A SOMERSET photographer has featured in an inspirational new film about how artists with Down syndrome have adapted to life in lockdown.

Oliver Hellowell, of Bishopswood, near Chard, specialises in photographing birds and wildlife in its natural habitats.

But he couldn’t get out because of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, and worked on bringing the birds to him instead.

The film was produced by Heart & Sold, a global arts organisation that represents, promotes and supports visual artists with Down syndrome.

It is titled 'Artists in Lockdown' and explores the life and work of fifteen different visual artists from seven countries and examines how each artist has adapted their work during the global pandemic crisis.

Oliver is a multi-award winning photographer and was the first person with Down syndrome to publish a book of photography.

In the film he is seen building a reflection pool to attract the birds to his garden and then photographing them from his bird-hide.

Oliver said: “My photography always helps me.

“I’m very lucky I live in the countryside and we’ve got a big garden with hides.

“I’ve taken loads of photos of birds and the bluebells in the woods.”

The film also shows the end-results, ‘The Little Coal Tit’ and ‘The Curious Nuthatch’, two photographs which show the composition and attention Oliver is known for.

Suzie Moffat founded Heart & Sold in 2012.

She said: “The film was driven by our desire to document this moment in history and offer a glimpse into the worlds of our artists and how it was affecting their work and their lives.

“As the pandemic unfolded, we began to see how our artists were using their art and creativity to help them handle what was going on in the outside world and we have loved seeing the beauty that they have created in these trying times.

“We did worry about how our nature photographers might cope with such restricted access to the great outdoors, where they do so much of their work; so it was with real enjoyment that we watched the footage of Oliver just adapting his routines and bringing the wildlife to him instead.

“As ever with Oliver’s work, the images he has created during the crisis have been spellbinding.”

Heart & Sold represents more than 20 artists with Down syndrome.