bulletchessThe winners of the third annual CREATE! Art for Autism awards have been chosen from a field of over 800 entries showcasing the best in autistic art.

CREATE! is open to youngsters between 11 and 25 with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), celebrating their often overlooked creativity and rewarding them with a digital tablet and CREATE! artbox for their school or organisation.

The competition has attracted the support of some well known sporting names, including the British and Irish Lions Captain Sam Warburton who said: “This competition is a fantastic way for autistic youngsters to express themselves, and to show how creative they can be. It's also great that the competition is driven from Wales.”

‘Give each piece identity’ ~
One of the main 5 winners was 19-year-old Michael Gregory, who triumphed in the 3D Art category with his work Bullet Chess Pieces (pictured). After receiving his award, Michael said: “The design for my chess pieces originated from an interest in military hardware which took the form of bullets. From this inspiration I created a unique shape for the individual pieces adding decoration to give each piece identity."

The full list of winners were:
2D: Alexander Fox-Robinson; Joseph Brown
3D: Michael Gregory; Highly commended: George Auckland-Down
Poetry: Danny Quinn; Highly commended: Barnaby Harrison
Digital Photography: Dangloush Brooks; Highly commended: Callum Smith
Digital Animation: Matthew Dixon; Highly commended: Emily Perrett

People's Choice Award
There was also a People’s Choice Award, made by online public vote, which went to 14-year-old Callum Smith with his photograph of his dog Titus Twinkle Toes.

Callum said: “I am starting to experiment with photography. I saved up my birthday money to buy my first camera. My picture is of my dog Titus, he is a British Bulldog. Titus is my best friend; he drools, chews my shoes and loves eating.”

All entrants received a certificate of creativity, the 41 finalists received a £25 Amazon voucher, and all those highly commended received a £50 Amazon voucher.

Standard gets better and better
Jane Asher, President of the National Autistic Society and renowned actress and author, said “This is the third year of CREATE! Art for Autism and the standard just gets better and better.

"It’s so difficult to judge these tremendous pieces of work against each other, but we were there to find winners, and are very pleased with the selection we’ve made. It’s truly inspirational to see how much creativity oozes out of these autistic young people, and enabling them to express themselves through art makes this competition such a worthwhile project."

To see all the finalists this year, go to www.createartforautism.co.uk