Matt invites everyone to See the Light in Swords next week

by Sylvia Pownall

A Swords man living with a fatal lung disease will launch his second solo art exhibition at County Hall later this month.

Matt Cullen’s ‘See the Light’ collection will be displayed in the atrium at Fingal County Council’s civic offices in Swords from October 21.

The community stalwart was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in 2010. The illness is terminal and progressive, with symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue and frequent chest infections.

But despite living with a fatal disease for which there is no cure, Matt (right) says he is grateful for what he “can do” and the kindness of family, relations and friends.

He told Dublin Gazette: “This exhibition is a milestone for me, living with the terminal illness IPF. It is great to be able to show my artwork, which is influenced by my medical condition.

“The title for this exhibition – Seeing the Light – is influenced by the need to be positive, live life to the full and to keep going in the hope that some day, some time, there will be a cure for IPF.”

The exhibition aims to raise funds for the Irish Lung Fibrosis Association as well as spreading awareness of IPF and Matt’s journey in living with the disease.

Matt’s artwork is mindful of his love of the Fingal area, his passion for life, be it gardening or science, especially the notion of depicting particles of matter.

He has been a volunteer with Swords Tidy Towns for 15 years, and has been volunteering in the community for more than four decades.

In 2015 he won National Volunteer of the Year and two weeks ago he was named as one of five finalists in the National SuperValu Community Hero Awards.

Matt, who designed the acclaimed ‘Inclusivity’ sculpture at the Pavilions roundabout in Swords, said: “Sadly, I couldn’t be there for the awards in the Helix, as I was abroad volunteering in Madrid, but that says it all, really.”

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