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26th Jun, 2022

Exhibition puts talent of Mencap's Stratford customers into focus

THE PHOTOGRAPHIC skills and visions of people with learning disabilities are being showcased in Stratford to tourists from across the globe.

Through The Lens is a project organised by Heart of England Mencap and on display at Shakespeare’s New Place until December 1.

The exhibition is the result of a three-month photography course run by the charity at its day activity group Pathway.

And now it is reaching an even bigger audience – with an extended run which began in September – in Shakespeare’s former home.

Armed with tablets funded by Stratford Town Trust, Orbit Group and Stratford District Council, participants immersed themselves in the photographic process from top to bottom.

They chose locations and subject matters, snapped the perfect picture on their tablets and then uploaded, edited and printed their creations ready to be showcased.

Arts Co-ordinator Val Rainbow said: “Our photography course was based on different themes to help develop a variety of skills and to make the learning process enjoyable and interesting.

“Over the weeks we visited many outdoor locations and covered everything from windows and doors, to leaves and trees, buildings and architecture, textures, close-ups, still life, flowers and portraits.

“Everyone on the course produced really great work. It was a joy to watch them discover newfound skills – and to see their work now on display somewhere as prominent as New Place is just wonderful.”

And the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has partnered with the charity to ensure the building is accessible to people with learning and physical disabilities.

Admission fees apply, with entry free for CV37 residents with proof of address.

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