From the 3rd to the 14th of December, Emmaus Colchester is transforming one of its High Street Shops into an art gallery to celebrate the work of one of its companions – Neil Davey.
Neil, a companion at Emmaus Colchester, found himself homeless after developing a condition that causes both of his hands to close in on themselves, making it impossible for him to continue working as a carpenter. After sleeping on the beach at Mersea Island, Neil was eventually referred to Emmaus by Colchester Borough Council.
Talking about the upcoming exhibition Neil said:
“I’ve painted since I was a child but went to art school in 1977. I love walking and being in nature which is my main inspiration. Some paintings can take years to complete, however, the ones I am most proud of took only a few days or hours…it just comes all together and comes to life. Painting helps me to feel complete. It is something I do first thing in the morning and could not imagine my life without it. I hope that people who will attend my exhibition will take away the story of the walk that we all take; with ups and downs; in rain and sunshine; in a stormy weather or in a day filled with light. Every painting is a story. My story.”
Neil is donating half of the money raised from selling his paintings back to Emmaus Colchester, with the other half going to his move on fund. The paintings will be available to purchase for the entire week starting on the 3rd of December at Emmaus Home Shop.
Emmaus Colchester provides housing to up to 35 people who experienced homelessness and social exclusion and, through support, enables them to rebuild their lives and move on to independent living.
Gintare Petrauskaite, Community Manager said: “We are feeling extremely privileged to support Neil in this venture. Neil is an extremely talented artist who told his story on canvas and I hope that people will come and join him on this journey. As a community, we are all about empowering people to fulfil their potential and dreams.”