When Nathan Jones wanted to help his son Noah stave off the boredom of lockdown, he didn’t expect their garden painting sessions to be anything other than a way to pass the time. Six months on, Noah has collaborated with artists around the world, has a book of his work and his very own mural in Peterborough.
A Passion for Painting
Noah lives with Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephalus and Epilepsy and has limited mobility. In April this year, his father Nathan decided to keep Noah entertained by doing some painting. Armed with paintbrushes and pieces of cardboard to use as makeshift canvases, Noah got busy. The abstract and expressive backgrounds that Noah created impressed art enthusiast Nathan so much that he began to think of ways to share Noah’s talent with others.
Nathan explained: “Noah loves painting. He has a real eye for colour and has created all the backgrounds himself.”
Nathan wondered if any of his artist friends would be interested in collaborating with Noah on his creations, so he reached out to them on Instagram. He planned to get as many artists involved as he could to put their stamp on Noah’s background and put them on display in the children’s unit of Colchester Hospital. After the exhibition, the pieces would be auctioned off and the money raised would be donated to the hospital, as a “thank you” for the years of care Noah had received there. In response to his post, over 200 artists from around the globe signed up to put their mark on Noah’s work.
Nathan laughed: “The plan was to get a few street artists I knew involved but all kinds of artists came forward, even a chef! We never anticipated this level of response and are completely overwhelmed and humbled.”
Creating A Masterpiece
Six months on, Noah’s disability hasn’t stopped him as the project, known as Bob’s Backgrounds, has been gaining more participants, more fans and more attention. His art has inspired each participating artist in their own way and some of the finished pieces include a striking and colourful parrot and a hoverboarding astronaut. What’s more, the book ‘Bob’s Backgrounds’, is available now with all proceeds going to the NHS.
Nathan concluded: “Every time we get a new painting in the post, Noah has the exciting task of opening it up to see what that artist has created. It has certainly kept him busy and very happy.”