Art gives insight into another world
Launching Art 4 Autism in Lismore on Tuesday, Mayor Jenny Dowell said she was in awe of the artistic talent of its creator, Lisa Simone.
Art 4 Autism is a website that will act as an online gallery for people with autism who create art, and Lisa has also launched a 2010 calendar and a series of t-shirts featuring her cartoons, which reflect everyday experiences living with autism.
Lisa often gets sensory overload as she cannot block out information and art provides a place in which she can retreat that helps her handle the over stimulation.
“While you create your art to express what it’s like in your world, and how you experience things around you as a person with autism, for the rest of us it’s also just beautiful art,” Mayor Dowell said at the launch. “When I look at Lisa’s early work, on the back of coasters and things, I can just imagine her head is down drawing while the sounds, the lights and the smells of a crowded room are just flooding her senses. To see that translated into much bigger work with the level of detail she has included is just amazing.”
The launch isn’t the first time Mayor Dowell has seen Lisa’s art.
They first met in August last year when Jenny was doorknocking for the mayoral election. She had had an aggressive phone call and had stopped at a café to take some time out when she met Lisa and handed her a brochure outlining the things she stood for.
Some time later, Jenny ran into Lisa in the street where she presented Jenny, a former school teacher, with a cartoon she had drawn – of Jenny as Mayor saying ‘No’ to traffic lights. Jenny had the cartoon framed and has had it on her desk at home ever since.
“It was rolled up and she gave it to me with a written note,” Jenny said. “When I opened it I just laughed – I thought it was brilliant.”
To see more of Lisa’s work, buy a copy of the calendar and the t-shirts, or to become involved in the Art 4 Autism project, visit www.art4autism