Student wins national art award for painting

Michael, a third-year National Star student, has won a national award for his painting.

A National Star student has won a national award for his painting.

Michael Baillon is a third-year student at National Star in Cheltenham.

The 21-year-old, who has autism, has always loved drawing and painting. He spends hours creating intricate paintings and says his autism allows him to see the world in a way different from others.

He won silver in the Youth 2D Art category of the Unique Art Awards, a national competition run by the Mouth and Foot Painting Trust Fund to encourage young people with disabilities to develop their creativity.

The acrylic painting is entitled ‘The Anchor of One’s Self’. It features a large anchor in a sea inhabited by creatures. On the top of the anchor is a bustling town.

‘We have all come to assume that trust is an eternal force that connects individuals, but the form of trust that no one knows about is the trust in one’s self,’ said Michael.

‘The mountains at the base of the anchor represent the physical strength that keeps our heads held high, the creatures that pass by are the personification of various emotions and the marine vegetation that cling on to the sides of the anchor’s mighty surface represent a sense of calm that we all have inside.’

‘Michael is an incredibly talented artist who has very independent ideas and thoughts,’ said Louise Adams, Art Tutor at National Star.

‘This award is richly deserved and it was a great accomplishment for Michael. And although his anxieties prevented him from attending the awards ceremony itself, he has dealt with the attention since, very positively.’

Louise has worked with Michael to develop new techniques and skills in his art and to help him develop ways to manage his own behaviour.

Michael, when he leaves National Star in July, hopes to go on to study art at mainstream college and possibly university.

Find out more

Discover our Creative and Performing Arts programmes at National Star.

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