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'In the early summer I watched Iris as we ate our breakfast. Her calf muscles tensed and ankles flexed, and her heels rose up high, little toes curled from the pressure of standing perfectly still in the breeze as she surveyed her garden from on top of the tree stump. Everything was in order. She did an appreciative nod, then climbed down on to the grass and danced on tiptoes over to the flower bed, springing to the sky effortlessly like a ballerina on her unusually long legs. This was a sight that has become a signature quirk of her condition. The common link between autism and walking on toes isn’t yet clear, but we could see that Iris gained comfort and a release through the sensation. She would bounce from the balls of her feet when she was happy, exhilarated or surprised, but they lay flat on the ground when she was calm – a striking indicator of her mood. Later that morning she placed her hands on top of the stump, feeling the grain, running her index finger along the many growth rings. She hummed contentedly and stood completely still with her feet flat on the ground. Then her attention turned to the bark and all its varied textures and colours. She climbed on top of it, feeling every part with her feet too, placing both feet and palms against the wood at the same time, as if she was drawing energy from the stump. Once again I saw a child so composed – not in a world of her own, but linked with the nature that surrounded her. As I watched her from the decking it was as though she cast a spell over everything. The world felt more alive and interesting to me too; it was enchanting. Her interest in the elements and attention to detail was inspiring and I started to see the world through her eyes, noticing intricate details, listening more intently and appreciating the beauty. My own senses were heightened, giving me a deeper understanding.'
Extract from 'Iris Grace' by Arabella Carter-Johnson
Here is a Detail photograph of Tip-Toe
Here is an example of 'Tip-Toe' mounted and framed.