Art in a Hidden World

A12 annual

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  • Title: Art in a Hidden World: Creative Process and Invisible Anomaly
  • Author(s): Dawn-joy Leong
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Arts in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review
  • Keywords: Autism Spectrum Condition, Creativity, Hypersensitivity, Sensory and Cognitive Idiosyncrasy Artistic Process, Multimodality, Multisensory
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2013
  • ISSN: 1833-1866 (Print)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1833-1866/CGP/v07/36448
  • Citation: Leong, Dawn-joy. 2013. "Art in a Hidden World: Creative Process and Invisible Anomaly." The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review 7 (1): 29-39. doi:10.18848/1833-1866/CGP/v07/36448.
  • Extent: 11 pages

Abstract

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.