When Cumbria’s C-Art Festival by Eden Arts opens in Cumbria in September, it will feature Nobody told me it would come back, by Armathwaite artist Michael Anderson. The celebrated self-portrait depicting Michael’s own life and struggles with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) will be exhibited together with other works at The Old School Hall, Armathwaite, in the Eden Valley from 15-17 September, 10am – 5pm. Prints of Michael’s work will be included in a raffle, with all proceeds going to national charity, The British Polio Fellowship.
Now 69, Michael was diagnosed with PPS in 2011 and turned to painting as a way to occupy himself without placing undue stress on his body and a string of successful exhibitions of this painting and other works have followed. Having recently moved to Carlisle from Norfolk, Michael continues to paint and getting involved with the local art community, sees this forthcoming exhibition as an opportunity to speak more about PPS.
“I was diagnosed with PPS in 2011 and what a shock that was,” said Michael. “Realising that retirement was looming and with advice from The British Polio Fellowship, I had to find something where I could keep busy but not put my body through too much stress, so I started painting. I came up with the idea of a self-portrait in 2014, showing the signs of Polio before it got any worse. I am delighted to be showing my work with other artists and we hope to welcome people along while also supporting the British Polio Fellowship.”
“We’re delighted Michael continues to use his portrait to raise awareness of PPS,” said CEO of The British Polio Fellowship Ted Hill, MBE. “We are very grateful for all his fundraising efforts, but the value of educating people about PPS and its impact on people’s lives undertaken by Michael is invaluable.”
Michael contracted Polio aged two in 1949 and was paralysed from the neck down. Despite spending time in an iron lung, he recovered to live a full life, before the onset of PPS led him to paint. Nobody told me it would come back measures 18” x 24” showing Michael with stick, calliper and medication on a table. The style is reminiscent of American realist painter Edward Hopper and presents reality faced by those living with PPS.
An exhibition preview evening, takes place on Thursday 14 September from 7pm- 9pm. Open to all, other work on display includes ceramics from John Anderson; glass and multimedia from Phil Dutton; sculpture from Craig Harding; and paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography by Brian Shields.
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