Invictus Artwork: Former Personnel Showcase Creative Skills - Forces Network

An art exhibition created by former Forces servicemen is on show in Sheffield.

The gallery's showing is coinciding with the Invictus UK Trials taking place in the city throughout the week.

'This Exhibition' showcases the work of six former soldiers who have turned to art to help them on their journey of rediscovery.

One of those men is Stewart Hill who described the difficulties he has faced since leaving the military.

He said: "I’ve really struggled with the loss of my Army career and what I perceived as my life. I’d lost my life.

"I really struggled psychologically and neurologically because of my brain impairments. I was just completely lost and was searching for things to improve my mind.

"I could not continue the thoughts and the horrible feelings that I had about me and wanting to end at times my life.

"To paint is so rewarding. Every time I put this brush down, it is positive energy that I am creating.

"That, for me, is just incredible. If I paint, I know I am in the absolute moment."

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People gathered to witness the art that has meant so much to the former soldiers.

Another man involved in the project is Martin Wade who has used painting to recover from his own difficulties.

He said: "I served in the Army for just about 16 years before I was medically discharged.

"During that process, I was hospitalised in Germany in a psychiatric hospital. Whilst I was there, I was diagnosed with complex PTSD and introduced to art for the very first time.

"I never had any interest in art really and certainly not creating any art.

"Most of these paintings come to me in a sort of vision. I transcribe the vision I have into a painting.

"I was trying to land some quite difficult emotions in a passionate landscape.

"I tried to come to terms with the past and it can be quite difficult to deal with those emotions sometimes.

"It’s so important. Only when we deal with them do we truly progress, come to terms with the past and forge a bearing for the future."