Shantha:
Can you talk a bit more about your history of neurodivergence and how it relates to your practice?






Violet:

Now more than ever, I identify as a disabled artist. I have mental and physical disabilities which have increased over the past four or five years. My health team is currently edging towards cerebral palsy, I have some type of developmental disorder around muscle development in the lower half of my body. So I live with chronic pain and exhaustion and I'm now physically limited in ways I wasn't when I was younger. I utilize that in my work in a lot of ways, but there's also that aspect of everyday living. I've been neurodivergent all my life, but I had no idea until only a few years ago. I was diagnosed late with ADHD, but I think it’s always been there. That's my truth, I don't feel the need to prove anything to people anymore. I’ve decided I'm entering my thirties with that energy. These days I lean into my crip-ness and my neurodiversity—I’ve been so open about everything else, why would I shy away from this?

It constricts us in this web of red tape that abled people don't have to deal with


As a Canadian artist with disabilities, the number one issue that governs my life is how my disability benefits—that keep me alive—are structured in a way that limits the amount I can claim on my taxes. This fucks over myself and other disabled artists in the longterm for grant and residency opportunities. Having normal, hegemonic employment is not an option for a lot of us, so we have to get disability benefits, but it creates this snarly mess where the government tells us we can't accept a Canada Council grant, or our benefits get ripped away. It pigeonholes us and it beats us down and constricts us in this web of bullshit red tape that governs our lives in a way that neuro-typical people or people who are not disabled, don't have to deal with. It doesn't make me not want to make art or not be a professional artist, it's just an additional barrier that I've to now try to deal with.