disabled artists given a helping hand to keep art as a focus during lock down

Lock-down has done nothing to dampen the creative spirit of a group of local people with disabilities.

With the help of Blackpool business Art Discount, a local art initiative, which has been funded by Access Fylde Coast project, is enabling disabled people to continue using art to help people express themselves and their experience of the here and now during the Corona Virus lockdown.

The Charnley Road shop has been ensuring orders of materials for the Keeping Connected Through Art programme, which is being run by Blackpool-based artist Tina Dempsey, keep going.

And Tina has been hand delivering the materials to ensure that the all of the local artists can keep going from their home.

Justin Addy showing off his latest artwork, which he has created during lockdown

Prior to lock down, the programme at the New Langdale had seen groups of people with differing disabilities testing out new art-making approaches, materials and techniques.

Not only have the artists been able to keep their creative explorations going, but it has also been a great focus for the artists while they stayed at home over the past few months.

“ This project has allowed us to maintain that connection with the artists and keep their amazing creativity flowing.

“I wasn’t sure at the beginning how working remotely would impact on their practices but they have absolutely flourished and the work that’s being made is very exciting,” says Tina.

It’s meant a lot to the artists and their families too.

Delivering materials to artists involved in the Keeping Connected Through Art programme

“Justin absolutely loves his art. He wants to do that more than anything during lockdown. It’s been amazing to see and enjoy his commitment to his work,” his carer Kelly says.

“Dawn loves her work, sits for hours engrossed in her work” Dawn’s parents said and added that “ the  work being dropped off has been a god send for us.”

Chloe McFarlane

Another artist in the group, Chloe McFarlane, says: “ It’s one of my favourite things in lockdown. Seeing Tina come gives me a fantastic chance to get my art done and help me during the day. “

Alan Reid, CEO, of Disability First, which spearheaded the Access Fylde Coast project, said: “Lock down is a challenge for a lot of people and it is great that this amazing programme, which we have funded, has been able to continue thanks to Tina and provide such a fantastic focus for all who are taking part in it.

Kirsty Pemberton doing her art at home

“We can’t wait to see the final exhibition at the Grundy Art Gallery later in the summer.”

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