Members of James Dunn’s family join Ged Mason at the renaming of the classroom at The Lowry, Salford. Credit: Lowry Theatre
Salford is paying tribute to photographer James Dunn by dedicating a classroom at The Lowry to him.
James, who died in April 2018, suffered from Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a group of genetic skin conditions that cause the skin to blister and tear at the slightest touch. Those born with EB have skin so fragile it is said to resemble a butterfly’s wing.
The Liverpool photographer fought to raise awareness of EB, and the #FightEB campaign he launched raised over £250,000 for those suffering.
Just weeks after the campaign launch, James died aged 24, having been diagnosed with skin cancer in 2015 and 2017.
However, James touched the hearts of many and a classroom at The Lowry in Salford was renamed after him, including displays of his art.
The James Dunn Classroom was the idea of local businessman, Ged Mason, chief executive of Morson Group, a recruitment and design consultancy who has known James and his family for a number of years.
We’re really proud that a creative space for budding artists at The Lowry in Salford has been renamed in honour of James. To be able to inspire the next generation of creative talent would have been James’ dream come true. https://t.co/ZkA8eTePJW
— ? James Dunn (@JaysSnaps23) July 15, 2018
He said: “I was in awe of him, and he inspired me so much with his positiveness, despite his disability, he cracked on and he amazed me so much we became friends.
“What’s inspiring is that there are children who cannot afford art classes, so the Lowry is a place where schools can come and bring children to be inspired.
“If they’ve had a bad day, a room like this is what James stood for, and it can inspire others to overcome this, and have a better outlook on life and follow Jame’s motto of ‘Live, Laugh, Love’.”
In 2016, James appeared on Big Life Fix, a BBC 2 programme that saw leading inventors create ingenious solutions to everyday problems for people in desperate need.
In James’s case, that was a custom-built camera by award-winning design engineer, Jude Pullen, which made it possible for him to operate the camera by himself via a specially-designed app, thereby allowing him to pursue his passion for photograph.
The classroom will be named in his honour until July 2021.
Rare Disease Day is working in partnership with the NHS this year to bridge the gap between social and health care, and to help fund nurses that specialise in EB to provide the best possible medical care. Specialised EB community support managers also provide emotional and financial support to those suffering and their families.
Working together, DEBRA UK’s EB community support managers and specialist EB nurses support EB patients at home, in hospital, at specialist outreach clinics and over the phone.
DEBRA UK said: “Without your support, this life changing service simply wouldn’t happen.
“So go on, raise awareness of EB and show your support for the EB Community throughout February by posting a selfie on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtags #FightEB and #ShowYourRare.”
For more information, check out the Rare Disease Day website.