Outdoor Portrait Exhibition Comes to York’s Vaccination Centre

Visitors to York’s vaccination centre can browse a new collection of portraits by award-winning artist Sue Clayton thanks to Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) taking its popular outdoor exhibitions on tour.

The 21 portraits, all inspired by children and adults who have Down Syndrome – especially Sue’s energetic son James – will be on display at Askham Bar NHS Vaccination Centre from Tuesday 11 May to Sunday 13 June.

The collection also features Andrew, who is the son of one of Nimbuscare’s vaccinators, lead nurse Theresa Ollerenshaw.

The exhibition coincides with the unveiling of a specially commissioned artwork entitled Tent of Hope, created by Sue who has picked out members of the Nimbuscare vaccination team and pulled them together into one stunning painting, which even includes the cat which visits the site daily.

Nimbuscare director Michelle Phillips said: “It’s a huge privilege to have this very special art here at the Vaccination Centre.

“We are especially delighted with the unique painting Sue has done for us. Thanks to everyone who has helped make it happen.”

Sue, who is a portrait artist with a vibrant colour palette and a social purpose, chose the theme 21 to not only mark the 21st March, when World Down Syndrome (WDSD) is held, but to also symbolise the extra 21st chromosome that people with Down Syndrome have.

The exhibition, entitled 21, proved so popular when it was first held outside All Saint’s Church, in Pocklington during lockdown, PAC decided to take it on tour to other outdoor venues in the region so many more people can enjoy it.

PAC Director, Janet Farmer said: “We always enjoy working with Sue on staging her striking exhibitions at PAC, so it has been absolutely fantastic to be able to continue sharing her inspirational work with the public in the midst of the pandemic by taking the exhibition outdoors. It has been brilliant to see so many people enjoying the opportunity to engage with art at this time, and we are looking forward to sharing it with many more people as we bring the exhibition to York’s vaccination centre.”

Full-time artist Sue received recognition from Britain’s Got Artists in 2012, and was named Outstanding Visual Artist in the York Culture Awards, for her much-admired York Heroes (2017-2018)project.

Sue’s original Downright Marvellous! (2015) exhibition at PAC mainly depicted young children who have Down Syndrome, but her new portraits feature what she views as the “unrepresented and significant” social presence of adults with Down Syndrome at work and play. 

21 comes a year after Sue held her highly acclaimed studio exhibition Downright Marvellous at Large at PAC, which featured a giant pair of hand-knitted odd socks.

Sue said: “I was absolutely blown away by the positive feedback I received when 21 was displayed in Pocklington, so I’m really excited to be able to take it to other venues so many more people can browse the portraits and join me in celebrating young people with Down Syndrome at work and play.”

“My son James, who is a huge inspiration for me, turned 18 in lockdown so this was the perfect time to put this exhibition together and I hope it brings a lot of joy to people after what has been such a challenging time for so many.”

21 is one of two exhibitions PAC is taking to other outdoor venues, with artist Karen Winship’s hugely successful NHS Heroes opening at Hull Marina on Monday 17 May where it will run for four weeks, until Sunday 20 June.

For more information about all of PAC’s forthcoming exhibitions visit www.pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk