Mouth artist Ann Lund: ‘Through painting I was able to experience normal childhood activities’
I have been paralysed from the neck downwards since I was born in 1971 and spent my life wheelchair bound. However, in spite of this I have been lucky enough to travel the world, develop a successful career and establish a supportive group of family and friends.
Growing up in a home full of love, support and faith, my parents and siblings helped me to live a relatively normal life, however it was through painting that I was able to experience normal childhood activities.
Without the use of my hands and legs, my disability kept me from running, dancing and many of the other activities children would participate in with each other. Yet I was able to feel the joy and exhilaration by drawing young girls dancing and running.
As a young girl I had an art exhibition in my home town of Copenhagen displaying my artwork. The local paper attended my exhibition and printed an article and photos of me with my paintings. Upon seeing this article, an international organisation the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) got in touch and offered me a scholarship and become one of their students.
This scholarship provided me with funding for art classes and materials, which helped develop my artistic abilities and further my career as a painter. I have been with the MFPA for 14 years and I paint with my mouth. Like all the artists I make my living through the sale of reproductions of my paintings in the form of cards and calendars which are sold directly to the public. Through the MFPA I am constantly surrounded by fellow mouth and foot painters, who have inspired and assisted me with my work.
MFPA has been helping people like me to create a positive future since 1957, when the painter Erich Stegmann and a small band of handicapped artists from eight European countries created a self-help association based in Britain. This year is the MFPA’s 55th Anniversary and to date the organisation helps 802 mouth and foot painters across 76 countries.
The support from my family and fellow MFPA members has never made me think of my disability as a hindrance and instead helped me secure opportunities and a bright future. I have a loving husband, two beautiful daughters with a third on the way. There have been difficulties along the way but I consider myself very lucky to be surrounded with such amazing people in my life.
For more information visit www.mfpa.co.ukTagged in: Ann Lund, Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, paralysis
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