Meet Towradgi's own little 'Jackson Pollock': photos, video

In rainbow-spattered clothes, seven-year-old Aiden Campbell climbs the ladder in his Towradgi backyard and disappears inside his cubby house, where the paints are.

It is a technique he developed himself, to stand at the fort window and let colour drip onto paper below.

With the family cats and chickens looking on, he can stay for hours making paintings like this; a pint-sized Jackson Pollock.

"Art is very calming for him," said Aiden's mother, Simone.

"He'll spend all day doing it - this is his world."

The cherubic blond Towradgi Public School student is having his first exhibition, True Colours, at a Wollongong gallery in August.

The showing is aimed at raising awareness of children with learning and memory disabilities - like Aiden himself, who has a mild form of autism.

The condition seems to amplify Aiden's creativity but renders him unable to remember more than about 4 per cent of what he hears and sees. He grows frustrated at his limitations and is prone to outbursts.

Mrs Campbell organised the exhibition as a way for the outside world to see a different side to Aiden.

"Every autistic kid I know has a beautiful side to them," she said.

‘‘That's what people should see, not this very frustrated, lost boy that people don’t understand."

In the past 18 months, Aiden has produced about 70 paintings and drawings - riotous abstract creations with names such as Exploding Rainbow and Candy Land.

Given free rein in a recent private art lesson, he flung paint, tore his paper apart and pressed the still-wet surfaces together.

He admires Pollock and is eager to try the influential American's method of swinging leaky, paint-laden containers over canvas.

On a family trip to Paris and London earlier this year, he spent days touring the Musee d'Orsay, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Rodin Museum.

"He was more interested in museums than Disneyland," Mrs Campbell said. "We spent four hours in Tate Modern and even then he didn't want to leave."

True Colours is at Wollongong's Now You See Me Gallery from August 25 to September 5.


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