2008 Back Gallery Series Continues with Roy Bedward

In a life filled with shadows, he sees colors and is awakened by their beauty. He communicates by typing on a simple paper keyboard, his helpers quickly deciphering the letters that soon become his words. He may not be able to talk, but he most definitely understands – meet Roy Bedward, a Madison, WI, based artist whose work will be the on exhibit as part of The Back Gallery Series 2008 at The Flying Pig Gallery and Greenspace from June 28 through July 27.

Born with autism, Bedward has lived his entire life trapped inside a body that to him is not seen as human, let alone as a man. “Please understand that I look like I don’t know much, but I am really very intelligent,” types Bedward. He continues, “Imagine having your body do things that are totally appalling to you. It is the worst kind of humiliation. There is often a total disconnection between intention and body. This is the curse of autism.”

Through his artwork, Bedward has captured the sense of magic and color that autism gives the real world – an endless supply of sensations with which to work. For over ten years, he has been painting in self-made studios at his home in an assisted living residence in Madison. Presented with a limited palate of colors and materials to paint upon, he creates stunning abstract combinations of color and texture.

In addition to painting, Bedward loves drawing, woodworking, and working with clay. While in his studio, he has a support member assist him with his body if he becomes “stuck.” Despite needing this support member, all of his creations are completely independent and original.

“When I’m painting I feel more normal and happy than any other time in my life. I love color. It can make me so much more alive when I have it in my life,” types Bedward. “Just imagine how it would feel to not be able to talk. If you can really imagine that, then you can begin to understand what my art means to me.”

Bedward is the second of four artists to be featured at The Flying Pig Gallery and Greenspace this summer. The remaining artists to be featured in the Back Gallery Series will be Melissa Jones of Birmingham, AL (August 2 – September 1) and Kim Wozniak of Pulaski, WI (September 6 – October 5).

The Flying Pig Gallery and Greenspace is located at N6975 Hwy. 42, 2 miles south of Algoma. The gallery is open daily 9 am – 6 pm. For more information call 920.487.9902 or visit