Author: Stephen Oliver

The Art of Autism: Dartford’s ‘Spring Exhibition’

“Wow!”  “Fantastic!”  “Amazing!”  “What talent!”  These are just some of the reactions people are having when they visit this exhibition at the Stephen Oliver Studio & Gallery in the Orchards Shopping Centre, Dartford. The exhibition displays over 130 artworks by children and young adults on the autistic spectrum.  The call went out to local schools and individuals to take part.  The result is an exceptional range of work that is as diverse as the contributors.  There are paintings, drawings, sculptures, collages – some small and intimate; some large and collaborative.  Some are eye-poppingly colourful; some are darker and more...

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Dartford to receive visit from Indian Patachitra artists

Internationally renowned arts organisation Kinetika have launched Silk River, an ambitious project which explores the unique relationship between London and Kolkata through artistic exchange between communities along the Thames Estuary and India’s Hooghly River. Silk River culminates in Sept-Dec 2017 with two river walks, where the stories of the 20 communities involved will be revealed to local, national and international audiences, through the reveal of 20 hand-painted Bengali silk scrolls and accompanying performances. Dartford Borough Council Leader Jeremy Kite expressed his excitement at our town being a part of the project, “The prospect of celebrating our river connections and...

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The Art of Autism: Autism Awareness Exhibition in Dartford

Cllr Mandy Garford, a labour parish councillor, and Stephen Oliver, a local artist, have teamed up to do something very special for autism awareness in April. There is something exciting going on, right now, in Dartford!  Children on the autistic spectrum have been invited to create an expression of what autism means to them.  Or maybe just show their talent!  Painting, drawing, creating … some schools have set up special clubs to do the artwork!  Children are already involved, masterpieces are underway! Cllr Mandy Garford has three children of her own who are on the autistic spectrum and has...

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National Autistic Society campaign focuses on employment

The National Autistic Society ‘Too Much Information’ campaign currently focuses on employment. To support this, Helen Allison School are hosting an exciting event. Helen Allison is a school where children are among people who understand autism in a warm, welcoming and autism-friendly environment.  Everyone takes a positive approach to our students – we find out how well they can do, and have the expertise to help them learn and become confident young people. Our main school is based in Meopham, Kent and we have a 14-19 Hub in Longfield, Kent, as well as a residential house in Gravesend. Of The National Autistic Society’s...

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Four Year Old Skyla Wins Design Competition

Skyla Tapping, aged four, was announced the winner of The Orchards Design a Christmas Card Competition last weekend. With the assistance of Stephen Oliver of the Stephen Oliver Gallery, the Orchards asked local children to submit a design for a card that would be used by the shopping centre for Christmas 2016. Of all the many designs submitted, the judging panel unanimously selected Skyla’s as the winning entry and it now appears on the front of all the Orchards Shopping Centre’s cards. Debra Carey, the Centre Manager, commented – ‘We were absolutely delighted with the response we received following...

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Dartford Living December 2017

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