Art can save lives.
The world can be a pretty horrible place. In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Turkey and Brussels, never has it felt so dark. But, if you look around, there is a light and there are always heroes. Jay Wheeler was a soldier for 15 years and was medically discharged after returning from Afghanistan where we witnessed his best friend get killed in front of him. He was sadly admitted to Broadoak Unit Pychiatric Hospital after several attempts of suicide and it was the ‘Occupational Therapy Department’ that encouraged him to take up art as therapy. Little did he know it would save his life. He wanted to base my artwork on something that is very important to him and that is Love.
Photo by Jade Story
Over the years Jay has seen and experienced what ‘hate’ can do to a person and a country. He wanted to do something that would encourage people from all backgrounds and sexes to notice his ‘Love’ tag on the streets and to pause for thought about what ‘Love’ means to you. You might have already spotted them but if you haven’t, have a little look around you next time you’re strolling the streets and spare a thought for Jay and the reasons why he is doing it.
When we caught up with him, here’s what he said:
“All I can hope for is for us all as human beings to stop fighting and hurting each other. I want the ‘Love’ to inspire and change peoples lives. I have a lot of support for what I do and why I do it and it is something that I will continue to do for as long as I am able to.”