Maisie Savage (she/her)
My paintings visualise the nuanced aspects of the neurodivergent experience while addressing the universal journey of coming to terms with one’s own fragmented identity.
The convergence of my late Autism and ADHD diagnosis, combined with the backdrop of the pandemic, set in motion a period of introspection and self-reflection, seeking a deeper more grounded connection within myself. This period heavily influenced the development of my artistic practice, which became a valuable tool for self-understanding.
My artworks aim to encapsulate the intricate interplay of thoughts, emotions, and sensory perceptions that have shaped my reality. Through my compositions, I revisit and reinterpret memories, to reveal hints of foreshadowing and emphasise their personal significance.
Exhibited at the Glasgow School of Art degree show 2023
‘SLEEP ROUTINE’ captures how I struggled with my sleep as a child, particularly falling asleep due to being overstimulated and uncomfortable. Self-soothing and sensory-seeking behaviour became a part of my bedtime routine. I would use heavy blankets to add pressure to my chest to relax me and wear earmuffs (even in summer) to cancel out noise. In hindsight, these modifications to my sleep routine were unconscious ways to manage my undiagnosed Autism. These visible traits mirror my current responses to environmental triggers. This painting allows an insight into my personal experience with relaxation as a neurodivergent individual. This scene is still representative of how I sleep now, the only change is that I have swapped earmuffs for noise-cancelling headphones.
‘UNTITLED 2023′ explores my recollection of childhood memories by presenting them in a way that foreshadows my recent Autism and ADHD diagnoses and my struggles with depersonalisation, depression and anxiety. The composition depicts two representations of my younger self, using each other for support while sitting on an oversized green nursing armchair. The blending of boundaries and the abstraction of the armchair shows the figures consumed in their surroundings. The busy illustrative details on the skirt and the repetitive chair pattern create an overstimulated atmosphere that contrasts the figures’ vacant visual responses.