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Care Agency service users artworks on show at ‘Artistically Ours’ exhibition

Pics by Eyleen Gomez

An exhibition ‘Artistically Ours’ showcasing the works of 40 Care Agency service users ranging from age 18 to 60 years old was launched at the John Mackintosh Hall this week.

The project was organised in conjunction with the Disability Society, and Debbie Borastero and Tony Jurado, Head of St Bernadette’s were also present, with the exhibition launched by the Minister for Equality Samantha Sacramento.

“These are amazing works of art undertaken by the service users at St Bernadette’s and Dr Giraldi Home and is an indicative between the Care Agency and Disability Society who we always love to partner with,” said Ms Sacramento.

“And this is of particular significance because this shows the ability of people with learning disabilities.”

“I can look at these paintings and works of art and I can tell and I can sense the fun and the enjoyment that has gone into them.”

“I look at some of them and some of the artists will stand out because we know them so well by now and we know their style and we know there favourite themes but all of them are beautiful and I love them.”

It is the third time there has been a collaboration to host an exhibition that showcases the art and talents of these service users. In 2016 some of the art from St Bernadette’s were showcased at an exhibition in Milan.

Calling them valuable works of art she said she it would not be possible without the support, great work and dedication of the staff at Dr Giraldi Home and St Bernadette’s.

Turning to Mr Jurado she told everyone present that he loves to get involved in creative things and art.

“For me it is great to see a collaboration between my departments and the Care Agency, the Ministry for Equality who are of course leaders in terms of setting the policy and setting the agenda on disability and equality for the Government and as always it has been a pleasure to work with the disability society,” said Ms Sacramento.

“It is fantastic all round, when I come and see things like this it just makes me so incredibly happy. Happy and proud. Proud of the artists and proud of the work that goes into this and now the collaboration of so many key people to make this possible and to make this happen. So those of you in the room who are key in achieving this, thank you. And, please thank all your colleagues and of course the artists.”

None of the artists were able to attend the opening of the exhibition because of Covid-19 measures and to ensure their health was not compromised.

Ms Borastero lamented that it was unfortunate that the great reception they had planned for the artists and their family members had to be cancelled but added that safety and health comes before everything else.

“The exhibition is also online. On the Care Ageny Facebook and the Gibraltar Disability Society’s Facebook so you can visit it online if you are isolating or do not want to be out in public,” she said.

“This was the start of a week of events that we were trying to organise leading up to Friday with is International Day for Persons with Disabilities. Unfortunately several of those events had to be cancelled due to a mass of people in small areas wouldn’t be ideal. We do have one event on Thursday which is the wheelchair marathon outside Parliament so come along and support.”

“This exhibition just shows the strength and the abilities of all the people down at St Bernadette’s and Dr Giraldi and I have to say a great big thanks to all the staff. I don’t think they are given enough credit particularly in these times. I think the work they do is absolutely amazing,” she added.

Mr Jurado thanked the Ministry for Equality’s support in the event and the Disability Society for being able to facilitate the art project.

“It’s been a very positive opportunity for our service users especially after the current climate we are still having to go through and the hard dedication of the staff that have been involved with a special mention to Oscar Hidalgo who has been our art support coach throughout this project and we couldn’t have done it without everybody collaborating together,” he said.

He also noted that Mr Hidalgo also created his own piece to illustrate his ideals of what learning disability is and how it is projected within the community.

In addition to the exhibition each of the works has been reproduced in a book which is free for people to take home. The paintings themselves will be sold, at a price of £100 for the public or £50 to an artist’s family member, and proceeds will go to directly to the Gibraltar Disability Society who aim to re-invest it in other projects.

To purchase any of the paintings contact the Care Agency by email:

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