Challenge is a work of art for mum Sue
TRYING on shoes is the most straightforward of tasks — for most of us.
But it is more of a challenge for someone like Sue Kent.
The mum-of-two has short arms, after her mother took the drug Thalidomide during her pregnancy.
And it is the challenge of something most regard as so simple that the sports massage therapist has used to create artwork which is to feature in a national exhibition.
Postcards From The Edges is a major project exploring life and disability, one year after the London Paralympics. The project has been launched by national disability charity, United Response, as part of its 40-year anniversary.
See Sue giving a massage with her feet:
Anyone with an interest in disability was invited to express themselves creatively using a blank postcard, with the opportunity to use words or pictures in any way they chose.
More than 500 postcards were submitted to the project, and hundreds will appear at the exhibitions, which are to tour the country.
But only 40 have been chosen to be showcased and enlarged for the exhibitions — including Sue's postcard entitled High Heeled and Gloveless.
Her postcard will feature prominently alongside others from celebrities like Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell, Suede singer Brett Anderson, and Paralympian Hannah Cockroft, amongst others.
Sue's postcard is a response to the challenge she faces while trying to alter her footwear to improve her mobility, and simultaneously express her sense of identity.
She said: "To be able to express yourself on a postcard is a unique and wonderful idea.
"For me this project gives people the freedom to express themselves in so many different ways — from creating a collage to drawing an image.
"So when I heard my work has been chosen as a showcase piece I was over the moon. I think the project is a great idea and due to the size of the blank canvas, it has allowed me to be creative within a confined space — something I could not do before because of my disability.
"I have written poetry for a long time, but whenever my work was written from a disability viewpoint I didn't know how or who to share it with.
"However, this project has allowed me to share my thoughts within a context which is easy to understand and has the power to reach a wider audience."
United Response hopes the project will shine a spotlight on the everyday lives of disabled people; their hopes and fears, challenges they face and achievements.
Sue, from Gower, added: "I am thrilled that my work will feature in galleries around the country, but more so I really hope it will have an impact on people. With any luck people will identify with it whilst reflecting on their own experiences."
Su Sayer CBE, United Response's founder and chief executive, said: "One year ago, the Paralympics shone a spotlight on disabled sporting heroes. We wanted to pick up the baton and go further, celebrating the everyday lives and achievements of ordinary disabled people.
"We knew from first-hand experience how much disabled people have to say, so we wanted to create a space where they could express themselves in whichever way they chose. I'm very proud that we are using our 40th anniversary to launch a unique, life affirming project like this."
There is time for other Swansea artists to be featured in the exhibitions, which will be touring London, Newcastle, Liverpool and Bristol. Postcards can be created on the website, submitted or uploaded.