June 14, 2015

New competition for people with autism – People with autism are being given a chance to show off their many creative talents by entering a new national art competition.  The competition is open to all age groups.

The theme of the Creative Future competition is ‘art and technology’.  Entrants are invited to show how art and technology can be combined to create show-stopping artworks in any medium imaginable.

There will be two rounds of judging. All entries that make it through to the finals will be exhibited at Autech 2015, a national conference focusing on autism and assistive technologies, to be held on 1 October at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester.  The shortlisted entries will be judged by autism champion and art patron Dame Stephanie Shirley and winners will be chosen on the day.

Competition organiser Dave Smith said, “When you put art and technology together, the sky’s the limit.  How about making a model animal out of cables and circuit boards, crocheting a space ship, sculpting a robot out of clay, sketching a futuristic car or building a papier maché jet engine.  Or you could use the latest computer software to create a unique artwork or even copy a Van Gogh. Anything goes –  and we predict that we’ll be amazed by the sheer ingenuity of the competition entries.”

Dave continued, “People with autism enjoy art because there’s never a right or a wrong answer.  They can be free to express themselves without fear of being different. In fact, differences, quirks and special interests are celebrated in an artistic environment.  It’ll be the same with our competition.”

Art therapists note that people with autism who take part in one-to-one sessions can experience many benefits. Some of these are practical – their fine motor skills can be improved through the concentrated use of their hands. However, they can also learn how to think symbolically and tap into their imaginations.

Dave said, “Some people I’ve worked with have a magnificent artistic talent, but the majority need to be motivated and encouraged by highly trained staff. Whatever the ability level, it’s a calming, relaxing experience, allowing people to work at their own pace and express themselves.”

How to enter the competition:

Photos, scans or links to the artwork should be emailed to Dave.Smith@AuTech2015.co.uk by 21 August 2015.  Entrants should also include a completed information sheet, which can be downloaded from: www.autech2015.co.uk/creativefuture.  Shortlisted applicants will be informed by 4 September and their artwork will be displayed at the conference on 1 October, when final judging will take place.

Applicants may also post their photos or scans to:

Dave Smith/AuTech, Wirral Centre for Autism, 6 Tebay Road, Bromborough, Wirral, CH62 3PA

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