"Seeing it my way" exhibition celebrates local artists with autismFriday, 3 May, 2019
An exhibition of art featuring works by local children and adults with autism was held in Bath at the Guildhall and Bath Spa University during Autism Awareness Week (1-7 April).
The creation of the exhibition was sparked by an idea from Seb Potts, aged 8, a pupil at the Margaret Coates Centre in Bath. Team Leader Michael Bogg worked with others to coordinate the exhibition which demonstrated how powerful visual art can be as a creative means of expression.
Michael said: “It has been a wonderful event that has brought together a wide range of services and schools. Seeing the pride of the artists and their families in showing their work, and the confidence they have gained from this experience, has been a real pleasure. I hope that this is the first of what will become an annual event providing the opportunity to showcase some truly remarkable artists to the city of Bath and beyond.”
Autism is a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. There are over 700,000 children and adults in the UK with autism, with around three million family members and carers. Autism Awareness Week is a time to celebrate and support diversity, call out discrimination and commit to enabling those with autism in our communities to realise their full potential.
The art exhibition was the largest collaboration of its kind in the South West. Several local schools, both primary and secondary, took part: the Margaret Coates Centre, St Philips CofE Primary School, Fosseway Special School, Venturers Academy, Mendip School and Ralph Allen and Oldfield secondary schools. The National Autistic Society adult services from Weston-Super-Mare and Somerset Court also contributed along with a collection of artists with autism called Autistic Eye. Parents of children and young people with autism made contributions as well.
The exhibition was staged across two locations: The Guildhall Bath, which hosted a reception for some of the artists, and Bath Spa University's Newton Park campus.
Dr Sally Griffin, Bath Spa University’s Widening Participation and Access Manager said, “It’s vital that opportunities are made available to showcase the excellent work that our local specialist schools, and other organisations, are doing to help people with autism to flourish. The art on display was so impressive and the artists of all ages were rightly proud to have taken part.”