In honour of World Parkinson's Day: Digital portraits of the disorder


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The Independent Online

An artist who specialises in digital painting is exhibiting portraits of people whose lives are touched by Parkinson’s disease at a crucial stage in the search for a cure.

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Timothy Cumming uses a stylus and drawing tablet to “paint” in oils and acrylics using traditional techniques. A hundred of his works go on show in London tomorrow, World Parkinson’s Day, and include paintings of celebrities who help raise awareness of the disorder, which affects one in every 300 people.

Cumming, whose subjects also include fundraisers and researchers, says the play of dark and light in his work symbolises the horror of living with Parkinson’s and the imminent hope of finding a cure. “I have two friends with Parkinson’s and I wanted to help in a way which portrayed people rather than the illness,” he says.

The artist spends several hours creating his works. “I can paint almost conventionally,” he says. “I can streak, stipple or flood an area, but I can also use paints that aren’t available in the physical world.”

Cumming, 53, wins plaudits and thousands of pounds for his paintings. His portrait of Patricia Hodge has been selected to appear alongside works by Britain’s leading portrait artists at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition next month.

Facing the Light is at Gallery Oxo in London until Sunday ( Proceeds go to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust