Leicester Mercury

‘When he paints, he’s at peace’

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When Siddharth Gadiyar, 22, jumped from the first-floor window of his college, he was unhurt, but it marked the end of his formal education. Sid lives with autism, ADHD, and severe learning disabiliti­es and speech and language impairment­s.

But he is also an impressive artist and has even hosted a month-long exhibition in his home town of Brighton. “He used to doodle and love crayons as a child, but I had no idea he was this amazing artist,” says his mother Susmitha. “He can’t read or write, and he struggles to understand complicate­d sentences, but when he paints he’s at peace.

Sid’s artistic talents were discovered when he began to attend Project Art Works, a National Lottery-funded collective of neurodiver­se artists and activists that’s based in Hastings. “He has so many challengin­g behaviours, I didn’t think they’d take him,” says Susmitha. “But when I explained these to Tim at Project Art Works, he just told me to bring him.”

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