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New ‘art as therapy’ exhibition now open at Ankerside Gallery

AN artist is showcasing her artwork a pop-up gallery ‘Using Space, Uplifting Souls’ in Ankerside Shopping Centre to raise awareness about the power of art as therapy for unseen illnesses.

Shelly Lightnin, who has depression and spinal disease Ankylosing Spondylitis, a painful condition which causes inflammation of the joints in the spine, is currently displaying her art, and that of local artists, at the pop-up gallery in a bid to raise awareness of ‘Silent Sufferers’.

The public are invited to bring their Artwork in to exhibit in support of the cause. You may also visit Shelly as she creates her distinctive paintings which span striking landscapes. Alongside the chance to browse the collections, of other Local Artists and SIlent Sufferers. There will also be the ongoing opportunity to drop in and paint with Shelly free-of-charge. All ages welcome, just come and set your soul free.

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Artist Shelly, who is also a reggae singer and producer, said that she turned to painting as a way of bringing healing to her mind and soul, which in effect helps the body. “I’m really excited for the wider public to see my art and to share my story of how finding creative outlets has had a positive impact on both my mental and physical health,” said Shelly.

“I know there are many people out there in a similar situation to myself suffering from unseen medical conditions and being at Ankerside is a wonderful opportunity for me to highlight how art can be a transformational form of therapy.”

Ankerside Centre Manager, Jeff Wigley spoke of his admiration for Shelly who also is happy to run art workshops with local schools, colleges and clubs. “Just by looking at Shelly you’d never know she suffers from chronic pain as she’s so vibrant and full of energy,” said Jeff.

“It’s clearly evident that creative channels really do help with keeping her spirits up and pain at a minimal. We’re thrilled that Shelly has chosen Ankerside Gallery as a platform for raising awareness.”

Jeff described Shelly as a real inspiration and was sure visitors would enjoy the exhibition and having a go at painting something. “Her gallery has been a huge hit in showcasing the exceptional talent coming from the area. It’s really lovely seeing people getting together to discuss and appreciate the diversity of arts being produced within the community.”


Stunning scenes painted by local artist Shelly Lightnin.

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