Workshops with Crocus Fields aimed to destabilize the privileging of visual and verbal responses to viewing art in an art gallery setting; instead they embraced alternative ways of exchanging conversations with the world, particularly with the body – through movement, sound, touch.
The workshops focused on the body because we as a group (of predominantly young people with autism) all ‘make stuff’; we explore with our bodies – we touch we move, we test – and we rarely talk about what we are making or why. Crocus Fields sessions are often energetic and spontaneous; we respond and we make. The young people I work with are in constant conversation with the environment physically and not verbally; our workshops are about authoring creativity and allowing a space in which the young people can explore materials and value the process of exploration without having to respond to questioning or to articulate these responses.
For a facilitator working with a group of primarily non-verbal participants, decentralising the role of verbal interaction simply makes sense. We have worked across a number of media – animation, drawing, installation, filming, photography, assemblage – but maintained embodied practice within all of these encounters, the language of movement.
Sam is interested in notation as a graphic score that can be perceived by the body and used as a way of communicating movement direction through ideas of visual empathy and embodied phenomenology. Sam studied Architecture and physical theatre, both of which inform their approach.
Sam is currently exploring drawing for performance, considering how their movement is expressed through their autism.
Film credit: Ben Harriott of Urben Media