An artist's memory

Panorama of an artist's memory - Daily Advertiser

THINK you’ve got a good memory? Good enough to draw a city skyline like Sydney after gazing at it for only a few minutes? Acclaimed London artist Stephen Wilshire’s is.

He’ll be in Sydney this week to show off his extraordinary talent for drawing cities in intricate detail. The 36-year-old artist, who was diagnosed with autism when he was three, hopes to produce a poster-size pen and ink drawing of the harbour city after examining its skyline for just 20 minutes.

He’s already impressed many around the world with his large-scale intricate panoramas of New York and London.

Before drawing those two world-famous cities, he memorised the position and size of hundreds of buildings and landmarks while on 20-minute helicopter rides. His four-metre long panorama of London on a curved canvas took five days to complete in 2007, with not one sneak peak at a photograph of the city for help. Last October he followed up with a jaw-dropping 5.5 metre-long drawing of New York City, including the Empire State Building, which took just three days.

When he arrives in Australia, one of Mr Stephen’s first stops will be Sydney Tower so he can gain a birds-eye view of the skyline before getting down to work at Customs House today.

Sitting in his tiny studio perched in a loft above his gallery on London’s famous Pall Mall, the quietly spoken artist was excited about his first visit to Australia. ‘I have never been there before,’ Mr Stephen said. ‘I wanted to go because it’s a nice, beautiful city. It’s going to be amazing.’

Mr Stephen was invited to Sydney by Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) to mark autism month.

His arrival was delayed by more than a week because of the recent disruption to air travel in Europe following the Icelandic volcano eruption.


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