Paintings in Hospitals has teamed up with the creative forces of ToyLikeMe for a new touring exhibition featuring our favourite toy heroes with disabilities...

Toy Box Tales is an exhibition of 12 stunning photographic images of toys, each customised to give them diff:abilities. Through partnership with ToyLikeMe, Paintings in Hospitals brings this new touring exhibition to children's hospitals around the country.

Image: ©ToyLikeMe / Beth Moseley Photography

The Toy Box Tales touring exhibition aims to invigorate debate about how disabled children are represented in the mainstream. 150 million disabled children worldwide are culturally marginalised by industries that exist to entertain and educate them. But this year, the nimble-fingered modelling skills of #ToyLikeMe have created a doll-sized prosthetic leg, given Hulk a diabetic line, customised the cast of Frozen, and in homage to fashion model Winnie Harlow, present the world’s first rollerblading doll with vitiligo.

Rebecca Atkinson, ToyLikeMe founder, says:

It’s time diff:ability got a creative airing in design... We want to shake out the dust, chuck on the sparkles and play creatively and fearlessly with representations of diff:ability in childhood.

ToyLikeMe is an arts and play not-for-profit created in 2015 to draw attention to the lack of toys representing disabled children. Journalist Rebecca Atkinson started adapting popular toys using modelling techniques. She then partnered with model maker Kate Read and Beth Moseley Photography to create this series of photographs with funding from Arts Council England. The photographs became popular through social media and were shared on news outlets around the world.

Image: ©#ToyLikeMe / Beth Moseley Photography

The touring exhibition, delivered by us at Paintings in Hospitals, is designed specifically with children's healthcare settings in mind. To help young patients and care staff engage with the display, we provide specially-created introductory text and artwork labels.

Image: ©#ToyLikeMe / Beth Moseley Photography

We want to partner with specialist hospitals throughout the country to host Toy Box Tales within the next five years.

If you know of a hospital that would like to host this exhibition, get in touch.