Cultivating spaces for extraordinary artists


Today I caught the 11.53am Virgin train from Birmingham New St to Shrewsbury, it's not a train I normally catch.  I found a seat and started to eat the meal deal I had picked up in the station, when you asked if you could sit in the chair opposite mine.  I said yes, of course.  The rest of the seats were taken by other passengers who barely registered they were sitting next to another person.

I got out the Metro newspaper to see if I could finish the 'challenging' Sodoku puzzle, something I never quite seem to be able do, occasionally I looked of the window, I noticed you looking around and out of the window a lot.

When we got to Wellington you asked me what the time was, so I told you 12.38.  You then asked me if the next stop was Shrewsbury.  I said yes, and asked if you had not been to Shrewsbury before.  You told me that you were from Wales and that you had literally just come out of prison. I said I bet you are looking forward to going home, your face lit up, you told me you had been inside for three years.

So we started a conversation and you told me that you have ADHD, Aspergers and anger issues and that next week you have an interview for a job as a bin man.  I asked if there was anything you wanted to do, but you couldn't get past the fact that you would be a bin man.  So I asked you if you liked art.  Your face lit up again, you told me you have a GCSE in art and that you had a good art tutor in prison.  Then you got your bag and pulled out a sheaf of drawings and paintings. You told me they were just sketches, I told you to always to hold on to your art and that it may take you places you hadn't imagined.  I could see that you have a talent that is begging to be developed.  

I gave you my card and told you that DASH worked with Disabled Artists and told you to contact me when you are settled back home. I'm really glad I talked to you today, I hope that you get in touch and that at the very least you had a good experience on your first day out.

Paula Dower