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In Reach - My First Exhibition!

This Saturday sees the Private View of In Reach which is the culmination of four year's work! I am exhibiting 12 portraits in oils of the individual members of Reach Inclusive Arts' (RIA) theatre group, Partners, at The Wyvern Theatre in Swindon.

I first worked with Partners back in 2019 when invited by John Nicholson of Peepolykus to help create and perform in a new peice of theatre, To The Edge of The World in 80 Days and it was during this time that I came up with the idea of painting their portraits. Members of Reach have additional needs, physical disabilities, mental health issues and/or sensory loss. RIA provides artistic opportunities for these people to create art and drama under the careful and suppostive guidance of professional artists and collaborators. The work that RIA participants produce is inspirational and brings such happiness and reassurance to its members and can be deeply inspiring to others.

The exhibition was the idea of RIA's Sue Welsh who suggested a collaboration between myself and RIA's art group The Right Time For Art and its facilitator Dilly Beaumont, to mark the amazing 40th anniversary of the charity.

We put the exhibition together yesterday and is was so brilliant to see these pictures on the walls.

I was very moved when Jeni Birchill, RIA's coordinator told me how to see people of diverse needs on gallery walls was so affirming to the individuals, who otherwise have come to expect so little.

The Private View is on Saturday so more pics to follow...

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