Lockdown art next door to Renoir

FEATURING alongside the Renoir exhibition at Beau Sejour, inventive artwork created during lockdown is on display at the Ron Short Centre.

Contributors include individuals, a dozen centre members and a dozen Cheshire Home residents.

All will receive a set of 1970s Renoir stamps as a memento and thank you.

‘All of the pieces tell different stories,’ said Rob Harnish, Ron Short Centre manager.

‘One artist liked to express joy and colour at a time of bereavement. They’ve portrayed themselves coming out into a bright and active landscape.’

Finger painting and sponges were used by an artist with cerebral palsy to create two pieces.

‘Their body may not listen to them very well, but their mind is very acute. Another has strong mental disabilities, who have used their art to process different emotions. Beadwork is good to build dexterity and confidence to move onto drawing.’

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Much of the work displayed is collaborative.

‘One person would dye, while another cut, and another used stamps. The youngest artist is from Le Murier going up to more senior artists.’

Many pieces were made with whatever was available.

‘One artist had an organ transplant and had to isolate somewhere where they knew nobody. They had contact once per week and couldn’t go outside. Their pieces were made with no budget with just baby oil, glue and cornflour.’

Environmentalism themes some projects, such as plastic bottle octopuses, wine bottle clay figurines and re-usable carrier bags.

‘Clay was shaped by somebody completely blind, which were then painted by somebody who couldn’t model. Another had the idea to make their own fabric bags for life. Noi has done cards to sell.’

Exhibiting the artwork is a huge confidence boost.

‘Now they have the satisfaction of saying their stuff is good enough, that they produce items to the same quality as retail.’

Mr Harnish has wanted to put on an exhibition for years.

Arts for Impact, Jason Paint, Sian Jones, a community outreach team and Art for Guernsey all collaborated to make it happen.

‘Despite best efforts, many people with disabilities still think the wider public think less of them,’ said Mr Harnish.

‘They should all be immensely proud of themselves as people and artists featuring in this exhibition.

‘The centre is open as usual this week while the exhibition is on. They will be making artwork as usual, the only difference is that the public are invited to be part of it.’

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