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Image description: Head and shoulders shot of Sonia Boue as an adult, holding a vanity mirror over her face. The back of the mirror has been collaged with spliced photographs of Sonia’s face as an adult and child.

I’m delighted to be soft launching my online exhibition for this R&D project, exploring ways of sharing work which suits my neurology.

Origin Story has been published on my website for about 10 days now, and I’ve been slowly sharing the link with some of my contacts before sending out my SM posts yesterday.

I’ve created multiple formats for my exhibition to make it as accessible as I can, whilst also thinking carefully about my own needs as an autistic artist. Conventional templates for how we showcase work are not compatible with my neurology, dictating a certain kind attention-seeking when showing work. These conventions create barriers for me, and I’ve needed to find ways to subvert them. This aspect of my research matters because so many aspects of exhibition are disabling. I want to write about this quite strongly in my project evaluations to ACE.

The pandemic has given our sector pause for reflection, individually we’ve also all probably had to reassess our priorities during this extended hiatus. I know I have, even pivoting my practice to adapt to this strange new reality of ‘living with covid’. It’s not business as usual, and there’s no going back (for me) to what was. I welcome this slewing of skin and I am confident that my project can reach the parts that no other project can, because it is powered by innate autistic navigational means, not despite me being autistic. My project has already generated unexpected outcomes and exceeded expectations.

I’ve always been about producing quality work and leaving a solid online trail. This is my hallmark and I’ve built a career this way quite naturally and without intention. For me it’s about the work first. I put it out there and see what happens without expectation. It’s okay to be quietly confident and self-contained.

I’m no longer willing or able to ask for attention in a performance of ‘neurotypicality’. My project is about autistic unmasking and it’s been a big success on that score. It’s logical and also necessary to my emancipation as an autistic professional to follow through. This moment is about turning the tide .

As Neurophototherapy gently unfurls I simply note and welcome the responses. I’m watchful in all respects, noting also when the work is met with indifference. Knowing who your audiences are (who genuinely values you) is key. I’m so grateful to Arts Council England for supporting me to do this my way.