by Bex Wild
Think Differently is an exhibition promoting and showcasing
artwork by Artists on the Autistic spectrum to raise
awareness and highlight how this condition is not a
disabling factor to creativity. Artist’s with an Autistic
Spectrum condition have a unique perspective on the world,
they have a greater attention to detail and observe things
that others may miss. We want to show how these pieces
are created through artistic expression which is no different
to the way any other artist would create something. I hope
that this exhibition will show the positive side of autism and
give people a better understanding of the condition.
For this exhibition we have invited local groups within the
community that support and provide services for people
with an autistic spectrum disorder. These include, ArtismUK,
CreateandSell and inscape.
“I believe that there is a need for providing support for people with a talent in the arts to help them showcase their work and provide a safe environment for them to carry out their work.I also believe that this could develop into a self financing venture so that if successful it will not stop because of cuts to funding which is often the case.
The vision I have for the future is for an inclusive artist studio and gallery for professional and amateur artists, including people on the autistic spectrum. The studio would be a place where individuals with ASD could mix with like-minded individuals and I also believe that this could help to reduce the sense of social isolation many individual adults with ASD experience and also provide an opportunity for them to improve social skills. The funding could be raised from renting out the studios and gallery therefore allowing people without the financial means to be able to access a studio to work in. My hope would be that this would lead to more opportunities for others who may not have the artistic talent but skills in other areas around running the gallery, reception work, research etc the list could be endless. So there is a choice, sit back and complain or stand up and get involved. (anyone with some spare premises would be most welcome)” – Brin Morris.
Create and Sell
The Create and Sell project began in December 2014 funded by the Autism Innovation Fund department of Health for a period of 6 months. 3 x weekly art and craft classes were held in rotating venues around Greater Manchester for adults with autism, their families and carers. This exhibition is the culmination of work produced by participants during the last 6 months. In addition to the therapeutic benefits of creating art in a safe and welcoming environment, some participants have gone on to open online shops to sell their work, aiming to become more self-sufficient in this difficult job climate.
During the last 6 months we have done various activities including screen printing, scraffigo, ceramics, mask making, drawing techniques, personalised mugs and cushions, wool felting, collage, paper flowers, mono printing, large canvasses and projectors, decorative mirrors, mosaics, decoupage, and painting. Create and Sell is a user lead project, coordinator Alice Darlington was diagnosed with autism in May 2014.