Schoolboy’s pictures of a life with brain injury are acclaimed

Sonia Whymark with son Ben and his painting at the Child Brain Injury Trust Celebration at the Saatchi Gallery in London

Sonia Whymark with son Ben and his painting at the Child Brain Injury Trust Celebration at the Saatchi Gallery in London

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD boy with brain injury has had his therapeutic artworks displayed at a major London art gallery.

Ben Whymark, from Didcot, volunteered to paint pictures for the Oxfordshire-based Child Brain Injury Trust to show what it is like to live with a brain injury.

The All Saints Primary School pupil suffered his brain injury when he was 16 months old after contracting pneumococcal meningitis and septicaemia.

He suffered damage to his frontal lobes and at the back of his brain and had to learn how to walk and talk again.

But through his painting Ben hopes to show others just what life is like for him.

Oxford Mail:

Ben’s exploding head painting

Describing his painting on behaviour, Ben said: “When I feel angry it’s like a volcanic eruption in my head.”

In May the paintings went on show at a gallery in Bethnal Green, London, and were so well received they have now been transferred to the Education Room at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea.

The exhibition highlights eight areas of difficulty that children with a brain injury can have problems with, including attention and concentration and behaviourial issues.

Ben’s mum Sonia, 34, who lives in Didcot with husband Lee, Ben and daughter Mia, three, said: “Ben was feeling angry one day and I suggested he should paint a picture to show how he felt.

“We went to the Saatchi gallery for a presentation on Thursday of last week and it was amazing to see Ben’s paintings up on display.”

Both his pictures sold for about £250 and the money will go to the Child Brain Injury Trust.

The paintings will stay on display until the end of August.

Mrs Whymark added: “Ben continues to have regular assessments from his neuro psychologist.

“He’s now a bright, intelligent boy, but still has challenges to deal with on a daily basis.

“He’s a true inspiration — he never gives up and truly enjoys life to the full.

“He chose to paint his pictures on attention and concentration, and behaviour, as these are the areas that he can have difficulties with.”

Lisa Turan, chief executive of the Child Brain Injury Trust, said: “We want this exhibition to highlight some of the difficulties children with a brain injury face. We also want to make adults think about how they react to children who may be exhibiting some of these behaviours and who, unbeknown to them, have an acquired brain injury.”

Francesca Wilson, head of education at the Saatchi Gallery, said: “These paintings are extremely moving.

“We’ve had many school groups and visitors see the paintings and comment on how powerful they are.

“The visual expressions of the challenges faced daily by the children give the artworks true originality and integrity.”

The Child Brain Injury Trust, based in Bicester, is a national charity that provides emotional and practical support to children and families affected by childhood acquired brain injury.

For further information, visit childbraininjurytrust.org.uk

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

    Send your Letter to the Editor

    11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

    What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.

Our top stories

New: Get Oxford Mail news alerts sent direct to your phone via Whatsapp

Oxford Mail: Whats App logo

11:50am Tuesday 3rd June 2014

OXFORD Mail readers can now sign up to get major breaking news alerts sent direct to their mobile phones with a new service using Whatsapp.

Set for a battle of Blenheim over 1,500 homes plan

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 9th September 2014

RESIDENTS in Woodstock have vowed to “fight until the bitter end” against plans to build up to 1,500 homes east of the town.

Delays of up to 40 minutes on bus services across the county

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

9:00am Tuesday 9th September 2014

STAGECOACH Oxfordshire has warned that passengers face delays of up to 40 minutes this morning.

Harassment cop sacked for gross misconduct

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

8:30am Tuesday 9th September 2014

A DETECTIVE has been sacked after harassing a member of police staff, the force said yesterday.

Fears as boat owners’ group claims new area of riverbank

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 9th September 2014

RESIDENTS say they are worried about another attempt by boat owners to grab land alongside waterways in the city.

Mum cleared of breaking baby daughter’s leg

Oxford Mail: The Horton General Hospital, Banbury

6:30am Tuesday 9th September 2014

A TEENAGER accused of breaking her baby daughter’s leg broke down in tears as she was cleared yesterday.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree