EYE CONTACT FOR THE AUTISTIC is a small colour pencil drawing about social anxiety. Drawn in the late summer of 2018, a time when my uncertainty in life manifested itself into nervousness, low self esteem and sometimes an inability to look someone in the eye.
Fast layering techniques and forms built with chicken-scratch style marks are to indicate bodily nervousness and the feeling of debilitation. Framing, Shape and silhouettes were carefully composited to create an unnerving mise en scene. For me, shape is not often considered more than form and believability but it is here for the sake of the story. Notions within portrait painting analysis with works such as Vermeer's "Girl with the Pearl Earring" are considered, is the figure looking away or towards you? Either way, they are trying to.
EYE CONTACT FOR THE AUTISTIC was drawn quickly after an uncomfortable social encounter in which I felt forced into small talk, I felt as though I had embarrassed myself and retreated to my room to put my feelings on paper. Social anxiety is something I have gone someway to overcome now but the feeling I had is captured so well in this piece that I sometimes avoid looking at it. On a technical note it is one of my more illustrative works, showcasing a use of thicker dynamic strokes, symptomatic of how quickly it was created.
Similarly with SOCIAL NORMS, this piece was done for my own enjoyment and was not considered a fully fledged artwork until it was posted on social media and garnered a positive reaction and has even been used for two exhibitions to date (Y01UNG - Spark York CIC, York and Limbo - SEAS/BMECP CENTRE, Brighton). These two pieces lack the focused refinement of what came before or after but is said to be quite impactful to viewers for their compositions.
NOTE ON SHIPPING: The artwork looks best without the clear acrylic sheet in the frame. This is included in the frame for additional protection to the artwork when shipping internationally. I recommend removing the sheet when the artwork arrives to enjoy the details fully.