building clement space

Work in progress…

It’s been more than a week battling this cold and cough. My voice is all but gone. I sound like a constipated frog (do frogs really constipate?). Been through the dramatic works, the wailing, flailing, fainting and vomiting stuff etc, and now finally on the mend. Still coughing alarmingly – feels like the guts are all going to spurt out at some point or other – and noticing some pretty aghast looks being thrown my way, through the tears in my eyes while attempting to blow my nose. Too much multitasking, being sick is unpleasant for anyone, but being sick with hypersensitivity cranks up the ‘horrid’ volume manifold levels … and over and over. I am missing my Lucy. A lot. Clement Space was inspired by Lucy.

Nevertheless… I have been building clement space… in little ways, struggling valiantly, and in the more ‘official’ manifestation, of course, the exhibition. The show must go on, and so it shall! Continue reading

Sonata in Z

Slogging away and frantically scrambling to get everything ready! One more week to go and it’s on with the show. If you are in Sydney, do drop by and say hello.
Sonata in Z announcement

Dawn-joy Leong and Lucy present

Sonata in Z

10-14 November 2015 | 10am-5pm

Nick Waterlow Gallery, UNSW Galleries

UNSW Art & Design, Paddington, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

An autistic human,

A greyhound dog.

Parallel Embodiments,

A journey of Being.

Endeavour of Empathy,

Spaces of Mind.

Sonorous communion,

Wordless interlocuations.

Enter breafoot,

Scheherazade’s Sea:

Dancing

Awake

Inside dreams.

Sonata in Z is a ‘gentle space’, inspired by my autistic hyper sensory quest for sanctuary, and my Greyhound Lucy’s natural ability to seek out and create oases of comfort. Unfolding like a musical sonata, visual images of Lucy in sonorous repose introduce the theme of rest. Please leave your shoes at the threshold as you enter, symbolically shedding conventional notions of social communication. Once inside, we shall not speak in words, but the tranquility is neither silent nor empty, because our senses will lead the way into a different social ecosystem of softly undulating rhythms, patterns, sounds, movements, gestures, textures, smells, tastes and visual conversations. This is our refuge, an alternative empathic resonance, a nonverbal sensory equilibrium – and Lucy and I would like to share our clement space with you.

Check out Lucy’s photos and read the full description here!

haptic pyjamas

“Haptic pyjamas!” has been bouncing in my mindscape with sonic, rhythmic, and visual vim and vigour, refusing to make a quiet exit. I am not sure why, but I have a strong suspicion it has to do with this latest piece of work and its nocturnal unfolding.

Two fluffy 60x60cm cushion covers, a vegetarian dinner of stir fried flat rice noodles and red capsicum and a gentle evening doggy-walk later, I decided to embark on reworking the Haptic HugShrug. It was already 10pm when I began. Lucy was snoozing in her favourit fluffy rug, occasionally opening an eye to check on me, and interjecting the quiet night air with a huff and groan every now and then. She does not like it when I stay up late. Her bedtime hour is 8pm, and I usually crawl into bed with her, working on my laptop until she shoves my laptop off the bed at around 10pm. Our routine has been very much upset lately, of course. I managed to complete it at 12am, by which time I was nauseous and dizzy, but feeling rather chuffed.

The Haptic HugShrug was first created in 2012, as part of the Haptic Interface event in Hong Kong. It is inspired by the concept of deep pressure stimulation as a calming therapy. It is made from Woolmark Merino wool top, but instead of crochet, this version (#3) is arm knitted, giving it a looser weave and more floppy movement than the former two versions.

Dimensions approx 110x70x4cm.

Available for sale as part of the installation catalogue, 100% of proceeds will go to mindDog Australia. Reservations and all enquiries welcome. Please message me at scheherazades.sea@gmail.com

food-o-logue

I shall write when I find the words. For now, here is the journey through the lenses of a food-o-logue.

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bog spin

The irony. The concrete evidence of sensory response to environment and spatial situation. Here. Now. It was a crazy move. But I needed it. Stuck in the previous circumstance, going insane with white hissing ear splitting fear each time the Merry Unhappy Door Slammer played Wagner with her door, too exhausted to work at my art studio (the entire process of the journey there and back were so fraught), I was severely limited in my capacity to work. And uninspired. Moving back to our old and familiar neighbourhood in the middle of preparations for the exhibition was not a logical thing to do, but it was a desperate need. It cost me precious time and energy, my body is breaking down from being pushed to beyond its sensible limits. The flip side? Peace. Calm. And inspiration. My mind is now awash with exciting ideas. But there is no more time to execute them all. A pity. Such textural richness has suddenly begun to take root and sprout generous branches. I cannot possibly translate and realise the many reverberations echoing in my mind, not within such a short time frame anyway.

The exhibition opens next Monday 10 November. Setting up this weekend. I just have to keep going and do what I can. A feeling of surreal suspension.

Executive dysfunction. Brain bog. Sensory spin. Racing pulse. Anxiety overdrive. Floating on a cloud of vertiginous foam. Craving sugar and potato crisps. Lunching on frankfurters in cheap buns. Time has run out. Just keep going. No time to think anymore. Go, go, go, Bunny, Tally Ho!

P.S. My angel keeps me company, my calming balm and muse. We cuddle in bed and all feels well again. Tomorrow is another day.

LITTLE SWEETS 小甜心 – a sensory odyssey

Little Sweets

Announcing my upcoming exhibition:

Little Sweets 小甜心 – a sensory odyssey

Please click on above link or photo for the exhibition webpage. Photos will be uploaded and updated as we go along.

This exhibition is inspired by my beautiful Greyhound, Lucy.

In my quest to better understand Lucy, I stumbled upon canine sensory studies and the many fascinating correlations with my own research in hypersensory idioysncrasies inherent in autism. To honour our very special connection, and the wonderful world that Lucy has opened up to me, entire proceeds from sales of installation pieces will be donated to Greyhound Rescue (http://greyhoundrescue.com.au)

Christmas is around the corner, decorate with quirky pieces for a worthy cause – and of course, come along for a sensory adventure and freshly baked cupcake!

Thank You!

It’s already New Year’s Day here in Sydney, Australia. Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you for following my little blog, sharing the quirky eats and dropping in to make a comment or two.

Amazing how time just zooms by. I still remember very clearly my first Christmas Day and New Year with my baby girl Lucy. Now, our second one has come and gone in a flurry!

Lucy’s beautiful face was the one that bade me good night in the final moments of 2013 and good morning in 2014. How blessed am I to have so much exquisite beauty always with me? My first breakfast of 2014 was a simple olfactory-gustatory-visual-textural combination microwaved frozen corn with butter and cheese, a sprinkling of sweet paprika, and a few corn chips thrown in for good measure.

2013 was a great year in many ways. Continue reading

sensory confrontation

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The THIS IS NOT ART FESTIVAL 2013 has been running for awhile here in Newcastle, Australia. As mentioned in a previous post, I am exhibiting with Critical Animals at The Lock Up Cultural Centre on Hunter Street. Well, here are some preview photos of my little prison cell, and a brief musing about my experience during setting up on Thursday afternoon.

Setting up was in itself a creative and sensorial confrontational process. Continue reading

travel fatigue

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Sydney Central Station

Too much travel lately, methinks. I am teetering on the edge of utter exhaustion. Just a week home with my Lucy, and I have had to beetle off again for another exhibition. Not whining, though, I do love my work and it is that passion that keeps me going, but my body is protesting. The autoimmune is being disagreeable again.

I am now in Newcastle, for the This is Not Art Festival 2013. I shall be exhibiting with Critical Animals at The Lock Up Cultural Centre, so if you are in the area, do drop by for the exhibition and there will be an artist’s talk on 5 October too! Continue reading

damp, cold, the haptic, peptic and cryptic

I covered for a colleague (at the same gallery where I held my exhibition last week) yesterday from 11am-3.30pm. She asked me the day before, and I told her I would do it for her if she couldn’t find anyone else for the job. She offered $10 an hour, so I figured it would be no problem finding an undergraduate to sit there for 5 hours, for $50. Not bad at all, since one could bring their work along too. I told her to let me know by the end of the day. The evening passed and I didn’t hear from her, so I planned my day thinking she’d found someone to sit at reception. I went to my studio in the morning with Lucy, and started work on revising my Haptic HugShrug for the Haptic InterFace 2013 exhibition which is now in Sydney as part of the Vivid Sydney event. Continue reading