A gift for fellow Neurodivergent artists

A gift for fellow Neurodivergent artists

Posted on: 03/05/2022

A gift for fellow Neurodivergent artists

I drew up the following list as something I would have liked to have read decades ago.  It may grow and change but for now I hope this helps others.

  • ‘No’ will be your greatest sculptural tool: Not every opportunity is an opportunity. Your time is finite and even more so for us. A lot of arts administration and expected form filling is ableist and disabling for Neurodivergent and/or disabled artists. This shouldn’t be ignored.
  • We socialise and network in different ways and that is fine. Conventional private views, residencies, networking events, discussion groups and talks aren’t accessible to all. Attendance can have consequences in terms physiological/ psychological demands. If you are able to ask the organisation, institution or venue for alternatives then do. The more we ask the more things will change. The pandemic has shown changes can be made. Online options are more than viable.  
  • You aren’t imagining things the arts and arts education has an ableism issue. It can change and we can all be a part of that. Thankfully there are more and more organisations being created to tackle issues. We are still in ever changing waters but there is hope.
  • Your accessibility needs are not wants; they are needs. Consider them essential to a fully functioning healthy arts ecosystem because asking helps facilitate your contribution to the whole. Creating an accessibility rider for your needs is a very useful tool. More and more of us are using them. 
  • Work long. The 'frenzied working' myth doesn't work for everyone. 
  • Your boundaries are non-negiotiable. Consider what vitalises you and what drains you. 

I don’t think the ultimate goal of art and art making should be torture to gain truth and we need to expand out from narrow projected views and channels we have been treading. I truly believe that art is a form of release and we need more nuance to allow others to tap in to the Arts. 

I would be more than happy to hear from other Neurodivergent artists and add to this list. Please contact me via my contact form if you would like to contribute.

With love and care,

Pernille Fraser


©2022 Pernille Fraser