‘When he paints, he’s at peace’
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.”