Worthing art show explores the creativity that can come with Parkinson's

Self-taught artist Nicolette Amos finds she can control some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s when she starts to paint.
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As she says, there can often be an increased creativity which goes with diagnosis – something Nicolette and fellow artists will explore in the first-ever art exhibition from the Worthing and Washington Parkinson’s UK Group.

It will be at Colonnade House in Worthing from August 1 to 12 (excluding Monday, August 7) 10am to 5pm daily under the title Me and Mr P. The artists are from the Worthing and Washington Parkinson’s UK Art Group, plus a couple of local guest artists who have donated some of their artwork.

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“The aim is to help gain an insight into the creative minds of those living with Parkinson’s Disease and promote the benefits of art to those affected by the condition, along with raising awareness and vital funds for research to help find a cure,” Nicolette said.

​Nicolette Amos is organising the exhibition (contributed pic)​Nicolette Amos is organising the exhibition (contributed pic)
​Nicolette Amos is organising the exhibition (contributed pic)

More details on https://colonnadehouse.co.uk/event/me-and-mr-p/

“Art and being creative has many health benefits. It acts as a therapy that reduces stress and anxiety and it allows us to focus on something positive and escape temporarily. It activates our brain’s reward centre and enhances the lives of people with Parkinson's. Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. It is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world and currently there is no cure. It affects around 145,000 people in the UK. There are over 40 symptoms from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects.”

All of which helps make art all the more important as a possible outlet: “The funny thing is that Parkinson’s seems to bring out the creative side in people. Whether it's the drugs or the change in their brain, I don't know, but people take up painting or poetry or photography and sculpture. It really does seem to bring something out.

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“I was formally diagnosed in December 2018 but I know that I had had it at least a year beforehand. I was showing the symptoms. My hands were a little bit shaky and I was finding it hard to cut up my dinner and my writing went teeny weeny. I definitely suspected it was Parkinson's because my dad had Parkinson's so I more or less knew what it was. I was fine with the diagnosis. I'm really quite a positive person I wanted to get on and do things. Exercise is really good for you. It slows down the progress of Parkinson's. I do five different gym classes each week. I am not exactly good at all of them but I do them and that has slowed the progress and I also love art. When I was little I used to copy little cartoon pictures. My dad was a really good artist. He was a watercolour artist. I used to say ‘You should have an exhibition’ but he never did. I never really did any art until about 12 years ago when I started dabbling with some coloured pencils and doing some watercolours. And then when I got Parkinson's, art became more or less a need. It was ‘I need to paint! I need to paint!’ and I've done all sorts of different styles since then. It just feels like an impulse and I guess it is that creative side I was talking about that you can get with the diagnosis.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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