JACQUIE Beddows says her art has been a defining way to move forward in a positive direction.
“It has enabled me to reconnect with my local community through setting up and facilitating Art for Wellness – a supportive and inclusive group for people suffering from communication issues due to stroke, Parkinson’s, acquired brain injury or Alzheimer’s,” she said.
The Mornington Peninsula resident lives with significant brain injury due to an aneurysm, stroke and brain surgery.
“I had to give up a career I really loved as a support worker with new mothers and pre-school children. I’ve tried to not let these huge life challenges affect the person I am,” Beddows said.
She had not picked up a brush to do her own painting since leaving school.
“In 2012, having just spent six months in hospital I went away for a weekend with my son to a friend’s house in the Otway Ranges,” she said.
“There was no phone or television reception, so we just painted on canvases for the weekend. It was here I did my first painting for 50 years and I still have it as a reminder.”
Beddows’ solo Movement and Memory exhibition is at Oak Hill Gallery, Mornington.
“This exhibition is an exploration of the variety of techniques I’ve accumulated during my time as an artist. It reflects my journey back to health, acceptance and overcoming challenges,” she said.
Fellow artists Barbara Forbes, Susanna Sandler-Mead, Jonathan Tromane, Jo Burke and Lynn Mather also have pieces in other exhibitions at Oak Hill.
Oak Hill Gallery, 100 Mornington Tyabb Road, Mornington, is run by a non-profit co-operative with a focus on providing accessible art spaces for all.
For more information, visit oakhillgallery.com or phone 5973 4299.