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A Lucky Break

By Judy Howells
June 2007, Llanfyllin
A digital story from Capture Wales

"Shopping can be dangerous.

Pinned to the tarmac under kilos of vegetables with the horse drawn hearse getting closer and closer, I really wished I'd fixed my brakes.

'Get that woman out of the road', said the undertaker.

'The dead can wait', said Kevin Concrete.

'Don't worry, I'm a doctor', said the man cutting the heavy rucksack off my back.

All those years putting my dream of becoming an artist on hold and now it was crunch time. I'd snapped my humerus in two.

The voice in my head that had been on at me for years to get on with it and use my gift before it was too late, was too shocked to say anything.

The physio gave me lots of exercises to do - to try and get the strength and movement back in my arm.

I decided to draw. At first it was slow and painful. I had to move my right hand across the page with my good arm.

It took me eight weeks to finish the picture. I put it in for the Open Art competition in Chester, not expecting it to get selected. It won first prize.

Two months later I won a commission for an art installation at the Workhouse Festival in Powys.

And a year after the accident I was given a grant for a solo exhibition.

The fear of failure that stopped me painting for all those years has gone.

I love doing what I do and I'm really thankful for that lucky break."

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am an artitst with two grown up sons, living in a small village. I enjoy gardening, playing music and helping with the local music festival.

What's your story about?
It's about an accident that proved to be a turning point in my life. The event itself was quite dramatic, but most importantly, it had a happy outcome.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
Working with a team that was excellent. Seeing how they bought the best out of everyone. I learnt a lot about storywriting, using the editing software and mixing words with images. It was probably the most productive four days of my life!

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