Jon Adams #MetaOrdinary


Disability Arts Online’s latest Covid Commission is Jon Adams’ Metaordinary – a series of geologically inspired artworks made by transforming everyday photographs submitted during lockdown.

Most days I don’t know if I’m an artist who likes science or a scientist who can draw but I feel both feed into my arts practice. As a child, I was terminally curious especially about the world around me, underneath me, and above but I seemed to experience it differently to others. I now know this was typically Neurodivergent, as I’m autistic, dyslexic and a synaesthete. Unlike those around me, I could taste colour and touch time so it wasn’t a surprise that after an abusive time at school spoiling my desire to go to art college I went to study geological time at university.

Recently my creative practice went from drawing ‘other people’s pictures’ to capturing the world in any medium relevant and I drew on my geological training and other interests: from mapping the London 2012 Olympics in a geological style, sound works for dancers made from cut stone photographs to digital imagery and social engagement with the latest project, ‘Metaordinary’.

I’m vulnerable so have had to stay in during this awful time so I thought; what could I suggest others do to share in an artwork? I’d created social engagement arts projects with ‘Dysarticulate’ flags, ‘Democracy Street’ road names and now I thought people could simply take and send photos of ordinary scenes around the house. Many autistic people seem good at transforming information, imagery, and words so disguising the origins came naturally. Disability Arts Online provided the opportunity with one of their Covid19 Commissions and people sent in images and I transformed them reminiscent of cut stone or mineral microscope slides, even adding a pseudo-geological name.

I’m glad people took part but what touched me were the comments. Not just thank you but for some, it seems the images resonated deeply. I have PTSD so knowing I’m helping others helps keep me centered but to hear how this touched people, meant the world to me.

The gallery below features the original images and the comment left by the person who submitted it, alongside my transformation and geological description.