The Cloak of Conformity and the Corset of Expectation
As someone who is on the autism spectrum, I have expended a great deal of time and energy creating different versions of myself in an attempt to fit into society’s expectations of how I should behave. I refer to this disguise as the Cloak of Conformity and the Corset of Expectation. The corset shaped me into an idealised form whilst the cloak displayed a version of me to the world which said, “Look I fit in.”
The “Cloak of Conformity and the Corset of Expectation” tells the story of my relationship with photography and autism and the ways in which my photographic journey has helped me realise that the cloak and the corset have been suffocating my creativity and that by discarding them I can express my true identity.
I do, of course, illustrate this with a liberal sprinkling of my own images. The presentation also touches on a few of the concepts from my recently published book The Odd Piece.

I give talks to various organisations including camera clubs, community associations and charities. If you would like more information on how to book a talk, then please leave a message via my Contact Page.
Quotes from attendees
"Many thanks for an outstanding presentation this evening and for giving us such an amazing insight into your photographic art.
I think everyone will have found plenty of inspiration for their own photographic journey, and I’m sure we all left with a much better understanding of autism."
"Thank you for a wonderful night of inspiring photography and a very moving story. Your talk was superb."
"Alison's presentation at 'NOW Cerne Abbas' left everyone in admiration for her achievements but also the natural and engaging way she presented the links she has discovered between her autism and its influences, particularly in her photography but also the way she leads her life. Anyone having the opportunity to listen to Alison should take it. You will learn such a lot in a relaxed and informative way."
"Your images and your story are inspirational. A lot of your more recent works, including 2nd & 3rd distinction panels are truly original. It's so rare to see something new in art that nobody else has done."
"I was particularly interested in how you cope with some of the aspects of Asperger’s within your photography."
"Thank you for your presentation last evening; it was fascinating, stimulating and above all enjoyable. It was a good way for you to explain to our members the influence that your medical conditions have on your life both good and bad."
"I have just made a bit personal "headspace" to watch the recording of your talk. It was brilliant. I need say no more."
"Excellent presentation Alison, of an excellent body of work!"
"Alison gave an intriguing and thought provoking presentation, accompanied by many of her excellent photographs. In a period of less than five years, starting as a complete beginner, she has achieved three RPS distinctions culminating in a FRPS. She has developed her own style of photography which has been very much influenced by her Autism."
"Alison had the type of energy in her work that we should all feed off. Far from being a hindrance Alison had used her Autism to great advantage in her photography to demonstrate her really exciting individuality – something we should all wish for."
Upcoming bookings
Many clubs and societies welcome visitors for a small fee on the door. Please contact the club or society directly for information.

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