Art in a Hidden World – creative process and invisible anomaly

Paper presented in The Arts in Society 2012 conference

Published by The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 7 (2013), p. 29-39; and in the process of publication in The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, (Common Ground Publishing).

Art in a Hidden World – creative process and invisible anomaly. 

Dawn-joy Leong, 2012.

What are the semiotics and meanings of art to a small, hidden sector of society with sensory and cognitive anomalies? How do these idiosyncrasies shape creative process? Much attention is now centred on Autism Spectrum Condition. Researchers in the fields of neurology and psychology are presenting more and more discoveries, as a growing community of autism self-advocates and associates are finding increasingly louder voices in the media and online. Inevitably, claims, counterclaims, heated discussions and bitter disputes abound. In the area of artistic creativity, there has been great interest in the particular talents attributed to individuals with autism. Books, articles and papers are being published on this subject, and an assortment of therapies aimed at developing these abilities are being proffered, while parents grasp at any and every suggestion of hope and reassurance about their children’s latent potentials. However, most of the postulations and assertions emerging about autism and creativity are from the non-autistic observer, and there are, to date, very few practising artist-researchers with autism stepping up on this platform rife with confusion and controversy to present their ideas from the personal vantage point. As an artist and scholar with autism, my interest in the area of multimodality in art is very much entrenched in my idiosyncratic sensory and cognitive profile. The aim of my presentation is to provoke more consideration towards the multisensory dimensions and potentials of artistic practice, as well as make a fledgling contribution of much-needed autobiographical empirical perspective on autism traits and the creative process. For the purpose of concrete illustration, I shall provide a brief overview of my most recent work, Scheherazade’s Sea, as an example of how sensory anomaly and neurodiversity shapes my creativity as an artist-researcher with Autism Spectrum Condition.

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Condition, Creativity, Hypersensitivity, Sensory and Cognitive Idiosyncrasy Artistic Process, Multimodality, Multisensory

For access to the full article, please go to link below.

Dawn-joy Leong, “Art in a Hidden World,” The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 7 (2013).

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