A GIFTED painter whose artistic talents lay undiscovered for years has finally found recognition at Burnham’s Princess Theatre.

Colin Powell, 56, from Bridgwater, lives independently with a few hours of weekly care provided by Somerset County Council.

He is an accomplished photographer, but although he has painted for years he felt he had missed his chance to see his work on display publicly.

Colin was put in touch with the Council’s Aspire Support for Work service, which helps adults with learning disabilities to find employment.

Aspire staff contacted Neil Hansford from the Princess Theatre, which has agreed to exhibit his work in the theatre’s Café.

Mr Hansford said: “Colin has a clear passion for his work and the subject matter. We are proud to offer this artist his debut exhibition and expect a great deal of discussion regarding the historic legacy this work will carry.”

Colin said: “I’m so happy that people are now buying my paintings. I’ve been turned down before in the past but now it’s finally happened for me.

“I’m grateful to the staff at Aspire who have helped look after me all the way through.”

County councillor William Wallace, responsible for Services to People with Learning Disabilities, said: “Colin is clearly a very talented painter and deserves his own exhibition on merit.”

The exhibition at the Princess Theatre will run from April 14 until May 3. The café is open for viewing the exhibition from Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

For more information contact Michele MacRitchie on 07880 179015 or MMacRitchie@somerset.gov.uk.