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Autistic Savant Sets Sights on Sydney

embraceaustraliaadmin | Monday, April 26th, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Stephen Wiltshire does his drawings from memory.

Stephen Wiltshire does his drawings from memory.

A British artist with a unique ability to draw detailed city skylines from memory is to travel to Australia this week in order to sketch one of Australia’s most famous cityscapes – Sydney.

Stephen Wiltshire from London was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Now aged 36 he makes his living from his art, highly detailed and accurate drawings of cityscapes that he produces after looking at them for just a few minutes.

His talents are already known worldwide and he has produced some stunning panorama drawings of London, Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai, Jerusalem and New York – the latter is over 6 metres long and was produced after a single helicopter ride over the city lasting just 20 minutes. He uses no visual aides, his drawings are completely taken from memory. “From memory, and I draw it from the memory about, a few times.” He says in his blog.

Stephen was invited to travel to Australia by Autism Spectrum Australia to mark Autism month in Australia. He was due to arrive last week but his flight to Australia was delayed by the volcano. He finally arrived last Friday. He will be touring Sydney to take in the sights before starting his incredible drawings. On his blog he spoke of his excitement at visiting Australia: “Finally, I am off to Sydney. It is the best birthday present!”

Tomorrow morning he will be climbing to the top of Sydney Tower to see an aerial view of the city. Such excursions give him the time he needs to memorise the size, shape and dimensions of the buildings he then recreates so accurately.

Stephen has already drawn an accurate view of the Sydney Opera House which is for sale on his website, The Stephen Wiltshire Gallery, as well as other sketches and drawings of landmarks in London, Chicago, New York, Paris and Venice.

If you want to see Stephen drawing his panoramic view of Sydney – live! – then head on over to Customs House in Sydney from the 27th of April where you can see this extraordinary talent unfold and view some of his previous artworks.

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