S. V. Rushworth

 

A good friend once called me a “Community Hermit,” meaning that I mix autism up from time to time. My forays into the wide world have generally been productive and occasionally disappointing.

I studied for the B.A. and  Masters degrees at Bradford School of Art in Yorkshire, England and I received The Joan Day Painting Bursary for 2013 culminating in an exhibition at The South Square Gallery, Thornton, titled ‘Absence of Essence‘ in 2014.

I submit work to local exhibitions once or twice a year, produce prints of paintings for local sale and occasionally approach literary agents with my stories. My contact email is

artyvernons@gmail.com

Nat Riggan and I were among a group of artists who were the subject of an Arts Council study of Isolated Artists, they being artists who are isolated by their disabilities but who have managed in part to work beyond them. Natalie is deaf whilst I am on the autistic spectrum and have some memory and attention problems.

I have included here a selection of cartoons that were based on Natalie’s adventurous nature. Also a small selection of Nat Riggan’s photography, including her sea photography, can be found at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/154978795@N03

 

Seascapes and Landscapes.

 

 

Tidal PoolELYSIUM IN WINTER

Estuary with Smoke

Elysium - 2018

Loch Long

 

SEA

 

Wall 2015Industrial - 20173 Miles

 

Winter

Internal Geography

Transient Dwelling (2015) - Copy

Where Time Goes 2016

Cartoons.

These cartoons are from a series called LEMNZ, which are cartoons about a deaf heroine who can do impossible things. The character in the LEMNZ set is based on Nat, who is a very adventurous person. I also use cartoons to make signs and notices and occasionally logos for charitable projects.

 

bordered 13bordered 7boredered 15bordered 12

lemnz dog cartoon

 

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bordered 4

 boredered 14

 

 

Works from my M.A. and my study of derelict places.

South Square Exhibition.

Seasons 2014

Red Wall

lost tales

Moor

Three Consequences

mill

 

cropped-glance1.jpg

Older Work.

 

DSCF1663[1]

 

 

 

My Precarious Writing.

 

I was first of all a poet. I used poetry as a channel to link to other people, and it is a good channel and people who are on the spectrum should join a writing group and try creative writing. In my case I could not progress far enough into what is called the literary worldI received The New Beginnings Award in 1993 from the then Yorkshire and Humberside Arts Board and after this I was one of a number of poets caught in the glare of national publicity when Huddersfield produced a generation of aspirant poets. In 1995 I completed a small book of poems, A Little Book of Leaving, published by Spout Publications.

At that time in the 1990’s there was a strong northern cultural alliance mixing the emerging musical distinctiveness of Manchester and Creation Records and the Hacienda and Dance Music with what was coming out of Huddersfield, which for the most part was an abandoning of ‘Englishness’ in favour of influences from Chile, Mexico, and East and West Coast American and Caribbean poetry. It was the idea that a northern English town could ‘re-culture itself’ in some small way and it was this that first attracted the publicity – to the extent that it later caused The World Poetry Festival to be staged there.

The most celebrated poet from Huddersfield was, and is, Simon Armitage, a poet with a great gift for balancing fixed ideas as questions and for re-framing the northern English spirit. Simon Armitage was the first to emerge in a new northern poetry. There was also Milner Place, a retired skipper who was the poet who brazenly shifted local writing towards the Spanish tradition. Keith Jafrate, the poet and Jazz musician, was the architect of this grass roots uprising through founding community workshops, while poets such as Jack Hirschman brought great force and charisma to the political edge of the writing in the latter stages. Besides these there were The Albert Poets, a group of poets led by Stephanie Bowgett, and John Duffy. The Albert Poets were more theatrical than the various festivals and they brought a bawdiness at times that drew in a wider audience than poetry was expected to attract. The poet David Morley then led a bid to locate The National Poetry Centre in Huddersfield. I think it was the failure of this bid that caused the energy of that period to falter. At the same time and nationally, poetry gradually left the mainstream and returned to being defined by an English, rather retiring mood.

After poetry I wrote fiction and I was approached by a prominent London agent but the story I was writing was not then finished and its peculiarities were taking it away from commercial fiction and into a semi-auto-biographical form and so after three months the agent ended our correspondence. It remains a piece of spectrum literature, meaning that it explores many of the realities of autism including the ‘inside out-ness’ that makes the public world so hard to negotiate. My later stories rarely finished but those that did were a short folktale and a second novel that is a magical realist comedy set on the border of Yorkshire and Cumbria in 1924.

I still write poems from time to time and below is one that represents some new work.

 

All I ever told you was this

That a heart might spill

Or fly raggedly

Or freeze under paper frosts

Or never shine again

 

All I ever told you was this

That poems are ladders

Made of snakes

Flames made of rain

Arguments of silences

 

All I ever told you was this

That words run out of people

To say them

To hurt with them

To die beside them

 

All I ever told you was this

That I would leave it to poems to tell you

Like I had given it to a spirit

To a face in the dark

To a limping old book

 

All I ever told you was this

That snow falls the same

And means as much

And listens as intently

Each to the other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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