Art exhibit showcases the talents of people with learning disabilities

Opening night

Source: Caritas Westminster

A new temporary exhibition of art by people with intellectual disabilities has opened at the historic Syon House in Brentford. Branching Paths is an exhibition of artwork by a group of local artists, organized as part of Hounslow Borough Council’s Culture Summer.

The exhibition brings together a collection of works produced in weekly sessions over several years at Caritas St Joseph’s [email protected] hub. Each session began with the group viewing and responding to the work of different artists before returning to their own themes. With the help of caregivers and volunteers, the artists worked in ceramics, oil pastel and watercolor to develop their process, creating their own distinct visual language.

For example, Faiza Mir continually returns to circles, which gives her a sense of confidence. She draws and colors variations of circles each week with focus and determination, and enjoys using bright colors.

Alexander Harrison is a prolific artist who works with method and rhythm. He likes to mix colors carefully to be sure of the right color scheme for each room. There is often a rhythm in his canvases which he describes in the recurring names of his work: “stones”, “tunnels”, “thunder” and “lightning”. His verbal language is limited, but the pride he shows in his work is evident.

Caritas St Joseph has worked with adults with learning disabilities for 45 years and is one of the services of Caritas Westminster. It runs a lifelong learning center in Hendon, with around 200 students enrolled, as well as two ‘[email protected]’ centres, based in the Catholic parishes of Hounslow and Feltham. Eight students currently attend [email protected] every Thursday – which temporarily uses the Feltham center while their usual location is being refurbished.

The works exhibited in Branching Paths are a celebration of the different perspectives and creative journeys of students, as individuals and as a group. It was made possible by a grant from Hounslow Borough Council as part of its Summer of Culture programme.

Karen Palmer, Development Officer for [email protected], said: “On opening day at Syon Park we held a morning art class in Feltham, the students were very excited about the exhibit. “art Connect through gives our students a way to express themselves through different art forms and creative media. It was a pleasure to work alongside our talented artists, with my colleague Stephanie who curated the exhibition, as well than our very dedicated volunteers, Maria and Derek.

Branching Paths features artwork by Ani Hampartsoumian, Alexander Harrison, Rosemary Mahoney, Faiza Mir and Susanna Woollam, made with assistance from Karen Palmer, Derek Wardle and Maria Wolanska, and is curated by Steph Hartop.

The art is on display at the Syon Park Visitor Center until October 30.

CONNECTIONS

Caritas Westminster – www.caritaswestminster.org.uk/

Hounslow Culture Summer: https://inhounslow.com/summerofculture/

Syon Park: www.syonpark.co.uk/

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