A gentle Greyhound…
An autistic human’s elemental consciousness…
poco a poco
Welcome to my world!
Modern cities are confronting sensory environments for everyone. How would an autistic person with acute and atypical senses devise interventions to mitigate and navigate sensory bombardment when traversing public space? Clement Space in the City (2017) addresses anxiety from an innate autistic sensory-communicative consciousness, reflecting upon the insistent and precarious quest for sensorial refuge and equilibrium – little fermata – amidst harsh, jarring and antagonistic social-ambient landscapes.
The concept of ‘clement space’ was inspired by my greyhound Lucy Like-a-Charm’s innate ability to gently and elegantly create and possess comfortable interstices wherever she travels with me. Clement spaces mentally and physically embrace passive restfulness while simultaneously encouraging active, individualised coping strategies for wellbeing through conscious, positive relationships with the immediate material environment.
Miniature oases. Little pods. Diaphanous enclosures. Private sanctuary within public space. No worded voices. No looming deadlines of life and death. Step into thriving ecosystems of undulating rhythms, patterns, textures, and unspoken interconnections, replete with multi-textured embellishments. Tulle and organza curtains shield from the frenetic; eclectic wall dressings invite soothing tactile engagement; hideaway cocoons and netted tents furnished with blankets, pillows, and cushions wordlessly beckon. Once inhabited, these spaces transform into personalised, intimate apertures of respite.
Clement Space in the City (2017) is a gift from the autistic realm to the wider community, an invitation to enter into multi-sensorial restoration, while relishing subtle nuances of Being.
Clement Space in the City (2017) is part of the exhibition Neurodiverse-city, presented by The BIG Anxiety festival 2017, at the Customs House, Sydney. Opens 20 September 2017.
Funding credits: City of Sydney cultural and creative grant, and National Institute for Experimental Arts, Australia.