Today the West Midlands Acquired Brain Injury Forum (WeMABIF) launches its own art exhibition in St. Martin’s Church in Birmingham, showcasing thought-provoking artworks created by brain injury survivors from across the Midlands.

Art as rehabilitation from brain injury

Around 50 UK artists, all of whom have had sustained brain injuries, have contributed artistic interpretations of their recovery process to the exhibition ‘The Art of Rehabilitation’. The artwork has been created using a variety of mediums, including photography of the Birmingham area.

Samantha Vaughan, a Fine Arts graduate, suggested the idea of an exhibition during a local WeMABIF meeting. After suffering from a brain injury herself in 2007, she became inspired by the idea of rehabilitation through art.

Samantha said: “After my own injury, I went back to university to study for a Masters in Art Health & Wellbeing. I saw first-hand how creative art forms can aid memory, cognition and dexterity.

“The exhibition is not just about the final piece of artwork produced; it’s about the process the artist goes through. It’s great to see so many organisations coming together to showcase the talent of the individuals they are helping.”

As well as using her skills to help others through art, Samantha, from Birmingham, is also exhibiting some of her own work at the event.

Challenges misconceptions of disability

The free event, sponsored by Optua UK, aims to challenge the misconceptions of hidden and seen disabilities. Some of the artists’ work will also be available to buy.

Laura Storer, a specialist brain injury solicitor from Thompsons Solicitors, helped to organise the event along with other members of the WeMABIF committee.

She said: “We asked group members for new ideas for future WeMABIF events and we thought Samantha’s idea was fantastic. She has been the driving force behind this exhibition, and her artwork is simply brilliant.

“The art being exhibited is often very moving and powerful. It really gives an insight into how art aids the rehabilitation process.”

The free exhibition will be open to the public every day from 30 January until 26 February 2014 at St Martin’s Church, in Birmingham’s Bull Ring.