Breathing Again follows Patrick Samuel, an artist with autism and ADHD, as he prepares for his sixth solo exhibition using his local park as inspiration. Shot on location in Broomfield Park, north London, Patrick, accompanied by his emotional support dog Chase, shares what it’s like living and coping with autism, how art has changed his life and why going to the park is such an important part of his daily routine.
Patrick Samuel lives in London and is an artist with Asperger Syndrome. After struggling with the limitations of Asperger’s his whole life, he was finally diagnosed in March 2017. By then, Patrick had been fighting for a formal diagnosis for 8 years. It was only after a suicide attempt and the intervention of his MP that he received funding for a diagnosis, which eventually gave him access to support and specialist treatment. Another crucial point in the turnaround of his life was the beginning of his art therapy a few months earlier. After having lost his job, Patrick had become nonverbal and lacked any kind of coping mechanisms. His friend and carer gave him a drawing pad and asked him to draw what he was feeling, to “let the pencil do the talking”. From then on, Patrick regained his voice by drawing and painting daily. He’d later say that art had saved his life as it gave him a way to connect with the world, cope with the challenges of his complex condition, as well as communicate his thoughts and feelings. Patrick has now embraced his neurodiversity as a gift rather than seeing it as a disability.