Clare Valley-based artist Tracy Vandepeer has a philosophy that “there is plenty of time to do nothing when one is dead” – she should know, after sustaining serious injury in a car accident when she was a teenager.
It is, however, her work as an artist that defines her, rather than her injuries that have left her a paraplegic.
Five pieces of Tracy’s striking artwork are hanging in the LSA’s Wakefield Street offices, which found Tracy’s work through Arts Access Australia.
The unique and bold “Meeting the Challenge”, which is based on the challenges that present themselves to Tracy each day including her ever-present challenge to build resilience, is an original and joins four limited editions prints on the LSA’s walls.
Tracy says she is honoured to have her paintings housed in a public place for people to enjoy.
“It was a surprise, an honour and I was extremely grateful to have my paintings housed where they can be enjoyed by others. They are doing what art need only do – they are being seen.”
“I’m well aware of the work that LSA does for people who sustain severe injuries, and for me, there was no other option than to not live after sustaining a serious injury.”
“I saw my accident as a disabling thing that happened to me and I now use a wheelchair to help me get around. Yet having a disability isn’t how I define myself, it is not something that makes me who I am.”
“Finding a way to live a life with purpose has assisted me to get out of bed each day. I would encourage others who have sustained serious injury to find something that makes their heart sing – and then do it!”
“The only way it has been sustainable for me is to know that what I do may make a difference to someone, somewhere, someday.”
Tracy started painting at a young age, following in the footsteps of her mother who painted through her time growing up in Papua New Guinea.
Many of Tracy’s paintings embrace her multiculturalism, with Indian heritage on her mother’s side, Aboriginal heritage on her father’s, as well as her childhood growing up in Papua New Guinea.
Image – above right: “Meeting the Challenge”, artwork created by Tracy Vandepeer.
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This article was featured in the September 2015 Edition of LSS News. The LSS Update is a quarterly enewsletter from Lois and the LSA team.