Wanstead Flats

    Buoyed by the success of his first attempt, Marek drew and painted pictures daily. He took a sketchpad and Oz’ camera and made studies and photos of the water, the bridges, locks, barges and trees. He was fascinated by every aspect of the environment he found himself in. Almost everything was new, exciting and mysterious. Back in his room in Alice Lane he experimented with pastels and oil paint, which both Oz and Delyse provided him with, as they were fascinated by the learning processes that Marek was going through. Picture making in particular became his therapy. The act of depiction, making statements that stood for what he perceived through his senses enabled him to build up his identity – replace what had been lost with something new. Encouraged by Oz and Delyse he devoured art history books and visited every free art gallery in the area, and in so doing he met Ruth. She was a language teacher at a local secondary school, and she became very interested in trying to determine the origin of Marek’s language.

    From an excursion to Wanstead Flats Marek made sketches and took photographs with Oz’ camera, and on his return home made a picture with his new pastels, which Delyse encouraged him to exhibit at a local art collective after finding an appropriate frame at a charity shop. To his surprise the painting sold, and this encouraged him to exhibit again.