Asters: tangentially by Jude Akrey

Artist Reception is December 12th from 6:00pm-8:00pm, show is on until December 23rd

Hours are Monday - Friday, 3pm - 5pm, Saturday 12 - 5pm, until December 23rd.

Asters: tangentially
(A two-week intensive study on Autistic modes of making)

Bouncing legs; chewed up nails; scribbles in the margins of a notebook

Stimming- or self-stimulatory behaviour- speaks to the use of repetitive bodily action for regulation of the nervous system. While almost all people stim in one way or another- it’s commonly recognized as part of the diagnostic criteria for Autism.

There are two kinds of stimming practiced in these paintings. The first kind is quick and loose- it's a physical and emotional release. The second kind is slow and meditative- highly focused labour blocks out potential distressing environments, sensory inputs, and negative emotion.

Layering is step 1 of the process. A loose, instinctual under-drawing that requires little thinking, and provides release through movement and expressive mark-making. Colours almost always come from the tube at this stage, to expedite the process without the need for serious decision-making or labour.

As stimming allows one to filter emotions and sensitivities for a more tolerable navigation of the world, layering, blocking, and carving out spaces help me filter the content available to the viewer, and is a visual manifestation of how stimming functions.

The motifs are drawn from the scribbles one might see in a notebook, a common manifestation of stimming, and act as the starting point for stimming by way of painting. Flowers are flexible content- malleable, playful, colourful: conducive to divergent (autistic) ways of making. What began as repeatedly drawing asters as a form of stimming, turned into the use of real and imagined flowers for communicating autistically.

This body of work explores stimming as painting implement. This research investigates how facets of internal Autistic functioning can amplify artistic ability. Over a two-week period, I created these paintings to expand on said research, with the goal of developing a dependable Autistic system for creating paintings, as well as creating a language in painting specific to Autistic modes of creative thinking.



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