[71] S6, Ep4: Resculpting our lives post-diagnosis: autism, art and connecting with ourselves and each other
Topics in this episode: ADHD, animals, autism and art, community, employment, reframing, self employment, special interests, things that have changed for the better since diagnosis

Heather Peak is an artist who lives near Hay on Wye in the UK. She came from a working class background, and was discouraged from making a career as an artist, but decided to go to art school in Brighton where she found a place she finally felt she fit.

Now 48, she has established an art practice over the past two decades that combines art, architecture, theatre and social practice. She is co-director of Studio Morison along with

Ivan Morison, creating work that is focused on human spaces and the communities that occupy them, and the ideas of escape, play, shelter and refuge. Over the past 20 years she has exhibited across the UK, including at the Tate Modern, and in Europe, Australasia, North and South America and Asia.

She self identified as autistic seven years ago, and was formally diagnosed last year. Since her diagnosis she has come to understand her art through the lens of autistic thinking and pattern-spotting – and realised that many of the people who appreciate and relate to her art are neurodivergent, too.

In our conversation we talk about:

➡ Re-writing and reframing her life and art post-diagnosis

➡ The push-pull between distraction and hyperfocus

➡ Autistic joy, and the healing power of nature and animals

➡ Making art that speaks to neurodivergent audiences, pattern spotting, and using art as a medium to interpret the world and connect with others

Squarepeg is a podcast in which neurodivergent women, and trans and nonbinary people, explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes.

I hope that these conversations will be inspiring and thought provoking, open you up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and help you feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.

I’m Amy Richards, and after being diagnosed autistic at the age of 37 I’m now on a mission to learn more about different perspectives and issues around being a neurodivergent adult in a world that feels like it doesn’t quite fit.



Heather’s website: https://peakmorison.org/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smallbellsring/


The Very Public Art of Heather Peak and Ivan Morison (book): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Me-Leave-Alone-Heather/dp/1908970472

Floating library of short stories: www.smallbellsring.co.uk

If you’d like to connect or get in touch with Squarepeg, you can find me on:

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Or on my website: https://squarepeg.community/



A HUGE thank you to my amazing patrons, who support my work on the podcast:

Abi Hunter, Amy Adler, Amy-Beth Mellor, Abigail J Moore, Ben Davies, Benita Borchard-Thierbach, Caroline, Cat Preston, Catrin Green, Cindy Bailey, Corinne Cariad, Danielle Warby, Dawn Trevellion, Elizabeth Williams, Elise, Jackie Allen, Jeff Goldman, Kate Faust, Katharine Richards, Katherine Lynch, Lea Li, Lilli Simmons, Lyb, Mandy Allen, Pete Burke, Rebecca Kemp, Sarah Cottrell, Sarah Jeffery, Sarah Swanton, Sioned Wynn, Suzanna Chen, Suzanne, Tree Hall, Una Walkenhorst, Vera Cady, Vicki Temple and Victoria Routledge.

If you’re enjoying the Squarepeg podcast and would like to help me carry on making new episodes, you can become a member of the Squarepeg community on Patreon from just £3 per month: https://www.patreon.com/squarepegpodcast

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