“Nathan sees ideas and his enthusiasm for art is very inspiring”

A budding artist from Shepton Mallet is seeing his creative ambitions realised after a community art project he’s part of, has been selected out of 3,500 submissions for a new exhibition at Wells Cathedral.

Nathan, 19, is a creative volunteer with the Art Bank, which turns waste products into innovative art work. He is among a group of volunteers who have helped to create The Spirit, which will include artwork made out of plastic bottles, lit by LED lights to become a person surrounded by flowers.

The Spirit is one of 91 art works selected out of 3,500 submissions to be put on display at Wells Cathedral in partnership with Wells Art Contemporary Exhibition from August 28th for a month. The exhibition will be open to the public.

Nathan was put forward for this opportunity after receiving support from Discovery’s Supported Employment team who quickly spotted his creative talent. His supported employment adviser, Deborah Sutcliffe, said:

“I first met Nathan in February 2021 and I told him about the Art Bank and we visited one of their exhibitions. They had used recycled CDs to create a polar bear. This really inspired Nathan and he was keen to find out more and get involved.”

The Art Bank works at improving social cohesion in Shepton Mallet and beyond by offering a hub for creative connection and collaboration. It houses the Art Bank Cafe and Rubbish Art Project, a not for profit organization that takes waste materials from local businesses, charity shops and individuals, and helps local artists and people transform them into thought-provoking art.

From September, Nathan will also use his passion for art to volunteer and help the Art Bank’s training team deliver courses and workshops for the community. His employment adviser said:

“Nathan sees ideas and his enthusiasm for art is very inspiring. His designs are fabulous and his sketches are very detailed. We are working in partnership with the Art Bank and I was able to job match him to an opportunity to get involved with their latest exhibition. It’s a voluntary position at the moment, but we hope this could lead to a paid opportunity for him in the future.”

Discovery Supported Employment team is an award winning project providing support to adults across Somerset who have autism and/or learning needs to find employment. For further information, contact Supported Employment team manager Shona Howes on 07585034269, email shona.howes@discovery-uk or visit www.discovery-uk.org

For further information about the Art Bank visit www.artbank.org.uk or pop along to the Art Bank Café, 13 High Street, Shepton Mallet open Wednesday to Saturday 9.30am to 3pm. For more details about the art exhibition, which is also being held virtually as well as at Wells Cathedral visit www.wellsartcontemporary.co.uk