Skip to main content
Illustration

Alice Kell

My practice focuses on using visual communication to nurture a greater understanding and community around neurodiversity in higher education. I use modes of image making such as; traditional drawing, collaging, publication, animation/moving image blended with activity based practice like workshops, community engagement and performance work.

Varley Award 2021 winner

RCA Neurodiverse Society Co President

This year my practice has been addressing the lack of neurodiversity representation in the Wellcome Collection.

My work has been informed by archival theory such as critical fabulation, “Venus in Two Acts” by Saidiya Hartman, DIY archive culture abandoning traditional more systematic archiving systems, and activating the archive through community work and activity workshopping with RCA neurodiverse society.

This has led me to rethinking archival systems through the neurodiverse lense, focussing more on creating rather than documenting and sorting.

Currently I am thinking about developing more inclusive archival systems and potentially, further down the line, teaching methods based on my knowledge and experience of neurodiversity in higher education.

1.
2.

Neurodiversity is the umbrella term for diagnoses such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, autism and so on.

The drawings above depict the steps I took as someone with dyslexia, navigating The Wellcome Collection archive. The images are both the process of neurodiverse archiving as well as the subjects/artefacts that will go into the new neurodiverse archive.

I invite you interpret these actions and apply them to your own investigation of the Welcome Collection online catalogue.

https://wellcomecollection.org/collections

There are no words accompanying the images. This is to allow space for your own interpretation of the actions. I would love to see what you find/make! Any response will be featured in the neurodiverse archive.

Please send to contact@alicekell.com

To print the instructions, please click the link below:

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:9493f58c-7c64-4a61-8701-aa86f4520cb8


Poster — Having investigated my own relationship with the archive thoroughly. I decided to invite other people who identified as neurodiverse to contribute to the archive I was building. I designed the poster for the workshop in mind of the logo I had already designed for the neurodiversity society, which is based on children’s building blocks. There are four versions of the poster made up of different compositions of the same building blocks. This is to visually represent how as individuals we operate uniquely.
What does neurodiversity mean to me? — Document from an informal neurodiversity society meeting, discussing what the word neurodiversity means to us.
Resources
Prompts — I asked participants to respond to the suggested prompts: Think about a specific moment in your life related to your neurodivergent brain and use memory to recreate this on paper. Maybe represent the sensory overload and multiple connections dyslexia brings. Think about multi-perspecive or multidimensional images. Make a 3D object. Draw a diagram or mind map. Anything goes, there are no rules :)
Outcomes
Outcomes — There was roughly 20 participants for the workshop. Participants ranged across all RCA schools from first year MA students, PDH students to members of RCA staff. The workshop lasted roughly an hour of making time and half an hour of free flowing discussion around the topic of neurodiversity. The proudest thing I think the workshop achieved was creating connections between students who had never met before. Some students have gone on to collaborate with each other based on these interactions.
Outcome highlight 1
Outcome highlight 2
Outcome highlight 3
Chair facing the corner — 37x50cm Acrylic on canvas by Alice Kell
Dunce Cap — 40x30cm Acrylic on canvas by Alice Kell
Collage series
Collage series — by Alice Kell

A collection of works I made in response to the lack of visual resources under dyslexia in the Wellcome Collection archive. All of these pieces are highly personal and articulate my experience of dyslexia. These works are the outcomes of the instructions shown in the first section of my page.

The Varley Award