Former addicts open up with uni art exhibition

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Seven former addicts have opened up to create beautiful works of art for a new exhibition.

The ‘Groundings’ project is now open in St Marks, and features contemporary and fine art, as well as photography.

Find it next to Toby Carvery, in the former Multiyork shop, from May 3 to May 8 10am to 4pm everyday.

Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Students from the University of Lincoln have been working with users from Addaction over 11 works for the exhibition.

In what is believed to be the first project of its kind, students have helped them “open up to new people.”

Reagan Bescoby, 34, is one of the Addaction clients who got involved in ‘Groundings’ and said: “I thought university students were better than us.

Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

“But working with the students has taught me that we’re all the same, just different things happened to us in our lives.

“We all really connected because they didn’t come with any preconceived ideas and took the time to get to know us.

“The art we created can give other people a glimpse into my thoughts and it taught me that there are those out there that won’t judge me.”

Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Conan Lawrence, deputy head of the School of Fine and Performing Arts, told The Lincolnite that the project could be rolled out wider to help more people.

“There’s definitely scope to widen this project,” the module leader said. “The Addaction clients and students have worked together well, and engagement has been fantastic throughout.

“We aren’t here to lecture the service users, we gave them space to create something that expresses who they are.”

Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Photo: Connor Creaghan for The Lincolnite

Eleanor Ball, a second year fine art student, also told The Lincolnite: “It has been really eye opening. There are lots of stereotypes but we are here to break down those stigmas.

“I was quite nervous at first because I was scared of saying something wrong and set them back but there was lots of support and those nerves dropped away quite quickly.”

All of the work created will go back to the artists at the end of the exhibition to be kept on to sell.

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