Dear Dez,

April 2024

My journey to our friendship began on a railway station, during the Pandemic. Platform 2 at Manchester Oxford Road station to be exact, as we know, you prefer me to be exact!

I was awaiting my train, when I noticed some wonderful art work on the wall beyond the tracks in front of me. I asked one of the station team and they said they were by Loveartpix, and they put me in touch with you.

I remember in one of our early conversations in 2021 you said,

I am self-taught which makes my achievements mean so much to me. I have a lot of ideas I want to try but abstract art is what I really love.

I have come in contact with so many amazing people through my artwork  and it has really helped change my life. Although I don’t get out a lot due to my condition, knowing my art is reaching so many places gives me great satisfaction and gives me a real sense of self-worth – especially knowing it helps others.”

You told me that art had always been a passion for you, but you had only really taken time over the past two years not only focussed on it but realised the positive affect it had on your mental health.

What a difference three years makes Dez. Here you are in 2024, known to so many people globally, winner of Awards, finalist in others and subject of interviews and documentaries.

I wonder how many people who don’t know you, are aware how you suffer pre, during and post these huge events and personal appearances when your art is being exhibited or you are present at a charity event when you have generously donated your art work for their fundraising. You hate to let people down, you have such exacting standards on yourself and if people just knew what it means to you and to neurodivergent individuals to not receive that phone call they told you that they would make, or not send that email on time, then they might understand your world a little better. All our ‘worlds’ are different but simply being aware of one aspect of a neurodivergent world might just help a great deal of people..

Your honesty in your art and in your everyday persona is what makes you so very special, because it allows others to ask the questions they have a fear of asking. I know I can ask you the best way to work with a neurodivergent individual and you are glad I asked, and you give me straight answers. For this I am deeply grateful.

I know when you are creating art, Dez, it all depends on the mood that you are  in as to what the outcome will be. I know and can see that you like to put multiple messages including subliminal meanings into a lot of your images. I also know how much you want those messages, whether subliminal or those screaming to be heard, to be the vessel to help people struggling with diagnosed, undiagnosed, mis-diagnosed mental health conditions.

For me, your Manchester ‘Bees about town’ collection will always have a special place in my heart because of how we found each other.

You told me,

I can’t remember which piece came first in my Bee collection. I had an idea to promote old buildings or iconic places in Manchester by adding colour and large bees in an abstract style. Obviously, the Bee is a strong Manchester symbol, so I wanted to represent this in an image. I wanted it to reflect the people of Manchester going about their day to day lives through a visual representation.

Once I created the first image, I thought I was onto something special and decided to create a collection so I could show more of Manchester’s beautifully  diverse architecture and history at the same time.

The picture I named ‘22 Bees’ I created in memory of everybody who lost their lives in the Manchester bombing. The concept of this image came to me instantly and I was manic to get it created. I asked my partner to take me to Manchester so I could get the photograph of the arena and then we came home, and I started to edit it immediately. This is one of the pieces I created where I had a clear image of how it would look, whereas a lot of my pictures have a concept, but I like to take an organic approach. I was also honoured to be  asked to create a separate  image which is now up at Victoria Station as part of the memorial and tribute to the 22 who tragically lost their lives in the Manchester bombing.

I was honoured, during my year as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, 2022-23 to open the walkway connecting platforms at Manchester Victoria Train Station, where your artful bees and messages greet people in the morning and send them on their way back home.

We have grown to understand each other so well, both as family friends but also as colleagues on initiatives. I am so very proud of you. Following a conversation, I had with the Governor of HMP Manchester about an art initiative there, you immediately bought into the vision, and I cannot wait to see the outcome of that work in 2025.

I know you are celebrating ‘National Autism Acceptance Month’ with a limited edition design in collaboration with Born Anxious raising funds for Anna Kennedy Online. I have ordered my tee shirt, and I will wear it with pride.

But Dez, when I think of you it will always be the poignant piece of your art, encompassing a shadow of a man and a clock. I asked you about it and you told me,

I created the picture of a male silhouette shortly after receiving the news in regards my diagnosis of Autism. I created it one night on my phone. The male  represents myself, walking towards the sunset, while the looming numbers of time whirl over me – representing from then till now.

I have always had an issue & fear of time & it’s power. Time dictates everything I believe – for better or for worse… It is the one thing that is eternal! 

Hoping for good but expecting ups & downs… life’s journey… only time will tell!”

As usual Dez, your art says it all! Your time is now. Your messages resonate with so many people and helps to give them a voice that they didn’t know they had.

Your dear friend, Lorraine x

Lorraine Worsley Carter MBE DL