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Leicester Art Exhibition Inspired by Stories of Abused Women Living in City

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A series of animal paintings have gone on display in Leicester, which platform the voices of women who have survived abuse.

The collection of artworks, entitled ‘Untold Stories’ has gone on display at Beta X Leicester, which sits in the city’s Church Gate.

Artist Lis Naylor produced the eight pieces featured, after spending a day hearing about the experiences of women in the city.

Picture: Lis Naylor

She worked with Leicester charity the Zinthiya Trust, which supports people affected by poverty and abuse.“It was an honour and a privilege for these women to share their stories with us and I have the utmost respect for them. Some of the stories were pretty gruelling and so sad,” revealed Ms Naylor, who is based in Market Harborough.

“However, we also spoke to women about their joys in life, focusing on their future rather than their traumas,” she went on to reveal.

“The artworks I’ve created show these women as their chosen spirit animals, embodiments of their power and their identities beyond their experiences of abuse.

“So often the stories we hear about survivors of abuse are ones of tragedy. Whilst these women have experienced incredible difficulties, these artworks aim to show their strength, individuality and power.”

The animals feature a placard with a message to their perpetrator, and beside each painting is a piece written by each of the women, explaining their choice of animal.

Picture: Lis Naylor

One piece written beside a painting of a Labrador dog, reads: “I am dog. I am a loyal person who treats the people I love in a special way. I am a strong woman for my family, whatever the situation is. I need to be strong for them. I am a dog because I give smiles and happiness to any family and friends. I will protect my family from harm. I like playing and enjoy every moment.”

Speaking of the exhibition, Ms Naylor said that the reaction has been great so far, and has worked wonders for the women’s self esteem.

“The workshop lifted a lot of the trauma off their shoulders and gave them confidence,” she told Pukaar News.

“The lady from the Zinthiya Trust said, we can’t take away their trauma, but we can help. I think this has been very therapeutic and the woman are proud to have their animal representations displayed.”

The paintings will be going on sale afterwards, with all money going towards the Zinthiya Trust.

To find out more, visit: https://www.zinthiyatrust.org/

To buy a piece, visit: https://www.lisnaylorart.com/shop

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