True Colours is a significant exhibition for the Arts Ability artists as it is their first exhibition outside of the southeast of Ireland.
The exhibition at Picton Castle Gallery provides the opportunity not only to showcase their artwork, but also to demonstrate what an effective initiative the visual arts strand of Arts Ability is. It has effected massively on the people who are most involved with it. Many of the artists had never engaged in artmaking before the they encountered the Arts Ability project, and now identify themselves as professional artists who dedicate significant time to their artwork, and have regular group exhibitions. A number of the studio artists have mounted two-person and even solo shows, as well as being awarded bursaries to develop their practise.
The frankness, openness and honesty with which they paint and talk about their work is fresh and inspiring. The enthusiasm is infectious, and flows from the artists as it does from their canvases. These artists seize every opportunity afforded them to develop their art practice with both hands and have been looking forward to the opportunity to present work in Wales for some time; to meet new audiences and share their experiences of artmaking. A couple of the artists will deliver a workshop during the course of the exhibition and many local organisations involved in the arts and in working with people with disabilities will engage with the exhibition.
During their visit to Wales the Arts Ability artists will also visit the DAC exhibition in the Norwegian Chapel in Cardiff which will showcase the work of selected artists with disabilities from all over Wales. It is envisaged that this will be the beginning of new connections, new friendships and new learning between similar initiatives on both sides of the Celtic Sea.
Aileen Lambert, 2012
Coracle Project Director
Wexford County Council