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Suffolk man’s head is painted to raise awareness of brain injuries

PUBLISHED: 10:03 16 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:06 16 December 2014

Brain injury victim and Headway client Ian Duffy has head painted to become 'living art' by Cat Finlayson at the launch of the Headway art exhibition at The Forum.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Brain injury victim and Headway client Ian Duffy has head painted to become 'living art' by Cat Finlayson at the launch of the Headway art exhibition at The Forum. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Archant Norfolk.

A man who survived a devastating brain injury volunteered to become a living artwork in Norwich as part of an awareness project.

Ian Duffy, 56, suffered two brain haemorrhages that left him struggling to speak in August 2012.

He has made significant progress since his life-changing injury and has slowly begun to rebuild his life – turning to Headway Norfolk and Waveney’s art project six months ago.

Mr Duffy’s time with the local brain injury charity has proved therapeutic, and as a thank-you he wanted to help showcase work created by the charity’s members as part of their rehabilitation.

To do this he agreed to have his head painted at The Forum in Norwich, as part of an exhibition called Brain Waves.

“Headway has been transformational for me, enabling me to increase my level of activity in a safe and supportive environment,” said Mr Duffy, of Bungay. “I, like others, have discovered a passion for art and crafts.

“A morning of quiet painting allows me to escape the challenge and pain of verbal communication.”

He explained that by having his head painted, he hoped to show the relationship between brain injuries and art.

“I want to raise awareness of how hidden severe head injuries can be and the enormous challenges that people suffering with brain injury are dealing with as there is little understanding.”

Laura Jones, of Headway Norfolk and Waveney, said: “Brain Waves is a valued opportunity to showcase the work that our clients create in a friendly, relaxed and supportive environment.

“We’re very keen to reach out to new audiences and we hope that this exhibition will serve to challenge people’s perceptions of what it means to live with a brain injury.”

The exhibition, which will run at The Forum until Thursday, has been sponsored by Ashton KCJ.

Ben Ward, a Norwich-based medical injury solicitor for the firm, said: “Many of our lawyers see first-hand the catastrophic effects which brain injury has on individuals and their families. We also see the fantastic part that Headway plays in their rehabilitation and are inspired by it.”

For more information about Headway Norfolk and Waveney, see www.headway-nw.org.uk/

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