Paignton Photo Shoot 2014

Oxyte* Photography 2014Dark Star Photo

Paignton is my worst nightmare and a dream come true. Once establishing that I was going through yet another, yawn! Yawn! Depressive episode, it makes sense to hole up and hibernate even though the sun is shining and people around appear to be doing that thing which is commonly known as laughing. At most, I know that from experience any sensory overload could catapult my depression into full blown melt down and break down mentally and so I do have to manage my way through until I feel safe again. This can take weeks, days and sometimes months. it makes no sense to go on a short break at one of the most busiest times of the year at a holiday resort known for copious arcades, flashing lights, children screaming with joy and children screaming randomly which I have worked out has something to do with seagulls and ice cream. The many pubs with speakers bellowing out to the seafront are an affront to the senses, as someone who has abused alcohol when distressed – I had to walk past them full of longing but, thankfully, a feeling soon replace by the reality of recovery – a no go zone. So there I was in Paignton honouring a commitment with talented photographers, a portrait booking which had been made in advance and one in which I needed to update my Arts profile in all its shapes and forms. And a benchmark of time and place.

I heard Toya from ‘Oxyte’ photography on Radio 4, 2013 talking about her work and her modelling agency ‘Aesthetic Clarity’ and I had known Emma’s work too with ‘Dark Star’ photography and that they worked independently, but sometimes collaboratively. They are good friends and that shows in the way in which they communicate with each other, they don’t stifle each other’s creativity but stick to their own specific skills. Emma’s tends to be taking a photograph in any position she so chooses, if needed she would hang upside down from an automatic revolving door if it made a good image. I admire that agility in the young (or at least younger than me) I’m pleased that she didn’t ask me to pose lying on my stomach outside the main library as she had just done, but there were construction cranes nearby to get me up again.

Funny, warm, talkative, passionate and excitable – a true delight. And trendy, I felt privileged to be in her company, I almost felt ‘cool’ Toya, the core and main helm of all the projects and agency is a skilled photographer too, an astute business Woman who doesn’t take her work lightly although she makes it fun. She is warm, friendly and passionate about her work too and an incredible driving force behind it all. I could not believe that they got photos of me smiling. How can that be?   I will repeat that: I cannot believe that they got photos of me smiling, no laughing … actually laughing and it dawned on me that I was having fun.
That my Girlfriend was there to support me and to enjoy the experience also made it better, that we combined the photo shoot with a short break was wise. And we posed for images toward our collaborative music projects and recording. I remember Toya talking about how building the confidence of the person being photographed was an integral thing about their work. And that, my understanding was, that disability or being ‘different’ was not an issue. By which One doesn’t have to be someone they or not, nor does One have to be someone they are meant to be by others standards.   It is clear in all the photos taken by Toya and Emma, by ‘Oxyte’ and ‘Dark Star’ – Before you see anything – You see the person. You see their eyes and the honesty, rawness and energy is mind blowing. Each portrait is a living portrait. It is not confined by urban walls or streets or setting. The model is allowed to (or given freedom) in the environment. I love their work and I am greatly honoured to have been photographed by them both. And I love Paignton, never in my life would I have dreamed that I could manage the sensory onslaught of a penny arcade for two hours. It cost me £56 in two pence pieces to win a Spiderman key ring (wink)

But fun is fun and fun can still be fun in glimpses as Depression erodes away again for another rainy day.

Check out their websites and Facebook pages, these people need grants and bursaries and awards and funding, they should be globe trotters with all their models. They are Paignton’s Pride and Joy

Visual Art Biography

It Rhymes With Orange

Painting  ‘It Rhymes With Orange’

Acrylic on Canvas 2006 (254mm by 355mm/10″ by 14″)


For Main Visual Art Website go to:

There is too much to write about this Artist and maybe too, too much to know. A brief description of his work, a summary of his achievements and downfalls are numerous and almost incalculable. He is writings his memoirs and that should help matters. He gained success at three United Kingdom Art Schools: Plymouth, Falmouth and Norwich. Being a Fine Art student is all well and good, but they didn’t tell him how to cope with depression and for many years Gynn was undecided as to which came first – the depression before the Art, or the Art before depression. Was it a cause of mental ill health? Or was it the medicine needed?

Gynn has so many certificates of education (no really!) that he seldom knows how to relate them to everyday living and Independence. Perhaps they don’t, perhaps being such a highly professional Artist doesn’t, in itself, pay the bills.

Gynn will look at a cooker and mutter ‘this is not a cooker.’ Cereal for every meal solves this.

Rather than scrawl over and remark each certificate and each record with a scribed Alyster Gynn not the previous Alison Gynn or Aly Gynn – he changed his gender, his sex.

Born Female, but in the wrong body!

(As many may understand the phenomenon)

The certificates are pretty and someone had taken great care to exercise their calligraphy skills. Besides, a journey of life is a journey of Art or the other way around. Had the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome been made in his younger years, he would have understood why Art was such an essential part of his life. He would have understood so much more about himself, but that’s life!

(As many may understand the phenomenon)

He spent some years living in Suffolk UK, but for the most part he was born in Cornwall, grew up in Cornwall and lives there now. Born in 1961, He is getting on a bit now.

Devon was born in Cornwall – Memoirs

Well That’s decided. I am goings to write my memoirs. An autobiography. It will be called ‘Devon Was Born in Cornwall’ and will have some rarer elements of fiction incorporated. ‘Devon’ – as a character, will help me explain to the reader aspects needing some objectivity and distance (for myself and others)
It’s a big decision to follow this path of writing. The personal and how to be honest and truthful in the prose is crucial. I have the writing, the imagery, the facts and records. Finally, it seems that now… I have courage.

Aviary Photo_130391276408737368


Devon Was Born In Cornwall

Devon Was Born In Cornwall


‘Devon Was Born In Cornwall’ a novel by Alyster Gynn

Full Publish Date March – 2016

from Chapter 26 – The Hurry.

Devon was born in Cornwall. And it was on a farm but not in a barn. Throughout his life he had ensured that every door he walked through had gently closed behind him. At seven years and ten days old, he had reminded himself of these facts during a rehearsal of the school nativity play. He happened to be wearing a costume which was supposed to make him look like one of the ‘Three Wise Men’, a reluctant contribution. There was nothing wise about the fact that he had a tea-towel flopped over his head and that he had spent most of the rehearsal worried that his head wear had ringed coffee stains.

Rachel Saunders had arrived on stage holding a naked plastic doll by its head, plonked herself down on a bale of hay and moaned that the crib was in the wrong place. The pious look on her face was a constant all year round and Devon was sure that it had happened one day when the wind had changed. He had quietly muttered a prayer that day, Thank God my parents didn’t call me Jesus!

(‘Devon’ – the Third Person Omniscient Narrator and Protagonist of my novel )
‘Devon Was Born In Cornwall’
  Memoirs and image  ©2010Gynn –  full publish date March 2016

‘Interface’ Research Project at Kings College, London – Institute of Psychiatry



‘Interface’ Research Project at Kings College, London – Institute of Psychiatry September 10th 2013

“Dear Alyster, I wanted to personally thank you for your very insightful and helpful contribution to the interface event in London (Kings College, London – Institute of Psychiatry) and for your input into to the research as a whole. I’m very grateful, it has greatly enriched the work, With all good wishes” – Professor Susan Lea KCL.”Dear Alyster, Thank You for all your help with the Interface Project, Best Wishes – Dr. Lynne Callaghan and Susan Eick.”Alyster, many here today won’t remember all of  the research data, but all of us will go home remembering Yours and Your other (Service User Consultant Forum Member) speech, Thank You” – Inspector Mark Bolt, Devon and Cornwall Police. The conference took place the day after the evening ‘Panorama’ expose showed the impact of ‘Locked up for being Ill’ – in this case, mental Health Conditions.I was and still am pleased to have been part of the Service User, Consultation forum for well over the last year. Meeting some wonderful friends, contributing to Ground Breaking Research and helping to change stigma in relation to Mental Health.

World Autism Awareness Day

London 2008It’s World Autism day, here is an old photo of me after making a speech for the ‘National Autistic Society’ at No. 11 Downing Street in 2008.  Mark Lever the, now, CEO is in the background. I believe that he is speaking on ITV – TV this morning about some of the myths within the spectrum. This is before I transitioned from Female to Male and I have now completed Gender re-assignment (post-operative)  At the time of this speech I had been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. I knew that I was in the early stage of recognising my own ‘Severe Gender Dysphoria’ too and such was the diagnosed formally.
I had just made a speech for the National Autistic Society, as part of their campaign to raise awareness of Adults on the Autistic Spectrum ‘Think Differently’. The Chancellor and his wife, were both warm and welcoming and complimented me on the content of my speech and how I had delivered it. This photo was just before I began my transition and Gender Re-assignment. Although at the time of this event I was already speaking to people and opening up about the help I would need to become male. The photo was taken by the NAS press photographer. I met him many times, Pleasant chap, although, my apologies, as I have forgotten his name.

Studios and Album

musicMusic Development – Back to The Drawing Room, Album

Live Music Studios – Wadebridge Cornwall 2010 Pitch

Old School Studios – Bury St Edmunds and (when moved )  Norwich – Jason Baldock, Producer. To Listen to Songs – Click on their titles with underlining :   La lengua de la mariposa  Tune and Friend Of Dorothy 2005 – 2008

Goodmerry Farm Studios, Cornwall Song: Tune   – Duet with, Sister, Pamy Gynn from (Feedback) 2006 – Performance New Wolsey Theatre – Ipswich.

Plymouth studios – Cattedown. Doc as Producer : Recorded with Brothers Stew Gynn and Trev Gynn, whilst in the Band ‘Index’ – three songs written by Stew Gynn.  – 1986. Trev Gynn is the drummer in the South West (Cornwall)  Band ‘Silverback’ and both Pamy Gynn and Stew Gynn perform with the South West Band (cornwall)  ‘ Feedback’.

2012  – Recording at ‘Sawmills Studio’  –  Fowey, Cornwall : ‘Tune’ with, Sister,  Pamy Gynn (Feedback)

Professional Development Update

Music: Back To The Drawing Room : Album and Performance 2006 – 2016

Fine Art: Exhibition of Paintings – ditto ditto 2003 – 2013

Writing and Live Literature: The Hurry (novel)  and 2nd Stage of ‘Felt Pens have Feelings too’ – Live Literature Poetry Performance. (Stage 1 – Arts council England Award – Development of Work 2006)

Ongoing – 4 Stages.

(Thumbnail image – portrait : Wendy Turner Red Shed, Bury St Edmunds – cropped, 2006)

Back To The Drawing Room

zoomdeveloping Album  2008-2016

Featured songs : Tune, Pitch, Friend of Dorothy, Goodnight John Boy, La lengua de la mariposas, Miss Smilla , The bicycle spoke and (cover of House of the Rising Sun)


The Hurry


Chapter 26

The Hurry

Devon was born in Cornwall. And it was on a farm but not in a barn. Throughout his life he had ensured that every door he walked through had gently closed behind him. At seven years and ten days old, he had reminded himself of these facts during a rehearsal of the school nativity play. He happened to be wearing a costume which was supposed to make him look like one of the ‘Three Wise Men’, a reluctant contribution. There was nothing wise about the fact that he had a tea-towel flopped over his head and that he had spent most of the rehearsal worried that his head wear had ringed coffee stains.

Rachel Saunders had arrived on stage holding a naked plastic doll by it’s head, plonked herself down on a bale of hay and moaned that the crib was in the wrong place. The pious look on her face was a constant all year round and Devon was sure that it had happened one day when the wind had changed. He had quietly muttered a prayer that day, Thank God my parents didn’t call me Jesus!


‘Devon’ – is the Third Person Omniscient Narrator and Protagonist of my developing Novel 
”Devon Was Born In Cornwall’
This drawing 2011  Novel ©2010 Gynn    final Publish Date March 2016

Cambridge Autism Research Centre

I sat in Simon Baron Cohen’s office and noticed it’s simplicity. It was quiet and tidy and had a pleasant feel of an old Cambridge building. It was a sunny day and some of that sun meandered through the window and tickled the walls. There was a poster on the wall detailing something about autism. A picture of a small boy crouched in the corner of a room reflected back my own endless battle to fight the tyranny of extreme introspection.

Mike came in and brought, with him, a macbook. I liked him and I certainly liked that he had a mac. That meant that, at least, I was familiar with the technology needed to help him with his research. We talked mac language for a short while and I explained to him that winning my macbook pro from the ‘Arts Council’ was one of the best things that had ever happened to me. He had set up a research questionnaire on his laptop and, as I sat at the desk, he gently, but firmly, explained what I needed to do. I got it straight away and I was pleased that for the next hour of my life – it looked certain that I wasn’t going to be bored. I hate being bored. I fired through the questions quickly, succinctly, thoughtfully, impressively and with the focus of a brain surgeon. I loved it.

I loved working with all the rese archers at the Cambridge Autism Research Centre. It was the only time in my life when I was tested (very specifically) at a level way beyond the drudgery of rain on a supermarket car park. Over a number of months and as a Volunteer for the centre – I was ecstatic at being allowed to arrange three dimensional cubes into complex two dimensional patterns. who needs maths? I turned the cubes and studied them in split seconds. I became a new character from the ‘X Men’. Each time, the researchers and professionals timed me with a watch. Each time I completed a pattern, almost before they had had time to reset their watches. It was phenomenal – I could see in their faces they knew, too, that it was phenomenal.

I was filmed for research training and asked to make up scenarios and stories from inanimate objects.

With the plastic sealer of a loaf of bread, a toy car, a feather and other tiny, mundane and everyday objects. I told them a story that entranced us all. It had to be a love story because the small plastic bread sealer had a heart shape gap, the gap that firmly holds the twisted end of a white sliced.

I wanted to live there – at the centre. I wanted to be tested like that everyday. I wanted to crawl under Simon’s desk and live there like the small boy in the poster. My experiences of being a volunteer for the centre were precious. are precious. I wore sophisticated equipment on my head while watching films, I answered questions about words and their meanings, I worked on links about Harry Potter, as fictional, and real people. I placed very obscure and rare words in everyday contexts and sentences with ease.  They took a sample of my blood for ‘Hormone and Autism’ research (they asked first). I would like to trust that my contribution was (and is) valuable – Will help the little boy in the poster. Who Knows? – such can never be measured.

At the times of being tested – I felt a completeness that I had rarely felt before. That I am profoundly gifted became ‘normal’ and I allowed myself to stretch out of hiding into the sunlight – without fear of retribution.

Footnote:  Aly Gynn  (Alyster) was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome by Professionals from the Cambridge Autism Research centre. This was in 2004 and he is still a Volunteer to further research. Alyster was ‘formally’ diagnosed with Severe Gender Dysphoria and is a Transsexual Man

Be insentient, I don’t care!

Disability and Difference

When something is different, it is different because it is not the same as something else.

When some thing is not the same as something else it is different.

When something is unlike something else, it is different.

When something is different than most other things and unlike other things – that something which is unlike other things may become… unlikable.

In the worlds of oranges, tractors, spaghetti, gloves, paint boxes and fan heaters – the issue of difference is not an issue. I would guess that each inanimate, insentient object serves some kind of purpose or role. A ‘can opener’ can open cans. The idea that a tin can may be waiting to be opened by another object designed for such a purpose is silly.  Although, designing a tin can that  is self opening could be an interesting pursuit  – the branding of ‘The Tin Can’ wo uld be cool. If someone designed a tin can which could go into a microwave without exploding – it would be called, simply, the ‘CanCan’. I guess, that that ‘someone’ could be me, but I am too busy trying to cook my tea.

But what of people and mice? Being different can be fun. One needs courage to be different. The big eared mouse, Despereaux, didn’t get where he is today by being ordinary. He was unlike other mice and he became unlikable and banished. And then the penguin with his happy dancing feet, what a life!

I, mistakenly, thought that the animated film about Despereaux was going to focus on his tail.

Having Asperger Syndrome often makes me say things that are unexpected and different. I behave, sometimes, in different ways to other people. Sometimes, lots of times, my brain is unlike many many other brains.

It is heart warming to know that we will never, completely, be robots or clones. I trust that being different is like each colour of each raindrop on each dandelion leaf.

Unlike is not Unlikable.