Antarctica. The coldest, windiest, driest, highest and most extreme continent on this planet. It's
only been in the last 100 years or so that humans have had the technology to travel and explore Antarctica. It's still poorly
understood today and the subject of almost continuous study.
Life on land in Antarctica is almost non-existent with less than two percent of the continent uncovered by ice. There
are not many creatures that can survive in these conditions and almost all of them leave during the dark, cold Antarctic winter.
Yet, life thrives there in the Antarctica, primarily in the ocean. It is Life in the Extreme.
are also poorly understood, and often isolated from society. Until quite recently, most experts did not think autistics could
even function in society. In many ways, the land of autism is rarely visited and understood by few. Yet, as with Antarctica,
life can thrive there. For visual thinkers, such as myself, we can see things that others often do not or cannot notice. It is Life in the Extreme.
I built this exhibition with three objectives:
(1) To show a remote part of the world and increase our understanding of it;
(2) To demonstrate how an autistic, like myself, sees the world. I can't describe
how a visual thinker experiences a place like Antarctica, but I can show it to you. Through my work, I hope to express the
intensity of experiencing a place like Antarctica. Each piece is designed to capture and express my experience of being there.
(3) Thirdly, and most importantly, I wanted to show my fellow autistics that
we are not broken, we are not disabled, and we are not less than neurotypical people. We can go almost anywhere and do almost
A high functioning autistic has many challenges, but also abilities.
We can focus on tasks with an intensity few can match. We can learn new skills to the expert level and beyond. We have skills
that come with autism. We can learn and focus on tasks far longer than regular people. We can continue learning and enhancing
our skills long past when others would quit in frustration. We are not halfway people and commit with an intensity that few
can understand. We live life in the extreme, but as with the life in Antarctica, we can also thrive.