THE latest exhibition to open at a historic North-East visitor attraction is giving starring roles to a group of models with Down’s Syndrome.

The 'Look At Me' exhibition, which has opened at Ushaw, near Durham, is aimed at raising awareness of the condition and the work of the Down’s Syndrome North East charity.

The display features 36 models, aged from just a few months old to 38, whose images were captured by creative photographer Kayla Wren in September 2017.

Kayla, who has a brother with Down’s Syndrome, had previously created an exhibition called 'Chromosome 21' at The Junkyard, in Newcastle, which was aimed at dispelling prejudices about people with the condition.

When Kayla took the photographs for Look At Me, she invited the models to bring something that was important to them. They were also asked to think about what they would like to wear and how they wanted to pose.

The result is a poignant exhibition which has been hosted at a wide range of venues, including the Marriott Hotel at the Metrocentre, Sunderland Minster, Durham Town Hall, Gosforth Civic Theatre, and a host of colleges across the North-East.

Comments left in a commemorative book include one from the Bishop of Durham, describing the exhibition as “A glorious celebration of life and joy in living”.

Two thousand posters, featuring all 36 models, have also been produced free of charge by North-East printers and displayed in public buildings, including workplaces, post offices, and community centres.

Look At Me has now opened at Ushaw and runs until the end of August. The exhibition also features the six photographs produced by Kayla for her Chromosome 21 project – placing people with Down’s Syndrome in iconic paintings such as the Mona Lisa and Girl With The Pearl Earring.

Down’s Syndrome North East trustee Ros Collinson, whose son Andrew is the oldest of the models, said: “The exhibition has really raised awareness of Down’s Syndrome as well as the charity, and we are delighted that it has now come to the magnificent, peaceful setting of Ushaw, which is such a special place.

"We want people to understand that people with Down's Syndrome share the same emotions, challenges and ambitions as everyone else and are valued as individuals."

Lucy Jenkins, Culture and Heritage Manager at Ushaw, added: “We are thrilled to be able to host such a stunning, inspiring exhibition, and to play our part in raising awareness of the vital role played by Down’s Syndrome North East.”

* For more information about what’s on at Ushaw, visit To find out more about Down’s Syndrome North East, visit