Five-Year-Old Artist Raises Autism Awareness

Iris Grace at work Via: Artist's website

Five-year-old art prodigy, Iris Grace, has become a major hit with collectors, the Independent reports. The Leicestershire native suffers from autism and her nature-inspired work has significantly expanded awareness for the disorder, which affects an estimated 1 percent of the world population.

Grace’s paintings can now reportedly fetch several thousand pounds each, funds that her mother puts towards buying further art supplies and paying for her child’s therapy. According to her mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson, making the artworks is a form of therapy in and of itself.

She told the Independent that viewers’ comparisons of Grace’s work to Impressionists like Monet are flattering, but that art world notoriety isn’t so important. Rather, “For us […] the joy that Iris gets from creating her pieces is the highlight, how it changes her mood, how happy it makes her,” she said.

As for Grace’s inspiration, her mother says the budding painter “will watch water, trees, wind, leaves, flowers, birds, clouds … she is so interested in movement and how it changes things.” Her cat, Thula, is also a favorite subject.

Art and other creative activities have been cited numerous times for their efficacy in managing and even helping treat disorders on the autism spectrum. Aside from painting, Grace is reportedly a great lover of music, with her mother telling the paper that particularly classical violin “was the one thing that always calmed her.”


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