Welsh artist overcomes obstacles of Asperger's syndrome|
PENARTH, Wales: Penarth man Mark Annis - who says his life has been blighted by Asperger's syndrome - has overcome the condition to prove himself a successful artist.
Mark, 45 - a self-taught artist who started to take his work seriously about 16 years ago - currently has three exhbitions running at Cardiff's Europa Café and Tapas Bar and at the Old Town Hall in Barry.
Mark, who specialises in figurative and abstract painting revolving around bright primary colours, was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of four.
Mark said: "Asperger's makes social interaction difficult for sufferers. We are often unable to interpret the meaning of what people say. We find it hard to read hidden social codes such as body language and we can say things that other people find strange.
"Making friends and developing intimate relationships can also be very difficult. Ithnk there is still a lack of awareness about the condition and because of that, we suffer prejudice."
Mark said he had read the best-selling novel, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Mark Haddon, which deals with Asperger's syndrome.
He said: "There was quite a bit in the novel which I could identify with. Asperger's sufferers do develop obssessions - mine is art, though, not numbers."
Mark - who now also sells prints of his work - says he is influenced by Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol.
To find out more about Mark Annis's work, visit www.anniscreations.com.
Asperger's sydrome is one of a range of autism-like disorders which often manifests itslf in "eccentric" behaviour, rather than pronounced and obvious disability. It was first identified as a separate condition in 1944 by an Austrian doctor, Hans Asperger.
(Source: Penarth Times, November 9, 2006)