Neurophototherapy has been full of delightful surprises, not least that the maker phase – supposedly occurring at the beginning of the project – has continued throughout it. Immersing myself in the collage community on Instagram has given me a whole new respect for the form. I often seem to set myself a challenge and my restless brain seeks newness with great regularity. I guess this is why a wide ranging multiform practice suits me so well, in addition to being conceptually right for me at a very deep level. It’s right for my brain and the neurodivergent strand of my practice, and right for the embodiment of postmemory trauma that is the backbone of so much of my work to this day. I channel the need to improvise and adapt to circumstances that displacement brings – I am the daughter of a refugee and political exile. I carry this with me everyday.
The result of adopting a new form is that I have felt like a beginner again. I always do this to myself, and it also keys in to feelings of being the youngest child (no matter how old I get or how young everyone around me!) and being an outsider, both culturally and as an autistic person. It can be both scary and breathtaking – but the fact is that I LOVE it and I need the stimulation! It’s one of the ways in which we neurodivergents can be disadvantaged in the Arts (which seems to privilege consistency within a practice). But I digress.
This extended making has seen me free up a little. It’s very different making work for exhibition (albeit very fluid and open ended in this project) and making off-the-cuff, without intentions. My Book of Boué’s has arrived as a gift! A late baby, if you like, and I do like it rather a lot. In fact I’m a little in love with my Book of Boué’s. I have a brilliant collage mentor called Miranda Millward (@scissorspaperpaste on Instagram) and we share a very close, warm and often humorous relationship. Saying that I would never part with my Book of Boué’s Miranda jokingly asked if I wouldn’t even give it to her. I’ll leave it to you in my will, I said, only half joking.
Having said all of the above, one feature that I particularly enjoyed about working directly into a book was the discipline of working through the pages. I loved the rhythm of ticking off and sharing the pages and also the sense of completion at the end. Since making my Book of Boué’s I have made several more #collage_between_the_covers responses and feel I will make more.
You can see more pages from the Book of Boué’s at @s_boue