Behind the Scenes - ARTHOUSE Meath03-Jul-2017
ARTHOUSE Meath is a collective of artists living with complex epilepsy and learning disabilities all of whom require varying levels of support. The artists work alongside instructors to create artworks which are developed into designer products for sale. All artwork derives from the skills each artist brings to the enterprise and every contribution holds real value.
Offering a sense of purpose lies at the heart of ARTHOUSE Meath’s philosophy in line with our belief that feeling truly respected improves health and well-being. We strive to challenge perceptions and to create better acceptance and inclusion for all people living with disabilities.
As we grow we hope to offer more opportunities to people in other towns across the UK. 100% of sales revenue sustains the enterprise, enabling it to expand and evolve
Meet Isobel Phillips Artist from ARTHOUSE Meath
I’m 23 years old and I live in the new building at the Meath Epilepsy Trust. I’ve only been there a few months, before I lived there I was at Young Epilepsy, another college.
Epilepsy has always been part of my life since I was young. I have night time seizures quite regularly and sometimes have day seizures. Epilepsy makes you very tired.
I love drawing, it calms me down, makes me feel more independent and working with other artists is fun.
My favourite person in the world is my dog Juno, he is a golden Labrador and part of the family.
Meet Danny O’Sullivan Artist from ARTHOUSE Meath
I’ve been coming to the ARTHOUSE MEATH for a number of years and I live at the Meath Residential unit.
I love coming here because of all the people and friends that I meet. I always loved art even before I came to ARTHOUSE Meath. Everything was always about art for me. I feel very proud of myself when someone buys my work. It’s mind over matter.
I had an operation when I was 14 years old and it was after this that my epilepsy was brought on. Epilepsy has never restricted me. I believe you can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it. I can go anywhere you have ever wanted to go. I enjoy helping everyone out and I will always do the best I can for them.
I like the wave picture I created with Richard. With the shading, it gives depth to the picture and wave making it look real. It’s one of my favourites, although I do like all my artwork.
Meet Chris Hodding Artist from ARTHOUSE Meath
It’s fantastic work! I’m working hard at my art. I made all the colours with my best friend Dominic. Red and green are my favourite colours on my designs.
Meet Georgina Wooderson, Artist from ARTHOUSE Meath
The best thing about being at ARTHOUSE Meath is being with all my friends. I get good hugs from everyone! I really love drawing in pencil, especially drawing flowers, lots of them, in purple and that’s my favourite colour to draw with. It makes me feel so happy when I draw.
I’m heading home at the weekend and am so excited about seeing mum and dad, I always like showing them my drawings. I love disco dancing at all the disco’s especially to ABBA music!
ARTHOUSE Meath was founded by Becky Sheraidah and is a thriving non-profit business.
In 1999 Becky started to run workshops for adults with severe epilepsy, learning and physical difficulties. She loved getting to know each personality, each individual’s way of working, each person’s refreshing outlook.
“The people I ran art sessions for back then didn’t have much belief in themselves and their skills were not recognised, just because they needed 24-hour care. The artists were colouring in someone else’s drawing or sticking tissue on paper, all of which was thrown away at the end of the day. I felt we could easily make a change.
“Each person’s unique style came with a fresh, raw, honest feel, a style which I knew mainstream artists were striving to achieve. I knew there was room for this work in the marketplace. I knew people would want it in their homes.”
“Freedom of expression is so important to the artists we work with. Many of the artist’s verbal communication is limited. The artwork gives a voice to the artists saying ‘I can, I am!”
“The future aim is to offer more people more opportunity and become a household name in order to change attitudes and help people to feel integrated, accepted and respected.”