CHALLENGING stereotypes is one of the key themes surrounding an exhibition going on show in Chippenham by painter Harriet Wyatt.

Ms Wyatt has spent her artistic career painting gypsies, marginalised groups and circus people.

She was inspired to explore the stereotypes surrounding the skinhead movement, which started in London in the 1960s.

Music and fashion was influenced, but rapidly changed when the skinhead became a symbol of racism and violence in the 1980s.

Ms Wyatt has been inspired by skinheads from the 1980s, who were a familiar sight in and around Chippenham.

Speaking from her art studio in Melksham, she said: “Lots of people stopped making music because of the association with racism and the impact was devastating, so I thought I had to do something to explore the real cultural celebration that the movement started as.

“We have to stop being lazy and think outside the stereotype and we shouldn’t label others. We’ve got to be careful of boxing up images that represent racism.

“The minority can really do a lot of damage, which I believe was seen through this period.

“I knew people to be kind and welcoming and not as they were portrayed in the wider media.

“We can’t ignore that some people are deeply unpleasant but I also think we should challenge the stereotypes we give people.”

Ms Wyatt, of Mount Pleasant, Chippenham, is also a call handler for a dementia help line and decided to raise cash for Dementia UK after seeing what a positive difference support gives to those living with the illness.

The show will be held on July 13 in the Barn at the Old Road Tavern.

She has spent several months in her studio in Melksham creating the colourful pieces that will go on show for one night only.

Tickets can be purchased from the venue for £7.