Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Home Full of Art Is Cleared out to 'Give Something Back'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Home Full of Art Is Cleared out to 'Give Something Back'

Article excerpt

Byline: Hannah Moore Reporter hannah.moore@trinitymirror.com

ARETIRED Morpeth artist will use his upcoming exhibitions to raise money for Parkinson's UK, following his wife's diagnosis with the incurable disease two years ago.

Leighton Clark, 75, initially worked in ceramics, but found the craft too difficult to carry on with as he aged.

However a holiday to Bristol, where he photographed the SS Great Britain, reignited his passion for art and soon the Clark household was once again full of his work.

When his wife Pat, 73, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease two years ago, the house was cluttered with Leighton's creations. "I had all of this artwork lying around the house - I love making it but I had no idea what to do with it," he said.

"So I thought, why not give something back to society and have an exhibition, sell the work and give the money to Parkinson's UK?" Leighton is aiming to raise PS2,000 for the Parkinson's charity.

As well as his art sales, he is also raising money through sponsorship and has set up a justgiving page.

Parkinson's Disease, which is a degenerative neurological condition, affects one in 500 people in the United Kingdom.

For Leighton, selling his work for charity is his way of saying thank you to the people who have played a large part in supporting his wife as the couple prepare for the long road ahead.

"The disease can take hold very quickly, it can take a long time to develop," Leighton said.

"Each person with Parkinson's is very individual.

"Obviously it is a degenerative disease and we both understand that things aren't going to get any better.

"I think you've got to live with it as best you can, as I think most people with the disease and their families do."

The artist said Parkinson's UK had been incredibly helpful to his family. They were able to provide a Parkinson's nurse, whom sees Pat regularly and is able to phone if she needs to.

Abby Robinson, regional fundraiser for the North East and Cumbria at Parkinson's UK said: "Thank you so much to Leighton for his unique fundraising idea and donating all his profits to help us find better treatments and a cure faster. …

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