A NEW exhibition has opened in the heart of Southampton aiming to highlight mental health, learning disabilities and physical disabilities.

The ‘Visions’ exhibit at Southampton City Art Gallery was opened by the Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Stephen Barnes-Andrews and showcases artwork produced by adults in the city with various disabilities.

The work has been created by artists attending Sembal House and Woolston Community Centre council-run day services for adults with mental health, learning disabilities or physical disabilities.

Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet member for Adult Care said: “It is fantastic to see the passion and creativity put into the artwork by people who use our day services and it is great to hear the positive success stories of how they are finding comfort and support in the art therapies.”

The artists involved had the opportunity to experiment with a range of mediums and tools to produce the artwork from traditional materials such as oil and acrylic to plaster and items found in nature, creating a variety of colourful and textural work on display.

The majority of work is on sale to the public at the shop, with monies raised going back into activities for day services attendees.

Malcolm Wort, who has attended Sembal House since May 2018, has a piece on display titled ‘Old Times Meet New Times’, which depicts his life story.

When Malcolm first joined the day services he was described as "an introvert, shy and lacking self-confidence".

Malcolm found it difficult to mix with the other service users and would only work in the main corridor away from any noise or contact with others and would carry particular objects around for security.

After four weeks attending day services Malcolm joined the rest of the group, started to leave some of the objects at home and commenced his journey of producing his life story on canvas.

He said: “My Life has been Turbulent, Full of ups and downs. I have always struggled to get by day to day.

"After a programme of Art Therapy, colour came in to my life.

"I have portrayed my feelings in to the piece of work.

"All sections mean something of my journey from a very dark place to where I am now.

"I hope you enjoy coming on my journey through the piece of work."

Visions will run until the end of March.