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Disabled artists respond to a question of sport
Sporting challenges are not likely to be very high on the agenda for people who have suffered a stroke or have debilitating conditions such as multiple sclerosis, but the essence of celebrating movement is universal.
Garston father-of-three Kerry Lockett, 43, was in the RAF before he suffered a series of seven mini-strokes. Like many other stroke sufferers, Kerry has had to relearn aspects of mobility as his dominant side (his right) is paralysed.
Kerry is among the members of DRUM (Disability Recreation Unity Movement) who find art both therapeutic and an important means of self-expression.
For the current exhibition, titled The Olympic Art Challenge he has produced some striking ceramics.
Art tutor Kathy Foster says: “DRUM members have been encouraged to think about what sport means to them, their own experiences of participating in sport events, their successes and failures and how they feel about it now as disabled people. As usual, they have found their own way of expressing themselves.
"Their paintings are realistic and impressionistic, taking themes such as speed, movement and colour. But they have also tackled different art forms such as ceramics, sculpture, collage and mosaic.“
St Albans artist Anne Darby had been a wig-maker before she had her stroke, but the 67-year-old has not lost her creativity. Her painting Little Girl Swimming is a wonderfully vibrant image.
“It's a tribute to her granddaughter Heidi who also has a disability,“ says DRUM manager Sarah Sullivan. “Anne told me she painted it as Heidi had looked so calm and peaceful in the water. For Anne losing her speech has been the biggest struggle, but she is able to express herself so well through her art.“
The artworks will be on display at the DRUM Open Day and Art Exhibition, which takes place at Parkgate Community Centre, Southwold Road, Watford on Saturday, July 14 from 11am-3pm. Details: 01923 442114, www.drum.btck.co.uk