You will see my joy and my rage. You will also see my freedom. You have even seen my autism as it is. Dynamic, rhythmic, capable of control (for I have stayed within the picture frame and given you a harmonious dancing surface to gaze at.)
This new work is entitled ‘Convoy’, because the roundup has become known as El convoy de los 927 (927 being the number of Spanish exiles taken that day). Almost overnight the tiny sketch evolved into a big idea with unexpected mathematical underpinnings. Through this exploration I’ve become compelled by the idea that a number (repeated) becomes a pattern, and that this can in a powerful visual form tell us something about the inability to ‘see’ dehumanisation in the face of number.
What NUNO has created – through it’s emphasis on people and relationships – is a warm hug. Soon I will be asking the artists on the Arts Council England (ACE) funded Neither Use Nor Ornament (NUNO) project, how was it for you? I have to do this as part of my evaluation process, but I’mContinue reading “How was it for you? #NUNOproject”
Working with traumatic memory has consequences, and I’ve often been aware of the need to pace myself over the years. You can’t work close up with this material and not be affected. What I’ve learned in this anniversary year us that it’s incredibly hard when such a tidal wave hits your global network. I finally realised this when a friend sent me a video the other day which I just couldn’t open. Earlier in February I wept at 6am as I logged onto FaceBook with my morning coffee and viewed footage of the countless Republican Spaniards streaming towards the border. That was my family, my dearest ones. I can’t help myself, I scan the screen searching for them. It’s quite terrible. All the footage which emerges has this effect. I relive it, and the deeply painful truths that were hedged as they gave my sister and I golden summers on the beaches of Barcelona
I’m immensely grateful for the welcome given to neurodivergence at NYFA on this occasion. To reach out to an artist like me, to really listen and go the extra mile by incorporating their learning from me into the fabric of the Q&A feels like a dream. It has been a marvellous end to a truly remarkable year for me.
A great deal of what I encounter in my mentoring and consultancy practice is a gaping hole around ‘mindfulness’ where diverse neurologies intersect. I’m not talking about a buzzword version of mindfulness. I’m referring to slowing down to a speed at which we can ALL process more effectively. I ‘m talking about (where we can) controlling the parameters of our engagement. This is my ambition for my cohort.
As I write, a vast clump of anti-welcomes forms before my eyes, like a scrap metal tower teetering up into the sky. I tilt my neck, but I cannot see the top.
It sounds like an exaggeration – I wish it was. The truth is that the current neurological hegemony practices daily micro-aggressions in which autistic people are not welcomed. They’re also barred from giving in the mainstream of life.
Some of us experience just enough welcome (important to acknowledge a relative privilege) and gain the tools with which to carve a niche. But too many don’t. Every human needs a baseline of welcome, and access to the power of giving.