Romford artist continues to thrive thanks to prosperous relationship with Sycamore Trust

PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 November 2020 | UPDATED: 15:03 02 November 2020

Romford artist Lulu Cangil, 23, says she has found her 'tribe' since getting involved with autism charity the Sycamore Trust last year. Picture: Tony Mitchell

Romford artist Lulu Cangil, 23, says she has found her 'tribe' since getting involved with autism charity the Sycamore Trust last year. Picture: Tony Mitchell

Tony Mitchell

A Romford artist continues to go from strength to strength thanks to a prosperous relationship with autism charity Sycamore Trust.

Lulu Cangil, 23, is being aided by the charity as she hopes to find an exhibition space to show off her e-Art this year.

Diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome aged five, Lulu was sadly misunderstood by her peers: “In school, I always knew I was different from other kids, nobody wanted to sit next to me or invite me to things.”

A passion for art helped Lulu manage this by making her feel as though there was “someone around me all the time”.

That talent has since evolved in a number of ways, with Lulu’s latest creation a self-published book called Tom and Ruby’s Adventure. Centred around the experiences of autistic people in everyday situations, Tom represents Opal, while Ruby is based on a friend of Lulu’s who has physical disabilities.

The combination of creative artwork and poignant storytelling offers an insight into someone who embraces the virtues of her condition: “I never regret having autism – if anything, it gives me a special power.”

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Lulu’s mum Shaf echoes those sentiments, remarking that her daughter has “always been single-minded and strong – she just doesn’t know fear”.

This has enabled her to do things that most would consider too scary, such as walking straight up to her favourite RuPaul Drag Race contestant Latrice Royale to give her a picture and a cake.

One of many examples of how Lulu’s condition makes her positively fearless, Shaf believes anyone who chooses “to see her disability, rather than her strengths” is missing out.

Though it’s obvious the 23-year-old has always been strong in her own right, even the strongest people thrive with a support system. This is something Lulu has found since joining the Sycamore Trust in September last year: “It changed my life in a certain way. I found somewhere where I could really be in my comfort zone and be who I am.”

After her first visit a returning Lulu told her mum: “I’ve found my tribe.”

Charity spokesman Steve Dixon is adamant that Lulu is as important to the trust as it is to her: “We want autism and asperger’s to have as positive an image as possible. Lulu provides that. At the trust we have a lot of role models, and Lulu is one of them.”

Being a role model is certainly important to the artist, who says she wants to “inspire other people who are on the spectrum”.

Venues interested in displaying Lulu’s art are welcome to contact Steve on 020 8517 9317.

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