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June 7th, 2014

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The big empty gallery space was disturbing for Deshik.

He said he liked the Vancouver Art Gallery better because it was filled with peoples’ art.

I explained he was to be the artist who filled the gallery.

“Can I fill it with birds?” he asked.  We can try, I responded.


He felt most comfortable in the more busy and confined materials room.

With a long white piece of paper and a blue marker he asked me to name birds…any kind.

Deshik knows every kind of bird. He would draw them quickly with appropriate distinguishing features while citing facts about that specific bird.


After drawing Kiwis, Ospreys, Loons, and a random Chameleon he wanted to paint them directly on the wall.

This proved to be a difficult translation for him.  He felt frustrated.  So he attempted the familiar: ABC and 1234

Although, he distracted himself by asking me what a Phoenix was.


I said it was a a mythological bird.

He asked, “Then what is a fact?” I explained.

Then he said, “What is an opinion?” I explained.

Deshik concluded, ” Then it is just your opinion that a Phoenix is a myth. In my opinion it is a real bird.”

Deshik is 7 years old and diagnosed Autistic.

Play, Fall, Rest, Dance is an exhibition project by Valerie Salez. The artist works with children with disabilities to help them explore the creative process of installation making. The exhibition runs from June 3 to July 5, 2014. The public is welcome to visit grunt gallery to see the installations that will continuously change and evolve over the course of the project.

Read more here.

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