Vanessa, a participant with Northern Beaches Interchange, was recently awarded an Art Prize from the Willoughby Council for International Day of Disability. The prize included a solo exhibition at the Dougherty Community Centre, Chatswood.

Vanessa’s exhibition starts on 16th March and is named ‘Triumph’ – based on Vanessa overcoming many hurdles throughout her life. Vanessa’s greatest triumph was around the age of 20 when she overcame her deep fear of drowning, after 14 years of sessions in the water, through persistence and self-determination. She has never looked back ever since.

Moving forward, she discovered a passion for a duck character from Disney. She started using different mediums such as acrylics, ceramics, glass, paper pulp, digital art, Itajime, drawings, and more to create artworks inspired by this character. Her first ever piece was a plush fabric that took around three months to make. NDIS funding allowed Vanessa more opportunities to work with her always encouraging team of Allison and Deb and create 100’s of artworks of this special duck, which she calls ‘Quacksons.’

After 25 years of working with the same character, she had a moment of change when her mother’s 70th Birthday came into sight. She wanted to try something different and surprise her mum and started to challenge herself with portraits.

Vanessa’s award-winning portrait titled, ‘Where would I be without volunteers’ will be on display along with many of her favourite pieces. When we asked Venessa what’s next on her art agenda, she replied with the biggest smile and said, ‘You’ll have to wait and see, a surprise in the making I’m guessing!”