Maddi Crease is a poet and artist living and working in Southend-on-Sea. Both her poetry and visual arts frequently cover themes of mental health, neurodivergence and the body. Much as in her day job as a lived experience mental health practitioner, her work sees her drawing on her background, finding ways to externalise her experiences with hope to bring about connection and mutual understanding.
Maddi has received commission from BBC Arts alongside Screen South and funded by Arts Council England, writing and recording ‘CHAV’, a spoken word piece challenging the cultural narrative around the working class. Supported by Metal and English PEN, she has performed live at the Southbank Centre. She is also a fine art student, entering year 2 of her bachelor’s degree with University Centre South Essex in September 2023. She has exhibited visual arts and poetry locally, such as in the Beecroft Art Gallery, and online.
In her residency with Metal, she will begin research and production of a short poetry film, ‘Autistic Joy’, which will focus on the parts of being autistic that bring us joy and positive experiences. In this, she hopes to sensitively balance the narrative around autism. Consulting with autistic peers and reflecting on her life as an autistic woman, Maddi will weave together uplifting narratives to show that autistic is not a bad thing to be.
Image credit: Nicola Parry