Within The Light
From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Within the Light portrays Max, a four-year-old autistic boy, and his relationship with light and shadow. For endless periods of time, Max observes and explores light. Many autistic individuals share this fascination, derived from a unique visual development that increases their sensitivity to light. Rather than playing with toys, autistic children often engage with light, reflections and textures.
After receiving a child-safe digital camera, Max began to photograph. The results have inspired me to think about how Max experiences light, color and motion. My photographs paired with Max’s convey both what I can see and what I might not ever understand: how light and shadow cast a universe where he is the sole dreamer.
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. Autism Spectrum Disorders increased 23% in the last three years, affecting 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys.