An artist from St Neots who has overcome Tourette's Syndrome, a sight condition, anxiety and depression has had his artwork featured in a London exhibit.

Kevin Gavaghan, a surrealism artist who hails from St Neots, has sculpted a special statue of a dog for an art exhibition opened by Guide Dogs.

He's 54, but when he was a teenager he developed Tourette's Syndrome. 

Since his 20s, Kevin has battled with anxiety and depression. In his mid-30s, he was diagnosed with Central Serious Retinopathy (CSR), which is a sight condition.

His CSR diagnosis meant that he had to leave his job as a data analyst, so he decided to try and make a career out of his "life-long love" for art.

The Hunts Post: Kevin Gavaghan is an artist based in St Neots.Kevin Gavaghan is an artist based in St Neots. (Image: Kevin Gavaghan)

He said: "The diagnosis felt like it was all over before it had begun.

"I often explain that my vision is like looking through a pane of glass with a drop of water on it. Everything is distorted and, at the beginning, I thought I’d never paint again."

Kevin has used art as a form of escapism in his life.

"Throughout my life, drawing and painting have been my escapism. It helped me through years of hospital appointments, severe panic attacks, and depression.

"It has always been my therapy, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it, so I soon realised I wasn’t willing to give it up."

So, Kevin adapted his art to replicate what his eye sight is like now. He creates surrealist and abstract designs that are "warped and distorted", which he describes as "an explanation of my vision."

It's this artistic style which features on Kevin's sculpture in the Paws on the Wharf campaign, ran by Guide Dogs.

The Hunts Post: Kevin's 'Hope and Resilience' pupKevin's 'Hope and Resilience' pup (Image: Kevin Gavanagh)

Kevin created a 'Hope and Resilience' pup, which features two people crouching down, symbolising the emotional and physical impact of challenging times in life.

The smaller characters are scrambling over each other, representing the mania of life but also showcasing a support system for those going through a tough time.

Kevin has also used dark and muted colours on the bottom half and contrasted them with vibrant blues and whites to portray hope coming from the darker days.

He said: "I’ve loved being a part of the Paws on the Wharf exhibition. It has not only inspired me in my creativity, but I’ve had several people reach out to me, personally.

"Individuals that have recently been diagnosed with CSR, or who are going through a tough time with it, and just want to talk. Or health professionals who are fascinated by how I’ve used art and painting to embrace my eye condition and the impact this has had on my mental health."

Paws on the Wharf is a step-free exhibition, running until May 17, with audio information about the sculptures available. 

Kevin's pup is in Area 4, and you can bid on his sculpture here.

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