Holly was awarded the Mark Dower Trust grant in early 2018, to assist payment for art classes and workshops. Holly is a professional painter, working in her gallery in Norwich and selling her artwork that incorporates her ataxic symptoms into her style. Below, she tells us about what winning the award has given her.

I’m so unbelievably grateful to be awarded the Mark Dower Trust this year. It has enabled me to discover a new art form: pottery, which I have never done before. I have so enjoyed finding out different ways to express myself through my art.

It was also really lovely to change up my routine: one day a week I was able to do something different, but equally creative to my usual work. I found the whole experience really relaxing and therapeutic. For anyone who has not tried throwing on a pottery wheel, I really recommend it!

Through the medium of pottery, I was able to create art which wasn’t defined by my disability. Similarly with art – there is no direct link with ataxia, which is why I see art as a form of escapism, and a form of self-expression that’s independent of ataxia. The Mark Dower Trust grant has allowed me to explore this all the more, and add another skill and passion to my practice.

I would 100% recommend anyone from the 16-30's group to apply for the grant!

Photo: one example of Holly's artwork, tuition paid for by the grant. Please meet PotTerry!