'Invisible People' 5-28 February 2015
Aya Hastwell has been volunteering with the charity Guideposts for the last two years. Alongside her volunteering she has been creating portraits of the charity's clients as a final project for her Art Academy studies.
These portraits incorporate artwork created by clients as part of their backgrounds, to emphasise elements of their personality and creative expression.
"I volunteer at Guideposts Trust’s branch in Watford since December 2012. I assist with the art group and participate in the befriending scheme.
The main reason I started to help is personal. My son is bipolar. He was taken to hospital for the first time when he was 17 years old and continued to go back to the hospital every year sometimes for up to several months at a time.
I see my son struggling and I know that there is not much that can be done except for being patient and kind. It made me want to help other people who “fight” like him to keep balance in their life.
My project is about the people who are isolated and excluded from society. The public are often scared of people with mental health issues.
I called the project Invisible People to reflect the subject. The project includes portraits and self-portraits of the clients of the charity, staff members and carers."