Barry ‘Bazza’ West

 As a young man Bazza was an active sportsman and by age 19 was running his own gardening business. Then while driving his car he swerved to avoid hitting a badger crossing the road and slammed into a tree that resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic.

Bazza’s rehabilitation took place at Stoke Mandeville Hospital where he spent a period of time on a life support machine because of breathing difficulties. After 11 difficult months in hospital he was finally allowed home but was depressed and looking at a very bleak future. Then, in 2007 his life was transformed, when he came into contact with the Back-Up Trust, a charity that works with the spinally injured to help them to regain their confidence and independence.

‘Since being involved with the MFPA it has given me a whole new vision on life in so many ways, I feel I have a ladder to climb worldwide if I work hard. I look at nature so much more now and how can I make my paintings look like that. I never knew this was possible. Increasing my quality of life, building up friendships with the artists and meeting the public at exhibitions and I feel could have done none of this without the support of the MFPA’

Since then his life has been extremely positive and involved a succession of unique experiences and physical adventures that include, forest rambling; ski carting in Sweden; being part of a team that made the summit of Mount Snowdon to help raise money for the Back-Up Trust and separately Ben Nevis; skydiving and scuba diving and carrying the 2012 Olympic torch as part of the relay through Rye, Sussex. He also now leads courses for the Back-Up Trust in skiing and wheelchair skills and mentors other disabled people.

From initially using his mouth to design business cards and letterheads Bazza has now developed his skills to become an accomplished artist. In 2013 he entered another exciting phase of his life when he was accepted as a student member artist with the MFPA. He is engaged and hoping to move into a new home together this year once adaptions have been done. His philosophy – One Life- Live It.

If you wanted to follow Bazza West and his mouth Painting journey add him on Facebook
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