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News from the Hoffmann Foundation Autism charity London - Hoffmann Foundation

Art Exhibition Account

Written on 19th October 2013 by Hoffmann Staff

An Account of the Private View of our Competition and Exhibition at Bruce Castle on Saturday 12th of October 2013.



     Over 100 people turned up to see the walls of the gallery filled with the work of artists who are all on the spectrum. A large number of those present were on the spectrum and it was inspiring to hear their stories and see their pictures.


Jim O’Shea a volunteer with the Hoffmann Foundation’s art service since the last competition, who has Asperger Syndrome, gave a very moving talk on his life and explained how he had composed his picture as a reflection upon his spectrum condition, which had won the competition in 2011. He was followed by Dr. Claire Penketh of Liverpool Hope University who has written on the discouraging effect of the contemporary school’s art curriculum on people with dyspraxia, a condition common in asc’s.


Her talk was called ‘The Art of the Skilful Hand’ and she developed the theme of exclusion and denial of an artistic outlet to those who couldn’t draw figuratively and concluded that the conflation of representational ‘skill’ with the concept of creativity was harmful to their creative and emotional development.


She was followed by the Mayor of Haringey who together with the curator of the gallery Robert Waite, presented the prizes. They began by handing out 11 Highly Commended Certificates with a prize of a battery operated pencil sharpener, a small sketch book and a box of Staedtler Graphite pencils of various grades, provided by the generosity of Mrs & Mr. Nadine and Sean Shepley and Jim O’Shea. Those prize winners who were not able to be present will be sent their prizes by post. 


After this came the presentation of The Harry Horne-Roberts Prize for an Animal Drawing by Harrys’ parents, Kieth and Jenny Horne Roberts. This was won by Matthew Elliott for his untitled picture showing dragons and other mythical creatures struggling in the firmament against a backdrop of mountains. Mr. & Mrs. Roberts expressed the view that in their judgement Matthews’ picture would have been very much appreciated by their son, who passed away in 2010. Matthew lives near Coventry and a cheque for £100.00 will be sent to him.


Then the major prizes, provided by the generosity of Dame Stephanie Shirley, were handed out by the Mayor. Third Prize of £150.00 was won by Oliver Chan for his painting called ‘The View of Brighton Pier’ a well executed seascape with an intriguing motif in the foreground. Oliver explained in an artists’ statement that his picture was a reminiscence of a pleasant interlude in his life during the summer.


Second Prize was given to Theo Attah for his drawing of a ‘Stag’ in Conte Crayon. Unfortunately Theo was unable to collect his prize but a cheque for £350.00 will be sent to him imminently. Theo’s pixillated drawing was one of a series of African and other animals that will eventually form part of Theo’s second one-person show.


Finally we came to the First Prize awarded to Lucy North for her remarkable portrait of her sister Sophie. Lucy was present and can be seen in the pictures accompanying this letter accepting her prize from the Mayor.


Below is a list of the names and pictures awarded prizes by seven judge’s. In order to be as fair as possible and see that no one’s effort was completely ignored no one was allowed to win more than one prize, where an artist was found to have scored highly in several categories the highest score was recognised with a prize and any other scores were ignored. The judging was carried out by a group of individuals who are either on the spectrum and/or disabled and/or artists and/or have knowledge of asc’s and/or knowledge of art history etc. They awarded points out of 20 to the pictures that they liked best with the highest number of points going to the preferred artists. In this way a consensus was reached; artists who unfortunately fell out of the final reckoning (but including prize winners), have been given or sent a ‘Certificate of Great Merit’ which it is hoped will be some consolation to them. I ought to add that the standard this year was very high indeed and that many attractive and intriguing works were recognised as such but that there were just not enough prizes to go around. Here’s a list of all the prize winners and their scores:




Title of Picture



Lucy North




Theo Attah




Oliver Chan

View of Brighton Pier




Ian Wilson

Art Coordinator

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