An Artist’s Imagination Set Free

The artist Maxine Bunston

The VC Gallery in Haverfordwest is the venue for the third exhibition by local artist Maxine Bunston. It opens today and runs for the whole of this month, 11am-4pm weekdays.

The charity, which works with veterans and the local community to offer support, mainly through arts-based projects, has been a home from home for Maxine since she first discovered it six years ago.

Maxine, 40, says of the VC: “It’s a wonderful, creative and nurturing environment with a massive community feeling where you can truly be yourself, faults and all.”

She lives with PTSD and borderline personality disorder and says that the unstable nature of her mental health conditions can make it very difficult to cope with day-to-day living. Her involvement with the charity has been a life-saver.

“I have urges to self-harm which are countered by being creative,” she says. “I cannot thank the amazing staff enough for the amount they have done for me. It is my safe place where I’m understood and not judged.”

Finding the VC reignited a childhood passion for art, and once she started again, she just didn’t stop.

She says her exhibition is an opportunity to share her ideas and the pleasure she gets from the work: “For me art is escapism and so anything away from the normality of life is what inspires me. All things fantasy and fairy, where I can let my imagination free, give me great pleasure.”

      Maxine describes this year’s exhibition as a “mixed bag” exploring mainly digital art, which is something she has been experimenting with since lockdown.

“The rest are fine black pen and white pieces, very dainty, and a few small canvases that have been airbrushed.”

The exhibition is entitled Dreamscapes.

Maxine has been married to her husband, Andy, for 21 years. She is keen to thank him for his support. She also wants to thank Barry John, the founder of the VC Gallery, and the rest of the staff for creating such a safe and creative environment where  so many opportunities are available in so many ways.

Barry says: “Our function here is to reduce social exclusion and increase confidence among a wide range of people in the local community. Our studio and gallery space offers the opportunity for people from all walks of life to express themselves through art. We are delighted to work with Maxine and urge the public to come along and see her work and have the chance to own a unique piece of art from an accomplished artist.”

The VC Gallery offers a number of art workshops in its galleries in Haverfordwest and in Milford Haven.

Kitty Parsons

Kitty has forgotten how long she has been here now but she loves Pembrokeshire for its beauty and it's people. She spends her time searching out stories for, swimming in the sea , drawing and painting as Snorkelfish and eating cake. She says " has been an opportunity to celebrate this beautiful county and its people. Keep the stories coming. We love to hear from you."

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