Posts Tagged ‘Aspie’


Root Experience & the Hidden Project…


Between Spring 2017 and Summer this year, 2019 I was on and off involved with a Brighton-based community arts and theatre charity organisation, Root Experience on their Hidden Project which culminated in the creation of a graphic novel style book, ‘Hidden Stories’.

I joined a series of workshops with a group of people living with invisible conditions / hidden disabilities.  We explored our experiences through visual art, storytelling and soundscapes – and contributed to a film about participation in the sessions which can be seen on the Root Experience website under Hidden Stories project.


My main contribution was to assemble a multi-sensory visual arts and creative writing installation, under the title of ‘Sensing Red’, based on my challenges with hypersensory sensitivity, from both Asperger’s and fibromyalgia syndrome, and with bipolar disorder. This glaringly visual, variously tactile and noise-making ‘piece’ also included red berry sweets to taste (& eat) plus ‘red hot’ sandalwood and ginger fragrance-infused fabric to smell.  The accompanying booklet ABLED can be seen as a slideshow below, at the end of the post.


In July 2017 the workshop participants and creative partners of Root Experience presented a weekend’s interactive exhibition of our creative contributions – called the Hubbub – in Brighton Dome’s Founders Room gallery space.

The Hubbub asked the question:  “What’s behind your mask?”  There the public could explore, through discussion, writing, film-viewing and object-manipulation, what they comprehended of their own and others’ hidden stories.


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Quite coincidentally, outside the Dome building on New Road, the UK’s first Disability Pride was being held – with stalls, speeches, bands and other creative performances; two events linking the somewhat-known &/or visible and the lesser-known &/or invisible experiences of persons living with different abilities: outside of ‘the norm’.


Root Experience wished to expand on the work and the ideas that emerged from the 8 week course; they put out a bid to win an ITV People’s Projects award to run similar workshops in 10 towns across South East England and from those, and the Brighton sessions, create a book to illustrate – literally – some general and shared experiences – and information – about how it can be to live with hidden conditions.

I assisted with the graphics side of the fundraising bid, including parading with others as A-frame poster-wearers, through Saturday shoppers and cafe-scene quaffers, on a busy Brighton afternoon.  We won our award and a year later the book ‘Hidden Stories’ was launched in the 10 towns’ libraries.

This journey – along with many participants’ personal blog posts and video interviews – can be followed on the web link above.  Root Experience describe their book thus:

“Hidden Stories is a playfully illustrated book about what it’s like to live with an invisible condition like anxiety or autism. Really it’s about all of us, and our everyday struggle to simply be ourselves.”

A digital version of the book can be downloaded for free from the website / via this link.


Slideshow of ABLED :  A-normal  B ooklet  L isting  E nigmatic  D isorders

– exploring my Aspie voice on the light and dark questions of disability versus difference ability…

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OTTP’s #Post-Simplism Movement is Manifest-o!


SSDropSpin+Sddlscmb'18It is with a sense of extreme urgency that I am launching the #neuroDV_art* revolutionary creativist** ‘movement’ #Post-Simplism***…

I do so in honour of the Nobel Peace Prize-awardable heroism shown by Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, and all of the international young person students who were striking (from school education) today and in weeks past about the global Climate Crisis.

My own neurodiverse (ND) diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome Condition was not realised until late in my life (age 55); from that I learned of the aspie ‘way’ – of being highly globally concerned, whilst challenged by familial, partners, and other ‘local’ peers social relating – which had been my experience from a very young age.

My neurodiverse mental processing is overwhelmed by news and magazine print and online screens, does not relate well to the disembodied voices on the radio, and so I have not been ‘up-to-date’ with all the negative news, the literal madness being perpetrated in the world.

But learning about the supreme logic and honesty of Greta’s public speaking at TEDx-Stockholm for the URGENT call to action to change our behaviours for the sake of the planet’s sustainable ecology, has inspired me.  (Blue text links in this & above paragraphs go to Greta Thunberg online…)

SSMadMaxMobile'18I also strongly need to express my concerns, by expanding my creative recycling visual artist practice and lifestyle into a ‘movement’ to be shared: a call out to other ND persons who care deeply (and struggle painfully) at the totally illogical way that our societies are functioning and managed.

It is a call to passionate grassroots action and empowerment – through creativity – by, and for, neurodiverse younger and older persons.


* #neuroDV_art –  see OTTPs creativist works and actions on ig from here;

plus see more  #neuroDV_fotoart  posts also  @s.walkr.luc on instagram – from this link…

** creativist = creative activist

*** simplism = a simplification that goes too far (to the point of misrepresentation); an act of excessive simplification; the act of making something seem simpler than it really is

The #Post-Simplism (P-S) Manifesto

A personal and planetary political 13-step Creativist Recovery process and programme

1. Post-Simplism is a movement by and for the highly intelligent and globally-caring neurodiverse persons of planet Earth…

2. Post-Simplism manifestly recognises that the time of simplist views re the planetary and humanity evolution have passed their excusable date…

3. Post-Simplism is a call-to-join an alternative #neuroDV_art creative movement that is eco- and persons-sustainable on all levels…

4. The ‘Simplism’ of P-S honours simplicity and the maxim ‘Live simply that others may simply live’…

5. The ‘Post’ of P-S references the social media age of the blog / vlog / ig / twitter / other posting as valid, non-verbal, ‘alone-friendly’ communication…

6. Post-Simplism embraces any and all forms of recycling of resources: products and philosophies and practicality…

7. Post-Simplism rejects any and all forms of fundamentalism as non-logical and highly-imbalanced…

8. Post-Simplism favours ‘difference ability’ over disabled / abled / non-disabled concepts and rejects conformity to a ‘normal’.  Simplism is a reclaiming of the term ‘simple’ as it has been used derogatively or condescendingly…

9. Post-Simplism reaches out across (& beyond) the globe, amongst the varied categories of Earth citizens, and across the several dimensions of being…

10. Post-Simplists embrace the honesty and integrity that is ‘walking their talk’ re addressing the global / humanity crisis and evolution…

11. Post-Simplists communicate in their neurodiverse (non-neuro-typical) way: at their pace, in their style, with their integrity…

12. Post-Simplists favour gratitude versus greed; creativism versus consumerism; creative recycling mindfulness versus new product retail therapy; they favour – wherever and whenever possible – logical & local eco-revolution: trains v. planes, trolley v. taxi, paper v. plastic, vegetarian v. omnivore, humanism v. religion/dogma, community v. centralisation, local business v. online budget spending, etc…

13. Post-Simplism will commit to updating (&/or rearranging the steps of) the P-S Manifesto with new knowledge, new insight, and with space and time…





Le Monde of Film Noir…


20170128_100106Back in 2004, on a part time arts course – including film studies – the subject was film noir. Relatively new to me at the time I threw myself into reading Dashiell Hammett and watching a handful of films – The Big Sleep, Maltese Falcon, Gilda, etc – to jen up on the world of the ‘hard-boiled’ private detective and the femme fatale.


As seen, I even tried drawing a few of them from the movie stills…


20170128_100127Putting in fewer class hours on other subjects than my peers, I offered to do extra in film studies, and so when it came to actually creating five minutes worth of film noir, I found myself becoming overnight screenplay writer, director, wardrobe mixtress, props producer, editor – and probaby gaffer and key grip into the bargain.


(The cinematographer drew up the storyboard after the edit…)


DiamondsR4Ever0418‘Bite of the Apple’ had it all: diamante gems sat on velvet jerkily rotating on a ceramics studio potters wheel; San Francisco fog rolling in from Alcatraz via the smoke machine in the drama workshop; gunshots from a real lead pistol misfiring in iMovie audio mode; old style digital phone tone ringing out on a mobile – and lashings of lipstick on the dame shot close-up in a compact mirror…



LeadGunShot0418The whole memory of those heady Hollywoodesque two weeks inspired my first attempt at creating a villanelle style poem in February this year; as can be seen Aspie wordplay in my brain was doing its thang – as usual – to inspire the poem’s content…



Le Monde of Film Noir

Just to divert the world-wise private dicks,
Each villain: elle, hourglass waist and bottle blonde –
The femme fatale – dons high heels, gets her kicks.

On celluloid reels: uptown, in the sticks,
The chiaroscuro (from across the pond)
Serves to divert the world-wise private dicks;

Shadows disguise the dame’s wiles and antics
That ensnare her ‘lame’ prey – of whom she’s fond;
The femme fatale dons high heels, gets her kicks.

To outsmart the ‘hard-boiled’ PIs’ own tricks,
She envelopes them in her perfumed monde
And so diverts the world-wise private dicks.

Trench coats and suits fall for rich red lipsticks:
The dick, the prey and femme dance tous en ronde;
The femme fatale dons high heels, gets her kicks

‘Til her fate is sealed in those film noir flicks –
Her silver tongue proved not to be her bond.
Still, to divert the world-wise private dicks,
The femme fatale dons high heels, gets her kicks.


© Luc(e) Raesmith





Surprise visit to Sotheby’s…


On a sunny day back in January I was heading to the exhibition of creations from Outside In artists being displayed on the ground floor of Sotheby’s auction house in London.  This exhibition was a celebration of Outside In achieving stand-alone charity status in its work to provide opportunities for artists facing barriers to the art world.


After enjoying a breakfast for visiting artists, we were able to sit in on the auction being held that day: sales of artefacts with royal or noble heritage – including one of several copies of the Crown Jewels that were manufactured for display in the Britain and the Commonwealth at the time of ERII’s coronation in 1953.


The events inspired me to produce a couple of pieces of creative writing – in an Aspie voice: namely alphabetic/acrostic/shape style proems.


A-Z for Mayfair, W1 or Alphabet, do my Bidding ( Sale L18306 – 17.01.18 )

Anticipating croissants and sussing New Bond St –
Bonhams noted – when Sotheby’s windows with
Crescents of high carat diamonds spotted.
Doorman: liveried, Dutch accent, promises coffee,
Escorts one to a wood-panelled Gallery: closed – for
Function: private – with mismatch artisans (c. 2012-17)
Gathered, gossiping about sugar crystals on
Heirloom silver plate trays and
Indecently mini pastries for ‘pre-auction breakfast’…
Jarring with Cecil Beaton’s
Kind portraiture of Picasso, Cocteau and
Lily-white frocked debs and celebs of his day, plus
Mary Fedden’s still lives in the restaurant,
New art – eclectic and deviating from the norm:
Outsider artists’ creations in the exhibition space
Present a disarming and psychedelic array of
Quasi sculpture and paintings in cardboard, threads, felt tip, skip metals…
Royal and noble descent artefacts,
Surveyed and set to be put under the gavel –
Ten thirty on the dot GMT – in the
Upstairs Gallery: open and oozing valued antiquity;
Vestibule display – Lot 74 – pastiche Coronation Regalia:
Weaponry and Crowns in gilt metal on plaster,
Xpressly mounted on velvet and faux ermine fur;
Yellowing ‘imperial’ and ‘state’ labels on wood boxes with rope handles (c.1953);
Zircons for the citizens who can’t spot the difference…




The Crown Acrostic:
at Southeby’s told ‘Of Royal and Noble Descent’
theby’s told:
“Ordinary infantry? Nay!
‘Flasheart’ Captain Blood? oh yay! He,
roistering, randy playmate of the Monarch,
ogled those gaudy gem-encrusted Regalia in that
year 16-o-what? and fancied himself dastardly brigand
and Captain of Fortune who could outsmart those honoured,
liveried, red beef-eating and raven-minding Militia of the Tower
and steal away the State’s Crown Jewels: for mere ‘Blood sport’ and
notorietous cognition, one guesses; for surely the sacred pure pearls,
diamonds, deep sapphires, emeralds, rich rubies & such, bejewelled
national treasures: bright Crowns all, Sceptres, Spurs, Swords, &
Orb, Mace & most-favoured royal oil Anointing Spoon, would
be impossible to pass on to the ‘fences’ of them there times,
lest they spill the Jacobean beans, and Blood’s final cry be
emitted in prayer upon the citizens-viewed scaffold;
drawn & quartered his body dragged through
England’s capital; his head on a spike for vile
scavenger birds to pluck out his greed-filled eyes…
Consider this: his everwhile pal King James I – or II? –
endowed his Captain with forgiveness and bonhomie;
no hideous end, but continuity of the said Blood line
through the centuries to my own – mere wordsmith”

[ all of this is baloney/blarney in terms of historical reference: Colonel Thomas Blood stole some of the Crown Jewels in 1671 during the reign of Charles II; he was pardoned: perhaps for his sheer bravado – or because Charles II himself needed to top up his royal coffers…  The bloodline reference is true, but the family story was relayed as that of a Captain,friend of King James – with no word of his Roundhead & Cromwell allegiances… My own name was taken to match that of my ancestors, the Anglo-Irish Nuttall-Smiths ]

© Luc(e) Raesmith