Artist Mother Studio Residency 2020
Studio residencies w/childcare for artist-caregivers in DC.
Residency completed Feb 2020-May 2020

Autistic Joy and Play as an Act of Resistance. 

Reclaiming visual narratives and breaking the stigma of my son’s Autistic Joy using photography and design has allowed me to highlight what I often didn’t see depicted in the media. The importance of showing his joy increases the visibility in the lives of Autistic children of color. Moments that show the world that being Autistic isn't something to be ashamed of, it is beautiful, luminous and shows that being joyful shouldn’t be masked. I aim to continue creating dialogue between myself and other Neurodivergent families by highlighting my son's ability to experience Joy. Using experimental and traditional portraiture has allowed me to create an immersive and engaging visual experience for him, allowing him to tell his Neurodivergent story in his own way. Using vibrant lights, color and projection art to amplify, evoke a sense of freedom and encourage self expression has been key in the artistic liberations and collaborations with my son.

Often the Neurodiverse community are excluded from artistic narratives and creative spaces, thus we gladly create our own, taking ownership of our stories and telling them how we choose to tell them. Unfiltered and honest. My role as a mom is to help my Autistic son embrace his playfulness, as I continue to embrace mine. As a black & brown mom I want to focus on the joy of my kid’s beautifully Autistic self. Amplifying that JOY is what can unite us, breaking the cycle of assimilation, breaking the cycle of oppressive unjust stigmas, and infusing the narrative of soul in the lives of Autistic kids and adults!

As a disabled parent, artist and designer: continuing to create anti ableist media and visuals is paramount! This allows for our community to thrive in knowing their existence in visual culture is valid and beautiful. Two years ago I began experimenting with the phrase ‘Soul of Neurodiversity’ which threw off some folks! They questioned how ‘soul’ can exist in a Neurodivergent body-mind. Non disables showed me they always viewed and thought of Autistic people as being stoic, emotionless, and incapable of being creative.

I started making screen prints amplifying the phrase with my son which then lead to a photo series we created while I was an artist resident at @artistmotherstudio right at the start of the 2020 pandemic.

The printed photo series and exhibition never manifested due to us needing to stay safe at home and sadly needing to leave our studio space but we continued make magic at home exploring the joy in sensory play, autism acceptance, Black Crip tech joy and much more.  Sensory play can become a fun social tool that ushers in acceptance and joy! 

Wondering how more art spaces and galleries will embrace disabled visual culture!

There is life in Sensory play!