Autism, Art and Focus.

June 10, 2016 § 2 Comments

Photo on 10-06-2016 at 11.53

This is me in my double sized studio. I look tired but I’m happy. This week I took on more space for a few months, so that I can more easily complete an Arts Council funded project.

Today I spent 11 hours working in the space without noticing.

The project is absorbing and challenging. I think about it as I go to sleep – often resolving painting problems in my minds eye. I come up with potential solutions and new ideas. I wake before dawn, keen to get on.

This is how it is when inspiration strikes and autistic focus comes in to play.





Spaced out.

April 24, 2016 § 2 Comments

Photo on 23-04-2016 at 12.20(It’s now May 11th and my ears are still ringing.)


Tinnitus. My head wide open. Eyes far apart. That spaced out feeling.

I am floating somewhere in the in-between.

Sound is shape shifting. I’m nostalgic for that day when tiredness formed an echo so that every voice warped into unearthly forms, magically transformed into nonsense. I was 10.

Blaaaah blAAAH Blaaaah blAAAH Blaaaah….

It never happened again.

5 days of ringing in my ears. Is this a new thing?

It’s not unpleasant. I feel otherworldly. Disconnected.


No one else can hear this.

When I tune in my eyes drift to the windows.

In a meeting it is pleasant.

At home it is an exercise in levitation.

I tune in and tune out.

I wait. Not knowing if this will stop.



Am I a Mouse? Or more tails of autism.

March 17, 2016 § 4 Comments


I’m now asking myself  if I’ll have to write a blog post a day to cope with all the upsetting things that float my way on the internet. Perhaps I should just stop checking my Twitter feed.  But then I would miss such gems as the salient fact that zinc could help me and other’s like me.

Today’s tasty morsel is the following science paper tweeted out by Michelle Dawson. (NB. My post is no comment on Michelle whatsoever)

I’m not a scientist and I didn’t get too far in reading the actual text in detail I’ll admit. The emotional cut off point was just beyond this,

“In particular, prenatal zinc deficient but not acute zinc deficient animals have been reported to display autism like behavior in some behavioral tests. However, a full behavioral analysis of a possible autism like behavior has been lacking so far.”

My reading of this study is that it suggests a lack of zinc in pregnancy (of mice) may lead to increases in anxious behaviours in (mice) offspring.

Zinc deficiency may be linked to anxiety. Some autistic people may have been subject to this in utero and be zinc deficient in further life.  This latter has been shown to be the case and I know that I am zinc deficient (scoots off the chemist).

But I am quietly stunned by this work on autism like symptoms in mice and it’s further implications. Am I alone in my profound alienation? I suspect cultural dissonance to be the root cause of my feelings.  I feel strongly that “autism like behaviour in mice” or indeed “possible autism like behaviour” in mice have nothing to do with me, and the behaviours seen in these mice are selected and presented with an NT bias. Dodgy nest-building  in mice for example. What does that translate as in human autistics? Maternal mice instincts askew? No, mine are intact.

No disrespect to the mice of course (I feel quite sorry for them in all this testing), and I’m very happy to take zinc to help with gut function and any other areas of discomfort it might help with.

Anxiety is no good thing – but we must consider that anxiety also has origins in hostile social environments and due to sensory overload. Stigma, discrimination and human cruelty are also significant contributory factors as causations in anxiety for autistic people. No amount of zinc will change that.

But this is the power of prevailing cultural norms. When I pinch myself in the mornings to be sure my new diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome is true, will I now also be checking for mouse ears and a tail. Will I shake my head in wonder and ask myself  am I a mouse?

This is all without touching on the male/female right or wrong number of marbles question. Forgive me for giving it a miss. Why does it feel like I have lost my marbles when it could be that someone else may have lost theirs…



“I’m leaving you Ronaldo…”

February 14, 2016 § 1 Comment

Photographs taken in the porch of a church at dusk. Playing with character and atmosphere. Finding myself alone in the location with an iPhone for a set period of time it became a mini film set/studio. The top image feels to me like a character in a TV show – “I’m leaving you Ronaldo….”  my eyes seem to say. IMG_8500IMG_8497IMG_8509

Selfie Time. #womentakingselfies

February 12, 2016 § Leave a comment


A new exploration of the selfie via Instagram and my new app Layout, which allows me to do some layering of images. I’m taking a ride on the hashtag #womentakingselfies and enjoying thinking about how women of my age are supposed to be invisible. My first few attempts had me looking away from the lens, but this one and my previous one (below) take the lens on.


This could become the basis for some new work around women of my age and power. The female gaze, self-gaze, directing the viewer’s gaze all become interesting when you have a new tool to play with.

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