Artist sets up art exhibition to kick-start careers of emerging talent

image copyrightEmma Hunt
image captionArtist Emma Hunt, who has a degenerative condition, wants to kick-start the careers of budding photographers and artists

An artist with a life-limiting condition is hoping to launch the careers of new artists during a free, summer-long exhibition in Cumbria.

Now she has teamed up with The Rum Story museum in Whitehaven to host an event showcasing budding artists.

The exhibition will be in the venue's courtyard beginning on 24 June.

image copyrightColin Johnston
image captionPhotographers and artists have until 13 June to submit up to eight pieces of their work for consideration

Ms Hunt said: "We are giving artists and photographers the chance to showcase their work at this stunning venue.

"We plan to showcase emerging artists as well as established ones. It's a great opportunity to be seen in a beautiful setting."

Ms Hunt has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a degenerative condition which affects her heart, lungs and joints.

She gave up her job as a radiochemical analyst at Sellafield and became dependent on painkillers, until November 2019 when she weaned herself off them and taught herself to paint.

Since then she has had successful exhibitions and has raised thousands of pounds for charity auctioning her paintings.

As her condition deteriorates, she at some point will be unable to paint and wants to encourage others to take up art while they can.

image copyrightJen Gash
image captionArtist Jen Gash said art was not about "expensive materials and formal training"

Sarah Reid, an established landscape abstract artist, and Bristol-based Jen Gash, winner of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year in 2018, are also taking part in the project.

Ms Gash said: "The best paintings come from a place that is rich in history, strong in identity and has a diverse community.

"Whitehaven has all this in abundance, so it is not surprising that the art community has flourished and is inspiring the wider community at this time.

"Art is for everyone and these days is not just for people with spare time, money for expensive materials and formal training."

image copyrightSarah Reid
image captionSarah Reid a landscape abstract artist is also taking part in the project
image copyrightEmma Hunt
image captionArtist Emma Hunt only taught herself to paint in 2019

Applicants are asked to submit their work, links and a brief biography to with the title Rum Story Exhibition.

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