Scheherazade’s Sea is a journey towards Beingness, an experiential unfolding of Self-Other reciprocity and an encompassing embrace of diversity.
In 2010, I presented “Scheherazade’s Sea – a multi media, multisensory installation and performance,” at the University of Hong Kong. This work laid the foundation of my research and praxis in the field of autism and neurodiversity.
“Scheherazade’s Sea – autism, parallel embodiment and elemental empathy,” is the tentative title of my Ph.D dissertation: a work of transdisciplinary research and artistic practice constitutes a written thesis/exegesis and a series of three experimental exhibitions (Roaring Whispers 2013, Little Sweets 小甜心 2014, and Sonata in Z 2015).
An epic expedition. Confusing, contrasting juxtapositions. Ability and disability. Approbation and excoriation. Admiration and derision. Wrestling Self and Other Oxymoronic. The path of an autistic individual is an eclectic blend of sharply contradicting extremes.
Much more than an investigation of compelling phenomena or a carefully crafted showcase of autism, Scheherazade’s Sea is an open invitation to partake of empathic communion across neuro-cultural boundaries, via the unique experiential modalities of autistic existence. Scheherazade’s Sea presents autism as a neurological culture, a parallel embodiment. It speaks about Endeavour, a Space of Mind, and a different system of empathising, an alternative way to resonate alongside.
Latest / upcoming project:
An autistic human,
A greyhound dog.
A journey of Being.
Endeavour of empathy,
Spaces of mind.
Sonata in Z (2015) completes a trilogy of physical studies in Autistic Parallel Embodiment and elemental empathy. The preceding two exhibitions – Roaring Whispers (2013) and Little Sweets 小甜心 (2014) – presented confrontations with the eclectic cacophonies of my autistic existential oxymoron. As a cadential resolution to the three-part opus, Sonata in Z unwraps sensorial equilibrium and tranquility. Prevalent social autocracy demands a performance of conformity, creating stressful unnatural dissonance for the autist. In Sonata in Z, social communion emanates from within natural autistic dimensions of sensory contentment. Drawing upon the well-documented connection between autistic persons and animals, Sonata in Z is directly inspired by my greyhound Lucy’s innate ability to locate and create intimate oases of comfort, and the gentle non-verbal elegance with which she executes this inexorable mission. Like a musical theme, photographs of Lucy in sonorous repose lead the way into the space, wherein a synergetic human-and-canine symbiosis unfolds. Sonata in Z is an invitation to empathise with intrinsic autistic empathies: remove your shoes, step into this clement interstice, leave preconceptions at the threshold, and become part of its dynamic essence and rhythmic momentum, where we do not speak in words, but in the vibrant language of sensory consciousness.
Dates: 10-14 November 2015
Venue: Nick Waterlow Gallery, UNSW Galleries, UNSW Art & Design, Greens Road, Paddington NSW 2021