The Redpath Centre's Featured Artists Series: A Celebration of Creativity and Inspiration
Life in the Extreme by Scott MacQuarrie 




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.

Autistics 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 anything.

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.


Scott MacQuarrie, CPP

Certified Professional Photographer

ZWCX Photography

99 Bronte Rd, Suite 123

Oakville, Ontario, Canada   L6L 3B7

Phone: 416-818-4449