‘Downright Marvellous at Large’ exhibition to celebrate Down Syndrome at PAC

Award-winning artist Sue Clayton is pictured with her son James.
Award-winning artist Sue Clayton is pictured with her son James.

Award-winning artist Sue Clayton is set to unveil a brand new collection of portraits at Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) ahead of World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) in an exhibition inspired by her son.

The exhibition, entitled Downright Marvellous at Large, celebrates adults with Down Syndrome and comes as her son James is about to turn 18.

One of the portraits that will feature in the exhibition.

One of the portraits that will feature in the exhibition.

And a focal point of the exhibition, which runs to Saturday, March 21, will be a giant pair of hand-knitted odd socks, made using hundreds of knitted squares donated by members of the public following an appeal last year.

Sue will unveil the 12 new portraits and the giant socks in a special preview event at PAC on Thursday, January 16 between 6pm and 8pm, to which the public are invited.

The portraits feature what Sue views as the “unrepresented and significant” social presence of adults with Down Syndrome, each one depicting a person with Down Syndrome at work or play.

Sue said: “I put on the original ‘Downright Marvellous’ exhibition in 2015, which mainly depicted young children who have Down Syndrome, but this time I wanted to make it more a celebration of adults as 2020 is a milestone year for us as James turns 18.

“A lot of the pieces also feature siblings, as I wanted to highlight the importance that siblings play in the lives of those with Down Syndrome too.”

Sue is planning to hold a special celebratory event at PAC on WDSD on Saturday, March 21. Many people wear odd socks on WDSD, a global day that aims to raise awareness and promote independence, self-advocacy and freedom of choice for people with the congenital condition.

Socks are used because their shape replicates that of the extra 21st chromosome that people with Down Syndrome have.

Sue added: “I hope the socks installation will add an extra fun dimension to the exhibition, which the whole community can get behind, whilst importantly raising awareness of and celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of Down Syndrome.”