Blind veterans' art goes on show in Liverpool

Dame Barbara Image copyright Blind Veterans UK

Signed portraits of actress Dame Barbara Windsor and tennis champion Sir Andy Murray have gone on show in a display by blind veterans.

The exhibition, at St George's Hall in Liverpool, also includes a painting of former footballer Steven Gerrard, which will be put up for auction.

Funds will go to the charity Blind Veterans UK, which set up the display, titled Art - Life beyond Sight Loss.

Ex-soldier Matt Rhodes said painting gave him "a new lease of life".

Image copyright Blind Veterans UK
Image caption Ex-soldier Matt Rhodes has painted an updated version of the John Singer Sargent painting Gassed

His modern version of the John Singer Sargent painting "Gassed" showing a line of wounded soldiers following a mustard gas attack in World War One is also on display at the Liverpool exhibition.

The 42-year-old, from Preston, lost most of his sight after a motorcycle accident, which left him with a brain injury and paralysis down the right side of his body.

"I have half tunnel vision so when I'm working I can only see small sections of the painting like an eyebrow or an ear. I have to work my way around doing each bit on its own. It does mean that I can never see the whole finished work."

He added: "Unfortunately, my injuries have become worse over the last few months and I have had to stop painting conventionally."

He said he was "working with the instructors on finding new techniques using new technologies".

Image copyright Blind Veterans UK
Image caption A painting of Chester is also on display

Blind Veterans UK, which was formed in 1915, said it believed art and craft skills was an "important element of rehabilitation" for former members of the military.

The exhibition runs until 29 January.

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