I am an Australian autistic-ADHD (AuDHD) artist. I live on beautiful Cammeraygal country with a flock of rainbow lorikeets, my partner and a robot dog.
I use art to explore the ecologies we form with the more-than-human: objects, animals, plants, data, time and memory. Drawing on New Materialist philosophy I explore how encounters with the more-than-human reverberate with new potentials to explore the self, our pasts and futures. I work with a range of media including found objects, textiles, robotics and electronics, as well as traditional media like drawing, painting and collage. I draw on my training in toy making, art, literature and sociology to create evocative works that encourage viewers to reconsider relationship with their spaces and ecologies.
Recently I have been exploring creepy-cute hybridities in animal robotics, reflecting on real world innovations in the care and entertainment sector. Drawing on Donna Haraway’s concept of ‘contact zones’, cute design principles and the hybrid, I create soft sculptures that examine the spectrum of cuteness and the grotesque. In previous work, I have explored the intimacies formed with cute objects from around the world, as part of a global alternative girl cultures. This culminated in an installation space with the Japan Foundation Sydney. I have also collaborated with Japanese artists to explore the power of time, space and storytelling.
I bring to my work a neurodivergent perspective that experiences colour, detail and space with a high intensity. My work also reflects my autistic orthogonal thinking, through combining and re-configuring seemingly disparate things.
My recent work explores what it means to decolonize my past, by remixing and making strange Romantic femme aesthetics. I warp and diffract nostalgic signs of a grandmother’s house populated with strange teaware, dolls, bears and lace. Through disruption, intervention and reconfigurations, I create a sense of unsettlement and dis-ease. In particular I am interested in the connections and disconnections of these cute and quaint aesthetics to nature, purity and ritual.
Through my current work with robotics as a kind of ‘technomancy’, I disrupt this aesthetic world through my own kind of electronic magic. With my enchantments and curses, inanimate objects of the past jolt to life.
This idea of magic is entwined with my lived experience as someone who is coded as ‘fae’ or as a ‘manic pixie dream girl’. In my culture, neurodivergency and difference was once thought of as ‘supernatural’ and ‘Other’. Some believe that folklore of the fae stealing infants and replacing them with ‘changelings’ were actually tales about autistic children. Others speculate that some ‘witches’ were actually neurodivergent women who felt more connected to nature than humans, snubbed social norms and turned to wooded cottages to live with ecologies of plants. Today, many neurodivergent folk are similarly coded for their dreamy outlooks, creativity and ability to astutely see hidden truths.
My cultural lineage shimmers with tales of renegades, poets and magic. One such figure is Major Thomas Weir of the 15th century, who was an alleged sorcerer and is thought to be the inspiration for Robert Stevenson’s Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde and Lord Byron’s ‘Manfred’. Weir’s legacy was abandoned after the witch trials in Scotland, his manor left to languish as haunted grounds. Down his family line, however, were icy blue-eyed ‘fae women’ called the Weir sisters. These women were thought to be able to ‘predict’ the future and read people with alarming insights. I suspect they were actually orthogonal autistic thinkers, able to think multi-dimensionally and see patterns in things before others could.