Tyran turns to art to highlight muscle disease

14/10/2011 (AN) ''University of Portsmouth student Tyran Hawthorn (24) suffers from duchenne muscular dystrophy and is putting on an exhibition on the 31st October 2011.''Pictured is: (left) Tyran Hawthorn with support worker Tim Connell, helping Tyran out with some photography.''Picture: Sarah Standing (113651-1426)
14/10/2011 (AN) ''University of Portsmouth student Tyran Hawthorn (24) suffers from duchenne muscular dystrophy and is putting on an exhibition on the 31st October 2011.''Pictured is: (left) Tyran Hawthorn with support worker Tim Connell, helping Tyran out with some photography.''Picture: Sarah Standing (113651-1426)

Portsmouth university study looks at depression and the past

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HE MAY be living on borrowed time – but a brave victim of a muscle-wasting disease has created a photographic exhibition to raise awareness of the devastating condition.

Tyran Hawthorn, 24, is a remarkable young man who is determined to make the most of his life.

WORK  One of the pieces from the exhibition (113651-1426)

WORK One of the pieces from the exhibition (113651-1426)

He has Duchenne muscular dystrophy – the severest form of the disease.

Even though he has to use a wheelchair and can only move two fingers on each hand, the second year photography student at the University of Portsmouth has found the energy and the inspiration to create a hard-hitting exhibition about Duchenne.

Modern Vanitas: The Torment and decay of Duchenne presents 16 pictures of rotting fruit, wilting flowers and props like skulls to symbolise his body’s decay.

Money from sales will go to Action Duchenne, a charity that funds research for a cure.

Tyran, of Southdown Road, Clanfield, said: ‘It’s a very personal exhibition but I’m not nervous because I want people to understand what the condition does to you.

‘I’ve done something different to the stereotypical images of people suffering from the condition which I hope will make people look and think harder.

‘I feel so lucky that I am still able to do art which is my passion and helps me escape reality.’

Tyran set up the shots by instructing helpers to place the props before directing them to take the right pictures which he could view on a projected screen.

He said: ‘When you first get diagnosed with Duchenne, you feel as if you are covered in a shadow of overwhelming emotion as you are given no hope by the doctors.

‘As the arrow of time ticks on, you begin to realise that it is not all “doom and gloom”.

‘Due to medical advances, you are given a longer life expectancy and with the fight for a cure harder than ever there could be a bright light in sight before the pearly gates.

‘Action Duchenne is the only national charity that exclusively funds research for a cure and promotes campaigns for better medical care.

‘The essential work they do is priceless and I hope my exhibition will take us one step closer to a cure.’

Modern Vanitas: The Torment and decay of Duchenne is at the University of Portsmouth’s Eldon Gallery from November 1 to 18, from 10am until 4pm on weekdays. Admission is free.