Story and photos by Amy Palmer | Artwork by Curtis Husband-Galloway
Curtis Galloway-Husband from Pitsmoor is no ordinary 22 year old.
After years being forced to do extra literacy lessons he still cannot read or write, but Curtis can do something most people would
love to be able to do – Curtis cancreate beautiful art. He can also use Adobe Photoshop and creates whole computer simulated worlds.
I met Curtis with Sue Atkins, at YASY offices (Youth Association South Yorkshire) which are decorated from wall to wall with portraits, drawings of Sheffield, and buildings from his imagination.
Curtis was originally referred to YASY for extra literacy support when he was fourteen; it soon became apparent that it wasn’t really what was needed as the workers at YASY recognised that Curtis was dyslexic, and that he had got a ‘hidden’ talent for art, so being forced to keep trying to read and write was very frustrating for him. YASY encouraged him to explore different ways of expression through drawing and introduced him to new ideas like Anime and other artists’ work.
Like many people with dyslexia Curtis was told he wouldn’t achieve anything in life, but he has set out to prove these people wrong. Curtis got involved with the Fixers project, which made a film about his situation and helped him to build a resource for building people’s confidence in drawing. This is a sketchbook, which explains how you can be intelligent through art and helps people gain the confidence to draw and create.
Curtis told me: “People look at dyslexia as an illness, but I’d say it’s a gift. It’s a different way of understanding.”
Curtis explained to me how he sees words as shapes but gets by using reading and writing software on the computer. He went to
college to do a BTEC in Graphics but despite getting distinctions in the subject he didn’t receive his full certificate as he could not pass the English test. Curtis would like to see more training for teachers on how dyslexia can affect people to help them become more understanding. He feels people think they understand but really it takes dyslexic people themselves to explain.
Despite his experiences in an education system that focussed on his weaknesses rather thanstrengths Curtis is determined to
succeed in life and become an artist. He wants to follow his dreams, telling me “when I create, it’s from the heart.”
The ‘Fixers’ film about Curtis can still be seen at https://www.fixers.org.uk/news/13666-11208/dyslexicart-fix-on-itv.php
You can see more of his artwork on his Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CurtisCghFutureArt/