I have recently been diagnosed with Autism and this currently has a heavy influence on my practice. My work aids me in processing and understanding experiences I’ve had in my personal life as a result of my autism. I use a variety of mediums to communicate these experiences and emotions as I work through them. I work with clay, collage, moving image and many other mediums. My work also has various modes of delivery from performance, site situated work to work in the gallery context.
As a result of being diagnosed with Autism, I find myself continuously drawn to using my artwork as a form of therapy. My work serves to aid me in understanding the affects my recently diagnosed disability has on how I experience the world. In this way my work seeks to speak to anyone who is neurodivergent (differing in mental or neurological function from what is considered typical or normal) to discuss different obstacles we face in a world primarily designed for the neurotypical (not displaying or characterized by autistic or other neurologically atypical patterns of thought or behaviour). Simultaneously, my work also calls to the neurotypical individual to raise their awareness that others don’t experience the world in the same way which might not be obvious to them. As many neurodivergent people have coping mechanisms that aid them in navigating their daily lives. This allows them to cope with the stresses of their environment and engage with daily life.
It is my interest in these coping mechanisms, behavioural analysis and my use of art as a form of therapy that leads to my desire to pursue Art Therapy as a profession. My work has always been mental health guided along with my interest in behavioural analysis, which stems from trying to understand my peers as an Autistic individual, puts me in a knowledgeable position on the topic with a keen interest to learn and develop further.
It is through art we subconsciously discover issues lying below the surface level that drive our behaviour. My current work attempts to raise general awareness of how people experience their disability. I am trying to show how I experience my environment on a day to day basis and how that can become overwhelming at times. I also include coping mechanisms I use to help regulate myself and keep myself grounded. I intend for the audience to partake and engage with the work physically. In this way they will see what it is like to have my disability even if only for a minute.