A student who was disabled after a car crash has used her skills and passion for sculpture to raise awareness about disability.
Mother of one, Colleen von Geitz, 44, was left with severe injuries after a serious car accident several years ago. The Chelsea resident suffered a broken neck that is now held in place by a titanium plate, and has had to fight to regain her movement.
She is now studying professional development in sculpture at Kensington and Chelsea College and was one of 14 students whose work was exhibited at the college during the first week of March.
She said: “Art has been an outlet for my emotions. My piece for the exhibition is about my battle to get my mobility back. A moment can change your life … it changed mine. Things like movement can be taken for granted.”
Colleen experimented with incorporating different mobility aids into her work, such as wheelchairs, Zimmer frames and walking sticks, before deciding on the image of a knocked-over pushchair with its contents strewn across the floor to convey the frustration of limited mobility.
She said: “I wanted to use the exhibition as an opportunity to not only raise my profile as an artist, but to raise awareness of the everyday issues facing those who are less mobile or disabled, such as being able to access priority seats on the tube.”
Kensington and Chelsea College visual arts tutor Jane Eyton said: “Colleen has produced a really interesting piece. She struggles with her injuries, although she’s relatively mobile at the moment.”
Entitled ‘2013’, the exhibition of sculpture and installations was created to showcase the eclectic range of artworks produced by Colleen and her classmates.
Jane praised all the students for the work put forward for the free exhibition at the college’s Park Walk sculpture studio in west London. “The course is designed to allow artists to develop their professional practice and portfolios. It was a successful exhibition with a very high quality of work.”