Art and Autism

  • Harrison Halker Heinks

MSP Terminal 1, Gate C1

Artist Statement:

I have autism, and I see the world very differently than most. I notice the smallest details that most
people ignore and people tend to ignore me because I have a disability. One way I see myself existing
in this world is by capturing my reflection in everyday scenarios. My work is reminiscent of
twentieth-century street photographers like Lee Friedlander and Vivian Maier. I insert myself subtly
yet deliberately in my images through shadow and reflection. Because my autism can be a barrier for
me to relate to the “normal” world, when I capture my reflection in a window, the glass acts as a
barrier to whatever is behind the window. In my artwork, the things behind the reflection are my
representation of the ordinary world; I live in the glass, being caught in another plane that runs
parallel to the world in which everyone else lives. By capturing my image in this “in-between” state,
I’m reinventing myself in a way that the outside world cannot ignore me anymore. By looking at my
work, I am present in their world. Being present is what motivates me to create.

I also use a variety of inanimate objects to express how it feels to live with autism. An abandoned
building can show a sense of loneliness or chaos, but there is also a sense of beauty, longevity, and
resilience. Sometimes the world judges harshly on things. These objects have a history, knowledge,
and beauty that only comes with time.

  • Created: December 30, 2019
  • Collections: Exhibitions (Past)

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