A CAERPHILLY borough man has been shortlisted for an international art competition.

Gethin House, 35 from Risca, is the only person from Wales to be shortlisted for the Artworks Together competition. He is among 33 finalists from all across the world including Indonesia, USA and England.

It is a competition specifically for keen artists with learning disabilities or autism.

Mr House, who has Downs syndrome, took inspiration from Vincent Van Gogh for his Starry Night painting. “I loved the colours,” said Mr House.

Since finding out on the weekend of his triumph, Mr House has been inundated with congratulations and well-wishes from friends, family and the general public.

“Friends and family have been looking on Facebook and are proud of my achievement,” he said.

Mum Julie House said: “I’ve had so many messages from people wishing him congratulations. We’re all so proud.”


Mr House has always been drawn to art. “He’s been quite artistic since he was a toddler,” said Mrs House, “I would come into the room and he would have made a rocket out of a rolled up towel and a bottle.”

He continued with his art throughout childhood and achieved a C in GCSE after support from teacher John Meredith at Risca Community Comprehensive School. After school he attended the adult services that were available in the community.

He found out about the competition from Elizabeth Millington, director and tutor of the Islwyn Art Project.

Mr House’s work will be on display in an online gallery with the other 32 shortlisted pieces, which will open on March 25. The overall winner will be decided by a panel of judges and their work will be put in a physical exhibition.

You will be able to view the online gallery from March 25 but the full shortlist is available to view here.