I am a late starter when it comes to art. I spent my younger years opening and managing my own businesses, and then moved on to ten+ years with IBM.
During that time I was diagnosed with MS in 2001, and retired from working for a boss in 2010.
After opening and selling another business I decided to give something a go that had always intrigued me, but was never considered on option – art.
Even that I managed to turn into more than just making interesting pieces. I started a disabled artists group in Coonabarabran – and then using that as a platform, opened a NFP social enterprise art gallery. I have been successful in obtaining various grants for the group and the gallery, and despite COVID it is still ticking along.
I am passionate about making art accessible and inclusive to everyone. The largest hurdle to disabled artists in Australia is not the physical access (though that is certainly a huge problem), it is the infantalisation of art made by disabled people. Art is the great leveler, and yet if you use the word “disabled” in your bio you are judged in ways that other identities are not. No-one thinks queer art is somehow “lesser”, but disabled art….well that’s obviously inferior (sarcasm).
I am still finding my feet when it comes to my art. I have MS and in 2022 I was diagnosed with sensory processing sensitivity, which is a blessing and a curse when it comes to being creative, but has also helped me understand why it can be so hard for me to “just do it”.
Even so, I am doing it, and I hope you like it.