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Artist's unusual talent on display

PUBLISHED: 00:44 03 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:50 03 March 2010

LIKE many artists Cathy Mitchell has worked hard to perfect her talent – although for her the challenge has been to learn to paint with her mouth.

Cathy, who grew up in Hadleigh, suffers from a progressive neuro-muscular disease which now means she has lost the use of her hands.

LIKE many artists Cathy Mitchell has worked hard to perfect her talent – although for her the challenge has been to learn to paint with her mouth.

Cathy, who grew up in Hadleigh, suffers from a progressive neuro-muscular disease which now means she has lost the use of her hands.

But with the help of The Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists she has found a way to express herself through art.

"When I lost the use of my arms I had to learn how to write and paint with my mouth. I was surprised how quick the body is to adapt and it only took a month or so to be able to write. The strange thing is that the style is exactly the same as when I used to write with my hands," she said.

Cathy became a member of the association about four years ago but has been painting using her mouth for the last six years.

"To begin with the worst part was feeling self conscious when I used my mouth to write and paint in public but I am over that now. I am still in the learning process and I just hope to keep painting for as long as I am physically able," said the 34-year-old of Blackfriars Court, Ipswich.

Now Cathy's work will be on show as part of an exhibition put on by the Lions Club in Ipswich.

The exhibition has been running for four years now and this year it is hoped Cathy may give a demonstration.

So if you would like to sample some of her talent, as well as many other artists, then it will be held at the Sproughton Tithe Barn from May 3 to 6.

Entrance is £1 and a free catalogue is included. The doors will open on May 3 for a preview at 7.30pm when entrance will be £4 which includes cheese and wine.

On May 4 doors open at 10am until 7.15pm, on May 5 it is 1pm until 6pm and on May 6 10am until 4pm.

All proceeds are going to the Presidents Charity Appeal.


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