Creativity through crisis: ‘parents of disabled children preparing for COVID for a lifetime’

Welsh artist finds inspiration for new wave of art through the challenges of raising a disabled child through lockdown.

A Wales-based artist, Sue Watt,with ‘Lost 2020’ she painted.

A Welsh artist is communicating the struggle of living with a disabled child through the pandemic, released related paintings by the end of 2020.

Sue Watt, 50, has been painting her life and taking care of her disabled son, Tom. 

Sue said: “People who have a disabled child have been trained for the pandemic for years, because their lives are isolating.”

She didn’t feel fit for the normal world. “You’re sort of exist in a different world. You don’t want to be in that world, but that’s where you are,” she said.

Impact 2020

The diptych ‘Impact 2020’, be finished in last year through lockdown, shows Tom’s back brace which he has to wear 23 hours of the day until he has corrective spinal surgery.

“From our side , the brace is cumbersome and difficult. It is either that or surgery. The decision is ours to make, so there is a weight of responsibility to make this decision for someone who can’t,” said Sue. “I think that is why they are carrying the brace.”

Sue is painting in her studio.

The heads in the painting were inspired by a mound of earth and hay, manure up the local mountain called the Wenallt she often walks by.

This content also appears in ‘Lost 2020’, another painting in the series, which describes a golden retriever looking for a ball on a mount.

“It represents the lives we lost during this awful pandemic, but also the fact everyone has lost during this period,” she said.

‘Lost 2020′, a golden retriever looking for a ball on a mount.

The series is not finished. She is now working on an etching that shows the mound has softened and expanded from its earlier shape.

“This is about dilution of the virus, but maybe it’s really about spread, as the news isn’t good at the moment.” she said.

Sue’s studio with 50 paintings that work in progress.

Painting is a way letting she escape. 

Her studio is a private space that no one comes in. She thinks the time here will help her forget how difficult it is to care for a disabled child.