Paintings To Stop Distress
An artist who uses painting to cope with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he suffered following the Falklands War is currently exhibiting in Lancaster.
David Jewkes served four years in the RAF, including six months as a Senior Aircraftsman in the Falklands, an experience which caused his mental health to suffer.
“I found that drawing and painting helped me to escape from having some bad times. It gave me a focus to get my feelings out,” said David.
He decided to quit the RAF in 1984 and fulfil his dream of going to art college. After taking a degree at Winchester School of Art, he won a scholarship to the prestigious Slade School.
David later worked as a studio assistant to Peter Howson, the British official war artist in Bosnia, their experiences of war creating a bond between them.
Since then, David, who is based in Crewe, has exhibited widely and now paints full time. Painting To Stop Distress is his first exhibition in Lancaster where his step-daughter is studying at university.
The display in The Dukes gallery, which runs until October 7, shows the two sides to David’s work in acrylics. Some are therapeutic paintings which have helped him to deal with his feelings and the others, including still life, depict more commercial subjects.
As well as painting, David also runs sessions for people suffering from mental health conditions.
“I’m happy to talk about my own history and feelings which often means people feel more confident to share theirs with me,” David said.
“After the Falklands, there wasn’t much support available or understanding but nowadays, people seem more open to talk about mental health.”
There’s a chance to meet David and see him at work at a free drop-in event at The Dukes on September 23 from 2-4pm.
Painting To Stop Distress can be viewed during normal Dukes opening hours. If you are making a special trip to see it, call the Box Office as sometimes the gallery is used for other activities.
For more information, ring the Box Office on 01524 598500 or visit www.dukes-lancaster.org