TALENTED artists with learning disabilities have been given a taste of university education in a new project.

The Flash Frame project was set up by charity Oxford Film and Video Makers and given funding by the Arts Council to find the county’s most gifted visual artists with learning disabilities and give them professional training.

Hundreds of entries were whittled down to 15 people.

A two-day workshop was held earlier this year, testing each person’s skill in video, animation, photography and drawing before eight people were chosen as having the most potential to be professional artists.

The group, who have named themselves the Shadowlight Artists, are led by professional artist Chris Oakley and have just completed another three-day workshop at Oxford Brookes University.

Project manager Richard Duriez said the sessions had given the group a chance to experience a university education they otherwise would not have access to.

He added: “Normally people with learning disabilities do not get access to high-quality professional training and aren’t given a chance to experience university.

“This project shows that people with learning disabilities can be professional artists.”

During the three days, the aspiring artists were coached by professionals and lecturers, including Adrian Pawley, and the last session culminated in a series of installations.

Artists Danny Smith, 34, from Blackbird Leys, Oxford, and Mark Hemsworth, 41, from Wantage, teamed up to make a beach-themed installation which featured the sights and sounds of the seaside.

Mr Smith said: “It has been fantastic and I have had a brilliant time.

“I really like the beach. Being a student has been a nice experience.”

Mr Duriez added: “It has been great to be able to give these talented artists a chance to experience a taste of what it would be like to be a student on a degree course.”