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Prue Stevenson on Art and Autism
Thu. 4 May 2017, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm AEST
Join fine artist, singer, autism advocate - and 3rd Dan Taekwondo Black Belt - Prue Stevenson, in a special talk at the La Trobe Art Institute, along with Alex Aulich from La Trobe's Olga Tennison Austim Research Centre (OTARC).
Prue recently enacted her serial performance piece, 'Expend', for a special exhibition at La Trobe's Bundoora Campus, to mark World Autism Day on 2 April 2017. ‘Expend’ involves Prue dipping her bare feet in paint before delivering hundreds of Taekwondo ‘axe’ kicks to a stretched canvas mounted on the gallery wall.
While each person with autism has a unique set of challenges, many people experience sensory overload from daily activities. Some manage this through self-stimulatory behaviours (also known as ‘stimming’), such as spinning, rocking, pacing or flapping of arms or hands. Prue has developed a highly individual way of incorporating stimming into her art practice. As a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo, Prue practices 12 hours a week and sees a direct connection between her martial and visual arts, believing that both practices "are very much about transferring negative energy into positive energy".
The exhibition, Expend, features three artworks by Prue, who combines various mediums of her artistic practice and physical pursuits as a method of engaging the world in meaningful dialogue about autism.
Join us at this special talk as Alex discusses the work of the OTARC, and Prue shares her insights into her artistic practice and autism. A film of the performance will be screened at this event.
Tickets to this talk are free but should be booked here to assist with seating arrangements.
Expend Exhibition Details
Expend runs from 1 April to 21 May 2017, in the Writer’s Block Cafe, Borchardt Library, La Trobe University Bundoora.
Expend is a collaboration between the La Trobe Art Institute, and La Trobe University's Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre. For many people with autism, art is a vital tool, not only for self-expression, but for managing aspects of the condition’s sensory overload that can prove challenging.
About the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre
Established in 2008, OTARC is Australia’s first research centre dedicated to autism spectrum disorders and is committed to creating lifelong positive outcomes and equal access to life's opportunities for people with autism. A key part of OTARC’s mission is raising the public profile of autism research and educating the community about the challenges, talents and perspectives of adults on the autism spectrum.
Image credit: Prue Stevenson, 'Expend', 2014 (detail), Acrylic on Wall (Mural), 240cm x 180cm.