While browsing the many Facebook Autism groups I belong to I saw the most beautiful piece of art posted, I contacted the artist, David Slater and asked if I could possibly feature some of his work on my website? He agreed, I’m happy to say and I have the pleasure of many pieces of his work in my autistic artists galley.
I became curious about this quiet and extremely talented artist who has never exhibited his work and refuses to sell it, though he is more then happy to generously give it away!
I spoke with him and he agreed to this interview which is a wonderful glimpse Into a very shy and artistically gifted savants life.
Meet David Slater.
I asked David about his diagnosis and what growing up was like for him, he said
“ I have not been diagnosed medically, I was however diagnosed deaf, with learning difficulties, and as a serious maladjusted child.
Having been brought up in social services/childcare none of my history was ever disclosed to me until 40yrs having asked for copies of my social services records.
It was a devastating revelation to discover that – not only was I a ‘twin’ but he passed away a few weeks after birth. Not even my own mother and father had disclosed this information ! Furthermore, in the same paragraph I was shocked to read that I also had died as a child.”
David became interested in drawing as young as aged five and spent a lot of his time sketching and painting, he developed an obsession with dinosaurs which still fascinate him to this day. Regarding his teenage years he remembers,
“No one has ever cared enough regarding this talent and so for a while during adolescence it faded. But it’s something I am passionate about and though I have no academic accomplishment in this field it was my escape a
nd only means of creativity.
My love of art and music has always been with me and has been a godsend, self therapeutic.
I started writing short stories in my teens, but can never remember doing so ! But as a young adult suffering depression it has aided me through some dark and lonely times.
I find the emotive responses I feel when writing poetry are often emotional connections from the past, moments that after months or years are forgott
en deep in the subconscious, flood to the fore and over whelm me physically even though they were long forgotten snippets of a past now faded. I love poetry as equally as I do my artistic abilities. And quite frankly I feel they are ‘all’ I have/am”.
I questioned why, as a plainly gifted artist David has not as yet had an exhibition of his work and if he would ever consider it? I’m n
o art critic but I do know that to me his art is mysterious, colourful, graceful, a visual stimm fest that makes me smile.
In response to this David modestly advised me,
“ I would consider exhibiting but only if my anonymity was not breached in any way, it is very stressful
dealing with social interactions and in group situations I am terribly withdrawn. In a nut shell I would consider it through a second party so to speak, and then simply dealing one on one, although difficult would be the preferred .”
The last question I put to David was about where he saw the autistic community heading in regards to acceptance and the
changes he hopes to see for us in the future.
“ Though it seems that things are moving forward with Autism spectrum disorders
It is a minefield out there when it comes to any Mental/physical disabilities. And I admire those who fight the good fight, But I have little faith in humanity and the complex social structures!” He exclaimed.
It would be wonderful to destroy ‘all’ taboos regarding mental health issues, there are some wonderful human beings ‘like yourself and others’ that are doing remarkable things to help and assist all of those with autistic awareness.
And I Admire all of those people”.
I found David a pleasure to speak to, he kindly gave me these pictures to add of himself and his husband Colin with whom he enjoys travelling the world with, exploring all the wonderful cultures and rich tapestries
of each country they land in.
Seizing the day for as David wisely says,
“ Who can tell what the future holds for any of us?”.
Anyone interested in David art can contact me through the website.