Allyson Hamblett profiles fellow artist Jeremy Younger
Jeremy Younger started art therapy at Māpura Studios after having a stroke 3 years ago and spending 3 months in hospital. His occupational therapist suggested he enrol in Māpura's Stroke Art Therapy Programme, an art therapy course designed for people with stroke. Jeremy then progressed to the Art Transition class, and is now involved in “Leading a Creative Life” on Thursday mornings, which he’s been doing for 18 months.
Jeremy has always been creative: he loves the art of the written word, and enjoys writing poems and stories. However, he was always told he couldn’t paint. Māpura has changed that, giving Jeremy new opportunities to express himself artistically.
The Stroke Art Therapy programme at Māpura Studios allowed Jeremy to do what he wanted to do. “I love the way art therapy allows people to share ideas on a work of art,” he says. Jeremy is an abstract artist; he loves the freedom of creating what he wants to create and enjoys the idea of turning pictures into thoughts.
Jeremy has a wide range of talents and experiences. He was trained as a psychotherapist in 1990, and continues practicing. Jeremy is an Anglican priest, and was ordained in 1970 at Winchester Cathedral in the south of England. He has also worked for a radio station in Bristol and Nottingham.
Jeremy moved to New Zealand in 1998, following in the steps of his brother and sister-in-law, who were married by Jeremy the same year. Jeremy has two nieces, Anna and Kirsty. He is a gay man, and has a partner, Henry, and a son, Theo, with a lesbian couple. At 15, Theo is already taller than Jeremy - 6 foot 3. They visit each other frequently.
Jeremy has had his work exhibited at Studio One and Northart through Māpura's exhibition programme. He loves seeing his work exhibited. The artwork that he produces at Māpura is proudly exhibited in his home in Selwyn Village -- he’s beginning to run out of wall space.
Jeremy enjoys making art at Māpura because it is really respectful of people. He’s met some really good people. Jeremy says of Māpura: “It’s messy enough to be creative. It's serious and it’s fun.” Jeremy also feels it “is very good...to be around disabled people. The struggle to be creative. Not easy after stroke. “
Banner image: Transference 2, Jeremy Younger