Monday, September 17, 2012

Richard Wawro

Autism Light #226 is Richard Wawro.

Richard Wawro was a legally blind Scottish artist who had autism and is known as a savant for his amazing memory that he used to enhance an equally outstanding ability as an artist. Richard Wawro was born in 1952 and died on February 22, 2006 from cancer. You may read Richard Wawro's Obituary for more details of his life and death. His work was revered by the United Kingdom, including treasured by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Richard Wawro is an autism light for his positive representation of amazing abilities some people with autism have. He will be added posthumously to the Autism Light Memorial Roll.

Richard Wawro's Wikipedia page shares additional things about his life.  According to his Wikipedia page:
Wawro was the son of Tadeusz and Olive Wawro; his father was a Polish military officer and civil engineer who had settled as a librarian in Fife, and his mother a Scottish schoolteacher. He was diagnosed as "moderately to severely retarded" at the age of three, a condition later recognised as autism.  He did not learn to speak before the age of 11 and required eye surgery to remove cataracts, which left him with sufficiently poor eyesight to be classed as legally blind (Source).
The following is a video about the amazing work of Richard Wawro with excerpts from a feature called With Eyes Wide Open that was produced by Dr. Laurence A. Becker.

One of the positive elements in Richard Wawro's life was his parents unconditional love. In a sense they were the unsung Autism Light so that Richard could be a light also.

For Richard art was his life and his love. He took pride in his talent and loved to share it. At the completion of each picture Richard would take it to his father for approval and then received appropriate and deserved compliments, followed by a mini-celebration in which he and his father raised joined hands in a sort of present-day high-five. He and his father shared an unmistakeable enthusiasm and appreciation for each other. Richard's mother, who also loved and appreciated him unconditionally, died in 1979 but in spite of their closeness, Richard's work did not stop. Richard's father died in 2002 (Source).

A memorial website page is maintained for Richard Wawro at From this page one may also order prints of his orginal work. According to his memorial website Richard, "earned widespread acclaim for his detailed drawings created with the unusual medium of wax oil crayons. With these he produced exceedingly detailed, dramatic images of intense depth and colour (Source)."

Autism Light honors the memory of Richard Wawro and hopes that the story of his life will be an encouragement to others. His influence extended throughout the United Kingdom and to other parts of the world. For more information on artists with autism visit the Autism Light Art page.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

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