Hyde Heath Evening WI

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

PRES­I­DENT, Elaine Barker, wel­comed ev­ery­one in­clud­ing one vis­i­tor, to the meet­ing on a lovely sum­mer’s evening. She also wel­comed the speaker, Keith Jansz and his wife, Cindy, who spoke very en­thu­si­as­ti­cally about the his­tory of the Mouth & Foot Paint­ing Artists As­so­ci­a­tion.

Ar­nulf Erich Stegmann was born in 1912 in Ger­many. When he was two years old he de­vel­oped po­lio and lost the use of both arms. His artis­tic tal­ents were rec­og­nized and sup­ported by his teach­ers and he soon be­came pro­fi­cient at paint­ing us­ing his mouth.

He strug­gled to live through the dif­fi­cul­ties of the war in Nazi Ger­many and was im­pris­oned for 18 months for be­ing out­spo­ken as an enemy of the State. How­ever, in1956 his vi­sion to form a self help group of dis­abled artists came to fruition and he be­came the first pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion.

In 1995 our speaker Keith suf­fered a bro­ken neck in a car ac­ci­dent which left him paral­ysed from the shoul­ders down and is now wheel­chair bound. Af­ter six months in Stoke Man­dev­ille hos­pi­tal, his mother gave him a book called Painters First with bi­ogra­phies of the Mouth & Foot Paint­ing Artists.

Keen to en­cour­age him, his wife Cindy ar­ranged a meet­ing with the mouth artist Trevor Wells, who per­suaded Keith to try paint­ing with his mouth.

De­spite dis­as­trous early ef­forts in, 1998 Keith was ac­cepted as a stu­dent artist in the or­gan­i­sa­tion, be­com­ing a full mem­ber in 2000 and now his prints and work have been ex­hib­ited and sold around the world.

He uses a sports mouth guard at­tached to a bent ar­row with brushes fit­ted on the end. He brought along a va­ri­ety of ex­am­ples of his work, which were as­ton­ish­ing, filled with light and at­mos­phere.

The As­so­ci­a­tion sup­ports not only dis­abled artists but other char­i­ties too such as the RNLI.

Whilst con­sum­ing a de­li­cious tea, Elaine gave a very big thank you to ev­ery­one who had helped by do­nat­ing cakes and help at the fete, and also to Sylvia Childs for a beau­ti­ful ar­range­ment in the St An­drew’s Flower Fes­ti­val. The largest amount ever was raised, £815, to­wards the Vil­lage Hall and a lovely let­ter of thanks for the WI’s ef­forts had been re­ceived from David Coul­ton, who also thanked us for the con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the de­fib­ril­la­tor.

The Sum­mer Evening Ram­ble is on July 6 meet­ing at 6pm for a 6.15pm start to the walk and re­turn­ing about 7.45pm for sup­per in St An­drew’s Church. The in­door bar­be­cue is on Au­gust 11 at 6.30pm. Also on Oc­to­ber 1 there will be a wine tast­ing with light sup­per. Fam­ily and friends are very wel­come to all th­ese events.

If any­one has a recipe or two which can be in­cluded in the Hyde Heath WI Cook­book, please send them to Vanessa Cul­mer.

Ju­lia Thorn­ton, who works with the or­gan­i­sa­tion across the county, told us about the work of Buck­ing­hamshire Mind, which we are sup­port­ing this year.

The next meet­ing will be on July 14 when Paul Rab­bitt will give a talk en­ti­tled Band­stands – De­cline & Re­vival. The com­pe­ti­tion is a Mu­si­cal In­stru­ment.

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