Iris Grace is an inspiration to us all. At only 3 and a half years of age, she's already selling her artwork in exhibitions in England and inspiring families and fellow autistic patients. Working with the National Autistic Society, Arabella Carter-Johnson helps her passionate daughter with her artwork and supports Iris' dreams as a child.
Iris Grace uses nature around her to inspire her work and what incredible work she makes. Iris Grace is autistic; she can't speak and has trouble interacting with people, and yet all her feelings are put into art using dabs, dots, stamps, and other painting equipment. Iris has been painting since March of this year, even though it looks like she's been painting for years.
"I go to the cupboard and take out the paint bottles and she indicates which color she would like to be made up. If the color isn't there, she will find an item that is that color to show me what she wants to be mixed. She has also started to make up her own colors, dipping brushes from mug to mug and watching the color change then using it on the paper," explains Iris' mother, Arabella.
"If I notice she isn’t interested anymore in the painting, I will ask her if it's finished and if there is no response I start to take it off the table and I have somewhere in my office where I store them. She will either stop me doing that if it's not finished or let it go. She sometimes does a little jig/dance to indicate she is pleased with it and sometimes she will take a piece back to the table if she feels it needs more."
Arabella started selling Iris' work by posting them on Facebook and after one of her wedding clients bought one, more and more people were interested and started buying the paintings. "She has a great attention for details and concentration span," says Arabella. When I asked her where Iris got her inspiration from, she beautifully said, "Inspiration comes from nature I think, trees, flowers, wind, and water."
"She beams with excitement and joy when I get out the paints, it lifts her mood every time. She has found a way of expressing herself that is so beautiful, so we wanted to share it and thereby raise awareness of her condition, which is currently affecting around 100,000 children in the UK and these numbers are rising," says Arabella.
Working with the National Autistic Society and the Autism Research Trust, Arabella and Iris are planning a solo exhibition in London this November and will also be having an online auction of the paintings.
Iris Grace is an inspiration to us all and is truly a gift from above.
For more information visit Iris' website at www.irisgracepainting.com
– Adnan Al-Timimi