An art exhibition with a difference launched last night at the Camp and Furnace in Liverpool. Postcards from the Edges explores life and disability in the 21st century and is part of a free national exhibition tour which ends in Liverpool. Helping open the exhibition was Wirral-based activist, Kaliya Franklin, who spoke last night about the project, its importance and the amazing artwork on display. Postcards from the Edges was created by national disability charity United Response in a bid to build on the Paralympic Games legacy from last year.

The public will have the chance to view artwork by ordinary people from around the country as well as celebrities like Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson, Olympic gold medalist Sally Gunnell, Suede singer Brett Anderson, Paralympian Hannah Cockroft and many more.

The exhibition turns the spotlight from disabled people’s sporting achievements to their creative ones and has been launched as part of the charity’s 40-year anniversary. United Response is urging the public to see the contributions from disabled people around Liverpool, the North West and the rest of country before the exhibition closes after the 10th November. In addition, the charity is also giving the public the chance to create their own masterpieces while exploring the artwork on display – allowing locals to see their own creations next to contributions from celebrities and artists from around the country.

Anyone with an interest in disability was invited to express themselves creatively using a blank postcard, with the opportunity to use words or pictures in any way they chose. People sent in collages, poems, photographs, digital art, paintings and even knitted postcards – in total over 700 postcards have been submitted to the project.

Kaliya, who is a leading disability campaigner, also submitted a postcard to the exhibition. Speaking at the event, Kaliya said: "What's so good about this exhibition is that it asks disabled people to speak for themselves. It doesn't tell them what to say or present a limited range of options to choose from. It really does give them total freedom to express themselves. And disabled people have really stepped up. A lot of difficult things have been said, about how isolated disabled people can still feel, how they are struggling. But there's also a lot of humour and life, and that makes it all the more powerful."

United Response hopes the project will challenge stereotypes and prejudice by exploring the everyday lives of disabled people; their hopes and fears, the challenges they face and their achievements. Postcards have come from a huge array of people including older people with mental health needs, the mothers of children with autism, hearing impaired artists and many, many more. The postcards have come from across the UK and even as far afield as Baltimore in the US.

Diane Lightfoot, Director of Communications and Fundraising, also spoke at the event and added: “This is the last leg in our nationwide tour of the Postcards from the Edges exhibition, and we’re very pleased we’re finishing in Liverpool, a great cultural city where many of our postcard creators live. One of the great things about the project is that postcards came from such a huge variety of people, from mothers to schoolchildren, from people with mental health needs to cancer survivors. We’ve learnt so much from them, more than we could have imagined when we first thought of the idea. We are now looking forward to developing the postcards website and concept idea for the future – watch this space.”

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Postcards can be created on the Postcards website or submitted via post.

For further information about Postcards from the Edges, to view postcards or to learn more about the project, the exhibition and United Response, please visit:

Postcards from the Edges