Exhibition Celebrates Learning Disability Art
An artist from South Wales living with mental health needs has been supported by CMG – a leading care provider for people with learning disabilities and associated complex needs – to turn his aspirations into reality and curate a remarkable art exhibition.
Eamon Sweeney, a service user at CMG St. Helen’s House in Newport, came up with the idea to give himself and others with disabilities a platform to display their work and to highlight the way art can provide a voice to people who may sometimes find it difficult to communicate verbally.
The Equity in Learning Disability Art Exhibition launched earlier this month at the Riverside Theatre and Arts Centre in Newport. It displays a fantastic array of art including traditional landscapes, modern sculpture and canvases awash with colour. The culmination of Eamon’s hard work arrived when around 60 CMG service users and staff from across England and Wales arrived to see the works.
Guests were shown round the exhibition whilst some of the artists, including Eamon, were on hand to explain how they created the stunning pieces and what it meant to them. Following the tour, there was a spoken word performance from Disability Arts Cymru, a group that help disabled and deaf people develop their skills in the arts and who are exhibiting alongside CMG.
CMG is transforming how support is provided for people with learning disabilities and has developed a number of industry-leading initiatives to drive up standards across the sector. The care provider sits down with each individual they support to discuss their goals and how they can achieve them – the Equity in Learning Disability Art Exhibition is a direct result of such a conversation.
Michael Fullerton, Director of Quality and Clinical Care at CMG, said:
“The evening, and the whole exhibition, has been a huge success. People came from all over England and Wales to see the work, which was incredibly powerful.
I think it’s inspired others to put on exhibitions celebrating disability art in different parts of the country. There’s now talk of putting one on in Brighton and we’re looking forward to supporting the project.”
Eamon Sweeney said:
“The exhibition has proved hugely successful, stimulatingly entertaining and educational. People that came along enjoyed the diversity and although individual pieces were loosely connected, they worked as an overall collection.”