Ferenc is an autistic gentleman and although bilingual, he chooses not to speak, instead communicating mainly through his own dialect of signing. Ferenc lives at The Maples in Reading – a centre run by The Disabilities Trust to provide support for adults with autistic spectrum conditions and individuals with complex needs who might challenge alternative services. Since living at The Maples, Ferenc enjoys a much broader range of interests and has shown a considerable reduction in frustrated and self-injurious behaviour that he exhibited in the past.
As part of World Autism Awareness Week 26 March – 2 April, The Disabilities Trust want to celebrate Ferenc’s considerable artistic talents. As an artist, Ferenc has tended to go through periods of working with different mediums, including clay, plastics, chalk, flint, photography and even moulds of his own teeth.
Currently Ferenc has immersed himself in bright, visually spectacular themes. This includes making collages based on colourful print outs of cartoon and computer game images, which appears to have encouraged Ferenc to rekindle his hand-writing skills, in order to record and re-locate internet source material.
However, working with glass is Ferenc’s main interest. He has attends glass-blowing classes and with the help of his benefactor, Dr. Dinah Murray, Ferenc now has his own glass cutting equipment and kiln at The Maples, which he uses daily.
Mark Lock, Activities Coordinator at The Maples said:
We would like to thank Ricky Keech of Creative Vibe Glassblowing, who provided Ferenc with a special day of one-to-one tuition and also accommodated Ferenc’s quite demanding work ethic in the studio.
An article written by Dr. Murray, in which she describes her friendship with Ferenc and his artistic development, over more than twenty years, can be viewed at: http://www.larry-arnold.net/Autonomy/index.php/autonomy/article/view/AR6/html