weather and root
emma withers and phil robbins write:
for us weather and root forms a focal point for our lives
it is at the confluence of our experiences
our 14 year old son is profoundly autistic - very different from a typical person - just as sensitive and aware - in need of support at all levels and in all things particularly emotionally and for his physical well being.
as with many parents of autistic children we have researched and fought for appropriate provision for his educational and developmental needs. we have drawn on many different approaches in order to provide the one which seems to meet his needs best and is possible for us to fulfil with the resources available - not wanting to drag resources away from other needy children and groups.
we have gained inspiration from professionals, other parents, specialists in autism, the Option Institute, friends, and friends sharing their skills in music, yoga through to NLP. and most of all learning from our son, other autistic people and their families. there is a wonderful generosity of spirit present in people when working with these different children.
not only has he inspired us with his determination to constantly do the best he can but also with other deeper gifts making us feel exceptionally purposeful in our lives. we have seen other people gain massively from a simple contact with this level of difference - heard them acknowledge how profoundly he has affected them in a truly positive way.
our experience of this has led us to develop weather and root. there is some urgency to set up support for our son for the whole of his life. and yet it is what we as typical people can gain from contact with differently able people which urges us on. we are convinced that this project will have far reaching positive impacts on society as a whole. providing a grounding for community cohesion from a natural source rather than a remedial one - focussing on the upbeat.
we have shared our lives and worked alongside each other for 20 years as artists, teachers, setting up studios, rebuilding our house, supporting local schools, developing the home based programme for our son, as plumbers, photographers and development economist. we have always supported each other in our endeavours.
but we have never fully collaborated in our practice as artists - suddenly it became clear earlier this year that our work had become truly complementary - time and experience has distilled our work and we find we are looking, each of us, at the same coin from different sides - and then the idea of weather and root decided to reach across between us.
project proposers: emma withers and phil robbins