Art aids brain injury recovery

CREATIVE: Mark Ashby has used art to help him recover from a serious brain injury.

In 1993, Mark Ashby had to relearn how to walk and talk after a car accident left him with a serious brain injury.

He achieved this, and now 26 years later, the 44-year-old from Woolston is using art as the next step towards recovery.

Ashby’s work is on display at the New Brighton Library until the end of the week.

Art is just one of the activities he has taken up to aid his recovery.

Ashby is also a keen bodybuilder who has competed overseas.

He said his art reflects his unique view of the world after his injury.

Ashby said his artworks have been part of his journey towards recovery and he hopes they will help others going through the same challenges.

The exhibition is
about “getting over the stigma of having had the accident and then being able to express myself,” said Ashby.

For others in similar positions, he said “it will give them hope.”

He also said keeping moving was crucial to his recovery. The mental fitness he has gained from painting was just as important as the physical fitness he has developed through a passion for bodybuilding, he said.

“Getting everything moving is a wondrous achievement and that should be recognised.”

Ashby said painting also helped him overcome some of the struggles that came with his injury and it could do the same for others in his situation.

“In the dark times, when you are isolated, you feel comfortable in being yourself.”

New Brighton Library display wall co-ordinator Daniel Ready said Ashby’s work is abstract, but it captures his world view perfectly.

“The value that he shows in his display is the distorted view that he gives everyone to look into his mind.”

Mr Ready said seeing the world through the eyes of someone who has experienced challenges which have left him with such a unique outlook on life is special.