The Branches off Autism

Left piece media: Plaster. Middle and right vessel media: Ivory Stoneware clay. Year: 2016

Art was a form of communication for me from a very early age, as it was an escape from the real world. A place without misunderstanding or judgment, it gave me my voice and a sense of existence. Because for someone like me with high functioning Autism, I can be independent but still have many day to day challenges. I always wondered if I didn’t have autism, would I still want to be creative or drawn to art. So instead of hiding my condition, why not embrace it. This was the first time I dabbled in this theme, and was prepared to take a risk for a mixed reaction, Because...

 “The awareness of Autism and the issues associated with it continues to grow, but there remains much misunderstanding and lack of insight of the condition. This is very much a societal issue.” Quoted from the National Autistic Society.

 In response to this, I tested ideas of translating the condition, using vessels to represent the body, each translating broadly the 3 main levels of the vast Autistic spectrum, From Low, Medium to High Functioning autism. To make sense of this the higher up the spectrum you are the more able you are to function independently. The uneven textures and unrefined forms, express the feelings of oddness within self and society, while the branches represent how each trait links together throughout the spectrum, the more branches the more traits.

And It doesn’t end there, I use the function as part of the narrative, using flowers to show growth and life, how you arrange the flowers is the way you like to order your style, personality and life, the way Autistics need control and order in their life to grow.

 

Toil and Joy

Media: Ivory Stoneware clay. Year: 2015

The Bradford Coal Mine Pit Project: I discovered there was once a coal mine in Bradford, Manchester. This massive industry is buried, rotting beneath our feet. I was drawn to create my finished product by the story of life in and about the mines told by those who were there.

The vessel tells the story of the mines from past, terraced houses and daily life and the present City Stadium, built upon mine shafts left nearly forgotten. With the sedimentary layers of rock shown using a variety of textures and organic coloured oxides with glazes, to highlight and identify the different layers.

The wonkiness of the form emphasises the instability of the old mine shaft, solid structures above empty veins below.