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Art therapy in the chaotic and challenging world of Autism

susmithasusmitha Member Posts: 5 Connected
edited October 2019 in Guest blogs
21 year old Siddharth Gadiyar is a Brighton based artist who has Autism, severe learning difficulty, severe speech and language impairment, Epilepsy, ADHD , PDD and challenging behaviours. Today we chat to his mum Susmitha about his amazing artwork and how art has been a therapeutic way for Siddharth to express himself.  

Sid has always liked to draw and colour on paper, books and magnetic doodle board ever since he was in nursery but his interest in painting started about 4-5 years ago. This interest has flourished and grown from strength to strength at Project Art Works over the last year, where he makes big, bold, vibrant and beautiful pieces of work that we never realised he was capable of.  

This is highly therapeutic for Sid in his otherwise chaotic and challenging world of Autism. Sid struggles and faces numerous difficulties everyday with daily living, self-care and behaviours that challenge. 


Project Art Works (PAW) is the UK’s leading artist led organisation working with people with profound intellectual impairment and complex needs. 

Project Art Works in Hastings provided Sid with a bespoke safe art space and in April this year Sid held his first solo art exhibition at the Phoenix gallery in Brighton. When we visited the exhibition, it was sheer joy! Calm and happiness for Sid and all of us that were around him. It was the most awesome beautiful experience that will remain etched in my memory for a long time to come!  

He walked round all the rooms and paintings feeling them and touching them for about 45 minutes. Sid was touching the paintings just as he touches our face with a lot of feeling, emotions and love! That speaks volumes about Sid’s love and passion for art. 

His art work as you can see truly reflects himself; bold, beautiful, colourful and unpredictable. Art has allowed Sid to express himself and has provided a space for him to escape into. 
 
In one particular piece by Sid, which is my personal favourite and more importantly one of the most touching moments of my life, he wrote "Siddharth love mummy" all over the painting. It was the first time ever that he has conveyed that message to me in words and using art as a medium. 


Sid is blissfully and totally unaware of any of his achievements/talent due to his severe Autism and learning difficulty. Sid lives in the here and now, nothing that happens before and after his painting means anything to him, though he loved seeing his artwork up at his first solo recent exhibition in Brighton! It wasn't a commercial venture but we only just shared Sid’s passion and beautiful work and our joy with the world. Sid has proven that young people with Autism, learning difficulties and challenging behaviours can be creative and need to have access to and be given the right opportunities in life.


The message I would like to share with the world is that there needs to be equal opportunities for young people with challenging behaviours, Autism, Learning Difficulties or mental health issues and not be isolated and marginalised. Every town and city needs a Project Art Works.  

Has art and creativity helped you with your disability? We would love to hear what you think about Sid’s amazing art and also share your experiences of art as a therapy too! 

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    I LOVE Sid's work, thank you so much for sharing @susmitha :)
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,941 Scope community team
    These paintings are incredible @susmitha. I love the third one.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    If you have a few minutes to spare, we'd appreciate your feedback on our online community.
  • AilsAils Community champion Posts: 2,268 Disability Gamechanger
    Fantastic paintings @susmitha and an incredible guest blog so thank you so much for sharing with us.  I really enjoyed reading about Sid's artwork and his incredible journey with this.  Project Art Works sounds like a wonderful project and I'm so glad it is there to support Sid and his marvellous work.  You are such a supportive mum to Sid.  I wish you and Sid well for the future.   :)
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • susmithasusmitha Member Posts: 5 Connected
    edited October 2019
    Thanks dear all.Never giving up hope  and always finding  activities that Sid enjoys and wants to do has been my priority  ever since he finished college 2 years ago .Art and painting is at the top of that list!! Im extremely grateful To PAW and to Sids carers who help support me with sid through every trip.❤️ 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Member - under moderation Posts: 2,882 Member - under moderation
    So inspiring @susmitha! I love your artwork. 
  • BirdsnbeesBirdsnbees Member Posts: 75 Pioneering
    @susmitha gorgeous paintings love it!

    art is and always has been necessary for my survival
  • sunshinesmumsunshinesmum Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you for sharing this. Beautiful work by a very  talented young man.  You must be a very proud Mum. Enjoy!♥️ 
  • susmithasusmitha Member Posts: 5 Connected
    Thanks dear all.Sid has gone through very difficult and challenging last several years and art has brought some much needed happiness and peace in his life and ours even though he still faces various challenges everyday.We havent commercialised his art and arent selling anything .I only share all his work online for friends ,family ,carers (old and new ) and wider autism / special needs community to be inspired or simply just enjoy seeing! He is prolific! ❤️❤️❤️
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