Artistic and Autistic An Exhibition at King’s College London (Postponed due to COVID-19)
Artistic and Autistic is an exhibition of work by autistic artists and explores what Autism means to them. As the exhibition has been postponed I have decided to showcase details of the prints ‘The Space Separating’ rather than the full images.
I gained a formal diagnosis in 2016 after receiving counselling in response to stress. I soon realised that the stress and anxiety I was feeling was provoked by having an ‘atypical neurology’ or ‘different’ brain function in a ‘neurotypical’ world.
To me the diagnosis made sense. I have always felt at odds with the world; never really finding a place to fit in, and never really wanting. I have often found the neurotypical world to be a convoluted, tumultuous and often contradictory landscape.
I am a blip in the data, an anomaly. The world was not designed with me in mind. It makes sense that I do not feel at home within it. The exhibition ‘Artistic and Autistic’ has given me the space to explore this disconnection.
Once I had gained the diagnosis, I had no idea what to do with it. Finding information that relates to being a ‘high-functioning autistic women’ is thin on the ground. At least it felt that way in 2016.
The more research I did, the more I understood the way I was living was not conducive to a happy life for someone on the autistic spectrum. I was making progress in my career due to autistic traits, such as being chameleonic and good with data. However, working in a busy environment and having to be constantly social was destroying me. So I left my job and changed careers. I moved back into the arts and have focussed my career developing my artistic practice.
The prints will be shown in ‘Artistic and Autistic’ at King’s College and Peckham Levels. They are part of an exploration of my new identity as autistic and how this identity has been built through data.
Through my own research into my autistic identity, I have been consistently faced with the fact that there is so little biologically segregated information on women on the autistic spectrum. As a group, we are underdiagnosed, under-researched and underrepresented. This is one of the reasons why I was so keen to take part in research with King’s College London. If you would like to read more about my involvement with them you can, by checking out my blog, D For Diagnosis.
King’s College very kindly allowed me access to some of the data collected during the GABA Pathways in Autism research project. I have used some of the MRI data to make screen prints for the exhibition.
King’s College will reschedule ‘Artistic and Autistic’ for a later date in 2020.