Portsmouth dad reflects on disability for charity photography exhibition in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK

A DAD from Portsmouth has reflected on disability as part of a photography fundraising exhibition for Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 1:32 pm
Andy Barwell from Portsmouth has limb girdle muscular dystrophy, and is one of 50 people with different muscle-wasting conditions who are featured in the Reflections in Colour exhibition reflecting on how the pictures make them feel. Pictured: Andy and his family, and right is Sun and Chains

Andy Barwell 34, was diagnosed with limb girdle muscular dystrophy when he was 21, and has been featured as part of a series of images for a charitable effort.

Andy, who lives with his wife Louise and 10-month-old son Elijah, is one of 50 people with different muscle-wasting conditions who are featured in the exhibition reflecting on how the pictures make them feel.

Andy chose to comment on an image called Sun and Chains, a black and white image of the sun shining on some heavy metal chains.

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He said: ‘I think this image is probably the easiest one for me to pick! The chains signifying the struggle of disability, with the sun showing there is still light and life to live for.

‘Though the journey may be harder and the weight of the chains sometimes makes it a lot slower, the happiness of the sun and life in general should not stop you from striving to be the best person you can be.

‘I also see that the chains were probably attached to the rock in the background, but have recently been broken off, maybe a hidden reference to someone coming to terms with their disability and then deciding not to let it hold them back.

‘Acceptance is the hardest thing for anyone with a disability, but without it there is no path to living your best life, because you only have one!’

Reflections in Colour is a series of pictures born of the friendship between a businessman and a successful cinematographer, both from Kent.

Retired director of photography Chris Howard has created all the photographs for the exhibition which has been planned with his friend Andrew Robertson, who also has limb girdle muscular dystrophy.

Andrew, who met Chris during a charity walk for Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: 'Chris’ daughter also has muscular dystrophy, and after that first experience together, Chris and I would often meet for coffee.

‘I was blown away by his wonderful artwork, and what we originally planned as an actual show in a Whitstable art gallery has become a virtual exhibition.’

Visit crispandsharp.co.uk to see the full exhibition in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK.

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