Don’t fear the meltdown, 2018

Ink on paper
841 x 594 mm

“‘Don’t fear the meltdown’ is not actually about my fear—I’m fine with it, but the general public is scared of the meltdown.” — Prue Stevenson

This process-based travel text work by Prue Stevenson addresses the social pressure often experienced by autistic people to conform to non-autistic ‘norms’ of public behaviour. On these folded segments of paper, Stevenson recorded daily instances of sensory overload by repeatedly writing the phrase “don’t fear the meltdown”. Autistic meltdowns are involuntary responses to an overwhelming experience and can be triggered and exacerbated by social situations and environments that are disabling to autistic people. In light of this, Stevenson’s travel-worn notes document a life-affirming action in defiance of disabling society.