Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Telling Stories

Friends in the Garden of Life
Mixed Media
Not currently for sale

Last year I wrote a post on the 'power of telling stories', for visual artists who want to build their networks and potential audience and sales.  Telling Stories is equally important to build Disability Awareness.  Our misconceptions often place limits on ourselves and others.  I can provide seminars were I rattle off figure like 17 million people in the world have CP; Cerebral Palsy is primarily a physical disorder, however people with CP often have secondary disabilities such as: epilepsy; vision impairments, communication disorders; hearing loss or lower than normal IQ levels.
The majority of people with CP have average or higher levels of intellecance, even in people who are non verbal. Did you know the a five different types of CP?  CP is damage to the brain that occurs at birth; during birth or in the early years of life. 
These are all facts you can read on the World CP Day website. What assist the community is the understanding is real stories from real people with CP or other disabilities.
I am simply 1 in 17 million people with CP.
I am also a small business owner, published author, poet, arts worker, Queensland representative on Supported Studio network.  However my Bio only tells half my story.  It does not record my type of CP or how it affects my daily struggles.
That's my artwork on the wall!
As a result of my birth I have spastic quadriplegia otherwise known as ataxia cp.  Which means when I choose to walk I walk with a gate and my entire body is affected by the spasticity.  
Growing up I was the eldest of 5 children, I was helping mum with the housework before I finish high school and I was also vice-president of Interact (Rotary) Club in my senior year. 
Leaders For Tomorrow Graduation
I graduated from USQ in 1991 and did a frontline training course in Christian youth work.  Chronic Fatigue robed my of my twenties and early thirties.  During this time I was writing for Creative Christian Enterprises and a active member of my church and small group leader.
I moved out of home for the finial time (I hope - LOL!) just before I turned 30.  That's about 20 years living independently.  My parents got a lot of 'looks'.  Com'on, do you really think she asked?
It was one of the few times I actual asked for advice.  I didn't like being told what not to do then and I still don't! Just ask my GP...
During my 30's I continued to write for Creative Christian Enterprises, complied 3 volumes of poetry; self-published a Children's book; was on the board of Community Access Transitional Services; Ipswich-Community Aid and Ipswich Poetry Feast Committee and the Sharing the Road Conference Organizing Committee and teaching Sunday School.
And still found time to party!
In my 40's I discovered my true passion for art.  I still love being part of my community and working towards inclusion for all; I still love writing and poetry, but I am at my happiest while creating artwork.
My dinning room that doubles as my home studio
and Ignite Artists Meeting Room.
My passions are art and working towards social inclusion for all.  This is why I founded Ignite Artists with the aims of providing disability awareness in the Ipswich art community and professional development opportunities for other artists with disability.  Founding my studio has enable me to gain leadership in the national arts and disability sector.
"We don't get to chose the cards we are dealt!
We can only chose how to play them,
I hope I am choosing well.
Me playing on P & O's Aria Curse 
This is my story, please share it and create disability community awareness as we celebrate world cp day on 6th of October. I'll be celebrating it with my friends from Studio 8 at the opening night of their Abstraction Art Exhibition.
You can check out their amazing at work at the Ipswich Community Gallery 7th, 8th and 9th October.
Because we are . . .

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