Filmmaker Rupert Ward-Lewis directed a short film of Iris Grace, a five-year old artist with Autism and an incredible gift. He captures her floating in her world, a fairytale of pastel English gardens and soft green pastures, and follows her as she perceives through her surroundings and creates vibrant landscapes likened to Monet.
Iris is slowly learning to speak, and it was along with her speech therapy that her parents gradually introduced her to painting and discovered her amazing talent. When painting, she has exceptional focus and an attention to detail and color that is extraordinary–not just for her age but for a painter. She and her mother have found a system for her sessions, which she details on her website, with charming things like Iris finding objects of a certain color if the colors her mother presents are missing one. She often mixes her own hues as well, her mother says, “…Dipping brushes from mug to mug and watching the colour change then using it on the paper, sometimes even mixing on the paper itself.”
Iris has not only found a way to express herself through her astonishing gift but is also bringing awareness to the some 100,000 cases of Autism in children in the UK. As a poorly-understood neurological disorder, organizations like the Autism Research Trust and the National Autistic Society are instrumental to “early intervention, education and support [which are] critical in enabling children and young people with autism to lead fulfilling lives.”