© Anna Farley 2019

In Focus commission: meet Anna Farley

We have selected Anna Farley for the In Focus commission, an opportunity for a neurodiverse artist to make new work for exhibition.

Anna self identifies as a neurodiverse autistic adult and will make a new photographic project reflecting her experiences with support from Photoworks and artist mentors.

Anna graduated from Wimbledon College of Arts UAL: SCULPTURE in 2015. Her practice is all about how she processes information physically and psychologically. Anna has made sculpture using radios, books, sound recordings, masking tape, pegboard, paperwork and photography. Mixing concept and craft, she matches aesthetic to subject with changing materials. Photography is an important part of Anna’s practice, and her life.

Anna said: “I am so proud to be selected. I am used to something like this being an impossibility for me to be able to take part in. The reality of what impact this will have on my development as an artist creatively, technically and professionally is exciting. This commission is a bigger chance for us to create a blueprint for organisations to see how they can proactively tackle inclusivity in the arts today”.

Photoworks Director, Shoair Mavlian, said: “Anna’s work is tactile and interactive, using photography in both an experimental and practical way. We are really looking forward to working with Anna on the commission and exhibition”.

In partnership with Phoenix Brighton, an exhibition of Anna’s work will open in October 2019.

In Focus is a co-commission with Project Art Works as part of EXPLORERS, a three-year programme of art, conversation, awareness raising activity, commissions and events. EXPLORERS is developed by Project Art Works in partnership with Photoworks and cultural organisations across the UK and Australia for neurodiverse communities, placing them at the heart of social, civic and cultural activity.

The EXPLORERS project is supported by the Arts Council Ambition for Excellence Programme and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

In Focus includes a programme of action research and photography activities for neurodiverse adults and young people. Artists and social care practitioners are working together at adult social care settings across Sussex to develop and deliver this programme of activity. Read more about In Focus here.

Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are to be recognised and respected as any other human variation. ‘Neurodiverse’ refers to people with autism and other neurological conditions including learning disabilities. Use of the term is part of an approach to recognising neurological differences in line with how we consider gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability status.