Castleford artist creates Andys Man Club coat of arms and Leeds United paintings in mental health battle
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Karl Jordan's paintings have included a coat of arms for suicide-prevention charity Andy's Man Club as well as various Leeds United works.
He said looking at other people's lives through his work has helped him manage his problems.
“I got into painting after I had do some soul searching when I had a breakdown in May 2018. The first thing I painted was a coat of arms on a bodhrán – a traditional Irish drum,” he said.“The only thing I’d painted before was doors and walls though my mum was a painter and dad a sculptor. People thought the first one was brilliant and I looked deeper into heraldry art."I got some commissions after that and I’ve been doing it for more than two years.
“It helps immensely because concentrating is exceptionally difficult for me.
“I have severe PTSD, nightmares and flashbacks. I have bad nights of sleep. But when I get into the painting I can do it for hours and hours and not realise it.
“Making coats of arms means I can explore escapism, explore other people and who they are, and then pass that back over to them in the work.”
Mr Jordan trained as a chef in 1993 and has worked in Ireland, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and the UAE.
He endured difficulties in his youth and later lost his partner Jane to cancer in 1998.
His nervous breakdown lead to six attempts at taking his own life and he has received treatment at Fieldhead psychiatric hospital in Wakefield on three occasions.
Halifax-based Andys Man Club provided a lifeline and Mr Jordan’s first bespoke coat of arms was made for the organisation.
Mr Jordan said: “It features all their details, motto and had meaning specific to them. It is now at their head office in Halifax.
"They do great work and they’re great at what they do. It’s just a place for men to go and talk.”
Mr Jordan has developed his painting and turned it towards another great love – Leeds United.
He has painated a 2ft by 1ft½ piece dedicated to the club and is working on 10 separate works based on 10 important moments in the club’s history.
Mr Jordan said: “I’ve been all over Europe watching them. It’s in my blood.
"It is almost putting my lifelong passion onto a canvas and seeing it through the fan’s eye.
"The times following Leeds were some of the best times in my life.”
Ms Cooper said, “The work Karl is doing is brilliant. Too often we don’t talk about mental health and that makes it even harder for people when they are suffering."
Orginally from Keighley, Mr Jordan and has lived in Castleford since 2014. He lives with fiance Louise and their daughter Laoise.
He said: “I love Castleford. People from Cas are hospitable and there’s a sense of community, which I feel is a dying thing in most parts of the UK.”