Frame of Mind: Art for autism awareness

Frame of Mind is an Autism awareness campaign that invites the community to engage with artwork and then share their experience. Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) is celebrating World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April by launching Frame of Mind.

Exhibition: Frame of Mind

Where: Writer's Block Café at the Borchardt Library, La Trobe University, Kingsbury Drive, Bundoora.
When: World Autism Awareness Day April 2 – May 30 2014.

This inaugural exhibition, supported by the La Trobe Museum of Modern Art (LUMA) showcases the work of Melbourne based artist Ray David. 

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake, Director of OTARC said, 'OTARC is proud to be marking the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day with Frame of Mind, a meaningful art exhibition that will engage the community with a positive dimension of Autism.'

Ray has a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome; his works are both insightful and reflective of his own experiences.  He is intuitive about body language and gestures.  Themes of intimacy or non-intimacy, familial relationships, identity, self-knowledge and isolation resound.  Abstraction and superimposition introduce chaos and chance into his compositions; here, the artist confronts traits inherent in living with Asperger syndrome.

Ray David wishes to support autism awareness and education.  It is significant that Frame of Mind at La Trobe University is his first solo exhibition.  

"I really think that the consumption and/or production of art are a prerequisite
for a person’s mental wellbeing.  I paint because art, as a creative
process, is the only justification for existence (Nietzsche).  Like
all true artists I endeavour to produce aesthetic philosophy that engages with
and is part of the Cosmos.  For the viewer there is an open invitation to
come and view a selection of painted images detailing my exploration of Attic
tragic theatre philosophy and Attic black-figure pottery style." – Ray

Ray is a PhD graduate from the RMIT School of art.  His large-scale paintings carry the emotive weight of tragic mythology and the graphic strength of Ancient Attic vase painting. His artistic practise is driven by philosophical enquiry, with an interest in the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche and a deep reading of Sophocles’ Three Theban Plays. 

Family portraits are adapted to represent Antigone and Oedipus in their human struggle through adversity; the paintings are a contemporary and unique revival of Ancient Greek theatre and storytelling.

Each exhibited work is accompanied by a QR code, linking smartphone users to the Frame of Mind blog, and detailed information about the artist and work.  Here visitors are encouraged to share their thoughts about the art, share their ‘frame of mind’.

Through Frame of Mind OTARC wishes to engage the community in a meaningful and rich art experience as well as invite dialogue on the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The aim is to increase awareness and education on ASD, and thereby opening up discussion and support.

Writer's Block Café opening hours:

  • Monday - Friday 8 am - 6 pm
  • Saturday - Sunday 11 am - 3 pm

Media enquiries

Alexandra Aulich
M: 0438 913 402

Ernest Raetz
Senior Media and Communications Officer, La Trobe University
T: 9479 2315
M: 0412 261 919