Mouth painter Bazza West will show his remarkable skills
Washington Squires Garden Centre, London Road, Washington is hosting an event to shine a spotlight on mouth and foot painting.
It takes place on Saturday, September 21 from 10am.
The event lasts approximately two hours. Tickets are free, with limited availability through https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/meet-the-artist-a-unique-art-event-with-mouth-painter-bazza-west-tickets-68124194299
Spokeswoman Esther Saunders-Deutsch said: “Following International Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Day on September 5 and to raise awareness of this unique art form, Washington Squires Garden Centre has commissioned an event with mouth painter Bazza West.
“The event offers a rare opportunity to meet the artist, learn about his working process and watch in close up the intricate skills required by the artist to create his mouth-painting masterpieces.
“After losing the use of his arms and legs in a car crash at the age of 19, mouth painter Bazza began painting by mouth and has never looked back since. Using a specially constructed easel that allows him to reach it with a paintbrush in his mouth, Bazza now specialises in delicately daubed landscapes and works inspired by the scenery of his home county of East Sussex.
“One of only 33 recognised mouth and foot painting artists in the UK and one of 800 across the globe, Bazza has been a part of the MFPA since 2013. He has since exhibited his work across the country.
“This event forms part of a series of one-off events taking place throughout September.”
Esther added: “As a young man Bazza was an active sportsman and by age 19 was running his own gardening business. While driving his car he swerved to avoid a badger crossing the road and slammed into a tree that resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic and in a wheelchair.
“Bazza’s rehabilitation took place at Stoke Mandeville Hospital where he spent a period of time on a life support machine because of breathing difficulties. After 11 difficult months in hospital he was finally allowed home but was depressed and looking at a very bleak future.
“Then, in 2007 his life was transformed when he came into contact with the Back Up charity that works with the spinally injured to help them to regain their confidence and independence.
“Since then his life has been extremely positive and involved a succession of unique experiences and physical adventures that include; forest rambling; ski carting in Sweden; being part of a team that made the summit of Mount Snowdon to help raise money for charity and separately Ben Nevis; skydiving and scuba diving and carrying the 2012 Olympic torch as part of the relay through Rye, Sussex.
“In addition he now leads courses in skiing and wheelchair skills and mentors other disabled people.
“From initially using his mouth to design business cards and letterheads Bazza has now dramatically developed his skills to become an accomplished artist.
“In 2013 he entered another exciting phase of his life when he was accepted as a student member artist with the MFPA.
“He now lives in East Sussex with his partner and young child.”
Formed in 1957, the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists is part of an international self-help association of disabled artists (AMFPA) who paint without the use of their hands. There are currently 33 British artists and almost 800 artists from over 80 countries worldwide.
The MFPA is run by the artists themselves, who reproduce their original paintings as unique greetings cards, calendars and a wide range of other products, which brings vital, financial security to its members.