‘Gifted’ three-year-old artist donates artwork to re-opened children’s ward

A Doncaster toddler, who has been labelled as ‘Gifted in the Visual Arts’ by world-leading psychologists, has produced and curated eight pieces of artwork and gifted them to Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI).

Lilah Henshaw, who has been drawing since she was one years old, has donated the pieces to the Children’s Ward, which after closing approximately two years ago, has re-opened following repairs and refurbishment in late November.

Professor Ellen Winner of Boston College, MA, has devoted her entire life to studying gifted children.

She said: “Lilah’s drawings are definitely not like those of a typical three-year-old. They are much more advanced.

“Her skill in representation shows that she is most definitely gifted.”

Lilah is the same as any typical three-year-old and is influenced by many of the same things that young children are, explained Lilah’s father, Peter.

Lilah Henshaw (centre) with dad, Peter, and colleagues from the Children’s Ward

He went on: “Her love of drawing and creating goes far beyond anything that is seen in normal children and she will literally spend every waking hour doing it.”

Lilah’s drawings are detailed, playful and show an early understanding of the human form, explained Jennifer E. Drake, PhD Associate Professor within the Department of Psychology at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY).

She went on: “She shows a remarkable ability to draw realistically at a very young age. She’s also able to capture humour in her drawings. These are extraordinary things for a three-year-old to be doing.”

Young Lilah is pictured drawing one of her pieces of artwork. She seems to be in deep concentration
Lilah Henshaw creating another piece of art

Lilah almost always features adult females in her work, and she is captivated by their outfits and garments. Her pieces, which are available to buy online, are valued at hundreds of pounds, however 100% of the profits are donated directly to the NSPCC by her parents.

Lilah’s dad, Peter said, “Lilah produces lots and lots of pieces of original artwork. If other children can relate to them and gain some enjoyment from them, then it gives us a reason to support her in the best possible way we can, so she may continue to create.

“It is for this reason that we are delighted to be able to donate a full set of her works to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.”

Lilah is licking an ice-cream and Dad, Peter is to her right
Lilah with Dad, Peter Henshaw

Professor Winner, who has authored many books on giftedness, explains the important distinction between gifted children, such as Lilah, and child prodigies.

“Whilst child prodigies often produce artwork at the level of an adult, gifted children, still produce the works of a child, but this work is highly advanced for their years. Many gifted children do however go on to become prodigies in their relative domains as they grow and develop.”

Lilah is pictured from above sat in the middle of a half circle of pens and pencils. She is wearing a yellow princess dress and tiara as she smiles with her eyes closed.
Lilah sat with her trusty selection of pens and pencils

Helen Mee, Senior Sister for the Children’s Ward at DRI, said of the donation: “Thank you to Lilah for helping brighten up our play area.

“After a difficult two years, we’re delighted to be re-opening our ward alongside Lilah’s colourful creations, adding a much-needed life and vibrancy to the area.”

To see more of Lilah’s artwork, or to buy one of her pieces, please visit her website: https://lhart.pixpa.com/