Gallery secures rare work
One of the UK's most celebrated artists opened his only exhibition of new work this year on Deeside at the weekend. Stephen Wiltshire, hailed as a child prodigy, is regarded as one of the world's most talented savant artists. The new display of work, which reflects his ability to capture images he has seen only briefly, went on show at the Phoenix Gallery, Aboyne, yesterday to start a two-month run.
Mr. Wiltshire, now 24, was the subject of a number of documentaries and books about his work after his ability was recognised by teachers at the Queensmill School in London.
He was diagnosed autistic when just three years old, when he had no language and was unable to communicate beyond his own personal world. He was sent to Queensmill two years later, where his incredible aptitude for drawing was noticed by the school's headmistress after he spoke his first word – paper.
On a trip round London in the school bus, he would look at famous buildings for just a few minutes, then draw them from memory back at the school, with the drawings winning numerous awards.
As time developed, he became more communicative and outgoing until he eventually completed a degree course in drawing and painting at the City and Guilds art school in London. He has now gone on to a postgraduate course in the school's print department. A spokeswoman for the Phoenix Gallery said they were very fortunate to be staging the exhibition of new work by Mr. Wiltshire.