Artist Rob Norwood pictured with one of his paintings
A talented Kilkenny artist will showcase his work in a very special exhibition which will take place in Butler House next week.
Rob Norwood, is from the Sion Road in Kilkenny City and now lives in a residential unit in Waterford.
The 34-year lives with a brain injury which he incurred after he was involved in an accident. When he was just eight years old Rob was involved in an accident and sustained serious physical and cognitive injuries.
“I remember before the accident and I used to do athletics and on the day of the accident I was on my way to a friend’s house,” he said.
Rob suffered massive injuries and spent time in Beaumont Hospital and the National Rehabilitation Hospital before returning to school. He now lives in a residential unit run by Acquired Brain Injuries Ireland.
“He has a come a long way to regain independence and to carve a meaningful life. He currently receives neuro-rehabilitation and support in our Waterford residential unit where he works on everyday practical goals like travelling independently on public transport, cooking dinner on most days and grocery shopping,” explained Caroline Cullen of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.
“Every brain injury is unique and rebuilding skills like cooking and grocery shopping may not seem that difficult but cognitively they help to retrain the brain to make decisions, to do things in sequence, to build memory. So many brain injury survivors struggle with memory loss and this can hugely affect their ability to do many things we all take for granted.
“Painting really makes Rob happy. In a day to day sense, Rob faces many challenges and painting is an enormous escape for him,” said Caroline said.
Rob is also keen to raise awareness about brain injury so more people can understand and show compassion for people like him.
“I don’t socialise that much as people don’t understand the effect of a brain injury. People should have more understanding. Often people think I am drunk or on drugs because my speech is slow and I am unsteady on my feet. People should think twice before they make assumptions,” he added.
This will be Rob’s fourth art exhibition and it is his first one in Kilkenny.
“I have a great interest in art and like painting a wide range of places, animals and objects. My cousin John and my mother Bridget are very good at art so I suppose it runs in the family,” he said.
Rob’s real passion lies in art and his exhibition will include 26 paintings and maybe some sculptures.
Rob Norwood’s exhibition will take place at Butler House on Patrick Street on September 20. All are welcome to come along and see the wonderful work of this very talented and brave young man.