Stephen Wiltshire is one of Britain’s leading artists – heralded as an ‘autistic savant’ as an early age, and famous as a memory artist.
Born in London to West Indian parents, as a child he was mute and did not relate to other human beings. He was diagnosed as autistic: he had no language, uncontrolled tantrums and lived entirely in his own world. He was sent to London’s Queensmill School for children with special needs, where it was noticed that the only pastime he enjoyed was drawing. It soon became apparent he communicated with the world through the language of drawing; first animals, then London buses, and finally buildings. These drawings show a masterful perspective, a whimsical line and reveal a natural innate artistry.
Stephen soon moved on to cityscapes and has drawn most of the major London landmarks, and he also became obsessed with cars and illustrations of cars. Since then his work has increased in scale and sophistication, and he is now recognised as a leading artist worldwide. He has appeared in various TV documentaries, and the writer and psychologist Oliver Sacks devoted an essay to him in his book An Anthropologist on Mars. His work has been collected in five books, including the number one Sunday Times bestseller Floating Cities.
The first major retrospective of Stephen's work was in 2003, and comprised of more than 150 examples of Stephen's drawings, paintings and prints. He continues to work out of the Stephen Wiltshire Gallery in London’s Royal Opera Arcade, which sells originals and prints of his work. Amongst these is the picture of St James’s Church in Clerkenwell, which you can find on the ‘Contact’ page of this website. He was awarded an MBE for services to art in the 2006 New Year’s Honours list.