Abstract Artist Explores Asperger’s Syndrome in a Thought-Provoking Exhibit

(READING, Berkshire, February 25th, 2017) – Mahlia Amatina will be introducing her newest art exhibition, On a Spectrum – an exploration of Asperger’s syndrome, at The Peacock Gallery in Reading, Berkshire (UK) from 25th Feb – 16th March.

Known for her desire to immerse herself fully in her subject matter, Amatina’s intimate relationship with her exhibit evolved from her personal experience as an adult who was diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2015. This ‘late’ diagnosis has added a unique authenticity to this enlightening and ambitious project.

After learning of her condition, Amatina studied current research related to Asperger’s and began to attend a support group for adults who had been diagnosed with the status as an adult.

Per Amatina, “I was keen to hear more from others and how they experience their Asperger’s. I decided to create a questionnaire that would then lead on to an art exhibition. I wanted to be able to tell our story.”

Her approach was to inspire respondents to complete her questionnaire by hand and to use ‘mark-making’ as a way to illustrate their primary Asperger traits. ‘Mark-making’ in this context means using any line, dash, shape or symbol – anything non-literal – to describe how someone experiences their Asperger’s condition. They were also encouraged to include any colors that represented their experiences. Completed surveys were returned to her from the UK, Europe, Asia, and the United States.

In developing the exhibition, Amatina compiled their responses, along with her personal introspection, to create paintings, videos and creative writings. Per Amatina, “The narrative came to life, as an Asperger’s community came together to help inform the art.”

With an increasing number of adults being diagnosed with Asperger’s, Consultant Neuropsychologist Dr. Trevor Powell comments that “there is a greater awareness of the condition, in particular through the media.” The expert who has been diagnosing adults with Asperger’s for more than ten years is attending the private view and looks forward to the exhibition: “I’m very excited to see the outcome of this hugely impressive art project.”

The National Autistic Society estimates that there are currently around 700,000 people living with autism in the UK. Autism is more evident in a child than in an adult. As an adult, those with Asperger’s are often perceived as being only ‘quirky’ and having difficulty connecting with others in social interactions. Many are also preoccupied with particular interest that borders on obsessive. Most of them are exceptionally intelligent with unique gifts. In some cases, the reaction they experience as someone who is different than the norm leads to anxiety and depression and a diminished opportunity to fit in the community.

On a Spectrum – an Exploration of Asperger’s Syndrome is a creative, provoking and inspiring exhibit that calls awareness to the challenges and opportunities that an adult with Asperger’s faces.

For more information, contact Mahlia Amatina at +447725 366966 or email at mahliaamatina@gmail.com.

Amatina interviews Dr. Trevor Powell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAoZCvbhyQY

Amatina talks about the exhibition and its background: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzFSoExiB1U