ROMSEY ADVERTISER ARTICLE: Tjili is a global art sensation

22 Dec 2017

 

Romsey Advertiser story on TJILI (22 December 2017).

 

Baby abandoned on doorstep overcomes odds to be in-demand painter

 

A GIRL abandoned on a doorstep in Cambodia has overcome disabilities to become a critically acclaimed artist at the age of just 16.

 

Tjili (pronounced Chilli) Grant Wetherill -- the only survivor of triplets -- who lives with her adopted parents in Romsey, sells her works for thousands of pounds all over the world.

 

Four of her animal paintings are currently appearing on stamps in Tanzania.

 

Tjili has cerebral palsy and her runaway success is being hailed as an amazing story of triumph over adversity. 

 

Her work will feature at an exhibition to be held in Romsey's Rum's Eg community gallery in the New Year. 

 

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Art world goes wild for teenager Tjili ...

 

SHE IS the deaf teenager with cerebral palsy who is taking the art world by storm.

 

Tjili (pronounced Chilli) Grant Wetherill was the only survivor of triplets abandoned on the doorstep of a hospital in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, in 2001.

 

But 16-year-old Tjili has defied all the odds to become an accomplished talented artist whose work sells for thousands of pounds.

 

Now the inspirational youngster is preparing to exhibit some of her paintings at Rum's Eg art gallery in Bell Street, Romsey.

 

Tjili, who lives in nearby Middlebridge Street, cannot speak but lets her talent do the talking.

 

Her work has sold around the globe, raising thousands of pounds for charity. Four of her paintings are currently appearing on stamps in Tanzania and she has been asked to fly to Abu Dhabi early next year to undertake commissions for a wealthy family.

 

Her runaway success is being hailed as an amazing story of triumph over adversity.

 

A Rum's Eg spokesman said: "She's self-taught and creates stunning art in her own unique style to critical acclaim. 

 

"Two vibrant bird paintings were recently selected from thousands of worldwide entries to be displayed by the Royal Watercolour Society in London."

 

As reported in the Daily Echo, Tjili weighed just 1kg when she was born. 

 

She was adopted by a British couple, James and Vik Grant Wetherill. when she was just eight weeks old and lived in Singapore until 2016, when the family moved to England. They had a home at Emery Down, near Lyndhurst, before relocating to Romsey.

 

James said: "Tjili was the only survivor of triplets abandoned on the doorstep of a hospital.

 

"After a month of intensive care she was transferred to an orphanage by the Mekong River. She was subsequently diagnosed as profoundly deaf and having athetoid cerebral palsy caused by an early brain trauma.

 

"Specialists said her challenges might prevent her from sitting, standing, walking, and even managing everyday activities such as feeding herself."

 

But Tjili's upbeat attitude coupled with hundreds of hours of occupational therapy, have enabled her to overcome many of her physical problems.

 

Vik said: "We're tremendously proud of Tjili. When we adopted her she was weak and tiny and we were told she might never even walk of fee herself.

 

Her courage, determination and application are such an inspiration, not just for us but for millions of her followers and supporters around the world. Tjili truly is differently-abled, not dis-abled."

 

The exhibition, which starts next month, will also feature the work of fellow Hampshire artists Helen Murchie, Lynne Reeves and Dave Sutherland. 

 

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet them at a series of workshops and demonstrations.

 

James added: "We're very excited about the exhibition. It will be a great opportunity for the people of Hampshire to meet Tjili, view her art and see her in action."