Thought-provoking photos inspire youngsters’ artwork

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For one visitor some of the photographs are beautiful, others simply “give too much pain.”

An intensely personal exhibition by Hull-born photographer Colin Gray at Ferens Art Gallery, tackling his mother Rene’s decline after a stroke and ultimately her death, has inspired many comments in a visitor’s book - “brave” and “incredibly moving” among them.

They’ve also been a launchpad for youngsters to create their own artwork.

Yesterday a group from Smart Moves, who’ve worked with bookbinder Mandy Keating to create their own 3D books, met the artist.

Sean Williamson, 16, who created a bright eye-popping book, inspired by the graffiti he does with his mates, said of the exhibition: “It gives me the creeps a little bit, but if you actually sit and look at them for a while you start realising things.”

Colin, who grew up in Westcott Street, in east Hull, said: “When you connect with the public it’s fantastic and also to feel that the art is useful is good, that it actually has its purpose in dealing with illness and death.

“I think it has helped people grieve for their loved ones. It is like talking about your problems, it’s sharing it.”

Works created by youngsters now accompany the exhibition, In Sickness and In Health, which runs until Sunday, February 26.