This collection of photographs was taken by young people with autism in a project led by arts charity Create following the theme of Me, Myself, I. The young people took portraits of each other to explore their identity and the identity of their peers, and in the process developed these fantastically dynamic shots full of movement and life. To create these portraits, the young people worked with Create’s professional photographer Alicia Clarke. At first, due to their special educational needs many of the young people found it difficult to understand the relationship between the space they were in and the photographs they were taking so Alicia began to incorporate movement, light, scarfs and torches into the process so they could see how their actions affected the outcomes.
Adam* is in his third year at Walnuts College where he is studying for a Nationally Accredited Qualification in Independent Living. Able to identify and name a huge variety of contemporary popular music, he is a passionate fan of diverse musical genres including prog rock and hip hop, and has taught himself to play along to his favourite tracks using a keyboard. Adam is currently seeking employment in retail or horticulture. This is his experience of creative:connection:
“I really liked taking part in the project, especially when we took photographs together. We took this series of photos to explore our emotions and feelings. Happiness, sadness, misery, reflection. Using movement in the shots made us feel a connection to the photos that were being produced. We weren’t just pressing a button on a camera. We were using our bodies to create these pictures. I took photos everywhere, including pictures of all the different instruments at The Stables. It was a lot of fun using the torches and changing the colour of their lights to make patterns in the pictures. Now I can’t wait to put my pictures in a frame and hang them up at home!
The music workshops were fun as well. I loved beatboxing on the microphone, trying out all the different percussion instruments like the congo drum, and playing the piano. I am good at the piano but I have never done anything quite like this before. I would really like to make more music in the future. Working with other people on this project was really enjoyable. I liked joining in with everyone else and seeing everybody getting involved and having fun.”
*name changed to protect anonymity
Check out the website at www.createarts.org.uk