Friends, families and carers of the autistic spectrum individuals who had created collaged portraits of Famous Faces of Hull gathered at Kardomah94 in Hull on the afternoon of Sunday 9 July 2017 for a private view of the exhibition officially opened by BBC Radio Humberside broadcaster Sally Fairfax.
The stunning works of art on show were all created by local Hull people on the autistic spectrum who attended a series of sessions led by artist Emma Wilson to make the series of artworks of famous faces using found and everyday objects and traditional art materials along with their carers, enabling 91 to participate directly in Hull City Of Culture 2017.
These art therapy sessions help those on the autistic spectrum gain confidence in meeting and greeting new people, create an extended social network with others in a relaxed and calm environment, develop fine motor skills, eliminate trigger thoughts to anxiety by concentrating and processing, and develop a proud sense of achievement upon completing the art work and seeing it on public display.
Portraits included poet Philip Larkin, aviator Amy Johnson, slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce, BBC Face of Hull Kofi Smiles and Karen Briggs MBE, Judo World and European medallist and Olympic finalist who was there in person to appreciate the detailed work that had gone into creating her likeness in collage.
The exhibition is open to the public at Kardomah94, 94 Alfred Gelder St, Hull, HU1 2AN, for one month from 9 July 2017 before it transfers to the Halifax for 4 weeks.
Thorne-based art workshop and café Artistic Spectrum was awarded an EN:Able Fund grant of £4,910 in 2016 in support of this project to enable them to extend the range of their work in the region.
Emma Wilson, leader and founder of Artistic Spectrum said, “We are very grateful for the funding from Enable which has not only opened a new environment and sessions to lots of local children and adults with autism but also created a proud sense of achievement seeing the artwork exhibited as part of the Hull City Of Culture 2017."
Efficiency North Social Value Manager Paul Mitchell commented, "It's great to see such a fantastic outcome for this project, and how many positives for local people have been delivered through the EN:Able grant. I would recommended a visit to Kardomah94 to see this outstanding contribution to the City of Culture. Well done to everyone involved."