex conceptually – I promise.

I wear my beret because this is a long story, as old as time.

It has taken a disaster to teach me how to wear a beret like my grandfather. It sits on top of my shaven head and feels suddenly right, after 4 years of thinking it was too small. A child’s beret! I thought. That was before we crossed a red line and I shaved my head too close, all on the same day.