Otley artist Diana Henderson beats pain to paint

Artist Diana Henderson at work in her studio

Artist Diana Henderson at work in her studio

First published in News

An exhibition of works by a local artist who has been living with Parkinson’s disease for 20 years will be held in Otley next month.

Though housebound and often in pain, 78-year-old Otley resident Diana Henderson still gets up every day determined to do what she loves – paint.

A selection of her large works in acrylic will go on show at Otley Courthouse on Sunday, April 6. Also displayed in the exhibition will be some of the customised books Diana has made, which contain collage, poetry and sketches.

She first realised something was wrong with her health when she was swimming and her hands tightened up “like claws”, but she has used her condition as a spur to paint, write and create more.

She said: “I found a way of unclawing my hands.

“The disease opened my eyes and unlocked my imagination. I didn’t know I was going to get a condition – you never know – so we must do as much as we can while we can. I get a lot of pain but you just deal with it.”

Diana started as an abstract painter in the 1980s and achieved a BA in fine art at Hull, followed by an MA at Leeds.

Her books lean towards autobiography, with one filled with notes and hand-drawn pictures from her days as a professional actress in repertory theatre.

The Without Limits exhibition will run until Saturday, April 26.

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