At first glance this image looks like me being silly with aliens again. However, this time, the “alien” is representative of somebody affected by Asperger’s Syndrome or other autism spectrum disorders.
To be affected by Asperger’s is to suffer a form of “social blindness” and extreme difficulty in comprehending human social behaviour. The person from an early age feels cut off from the rest of humanity, unable to form social bonds, and utterly confused by the necessity for social rituals. They are truly aliens in an incomprehensible world. Along with the social difficulties come extremes of sensitivity, both emotional and sensory. A mildly pleasant scent to a “neurotypical” person can be a cloying, toxic stench to an “Aspie”. They can hear ultrasonic frequencies such as those emanating from electronic equipment and fluorescent lighting, and loud noises and extremes of temperature are disorienting and felt like physical blows.
So, pity the Asperger/autistic person who needs to have a haircut. They find themselves trapped in a jangling environment of bright lights and eye-watering fumes with a noose around the neck. A well-meaning if misguided stranger is prattling and chattering at them in pointless small-talk while yanking and sawing painfully at their skull. The place is full of mirrors, awful and confronting for a person who loathes making eye contact. Don’t even mention the screaming, infernal blast of the hairdryer. It may as well be a power drill. And to add insult to injury, one has to fork out cash for the whole horrible procedure.
And yet, this salon routine is something women are universally supposed to love. With this image I’m attempting to show the experience of going to the hairdresser in a very different light to the norm. For some people, it’s nothing short of agonizing torture.
This was a very complex project comprising Poser renders, Bryce renders, Wacom brushwork and a lot of post-production using The Gimp.