Invitation to the Opening of Elizabeth Peddell’s solo exhibition Sat 23 March 3-5pm

Coming up at Clara Street Gallery is a solo exhibition by one of Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School’s scholarship students, Elizabeth Peddell. Please join us for the opening on Saturday 23 March, 3 – 5pm, all welcome!

Elizabeth Peddell: The Gift of Sight

Artist Statement
“I was raised on a sailing ship for many years. During that time, I saw many of life’s wonders. I was able to sit on a secluded beach, with just the sound of the wind in the trees and the waves lapping at the shore. I was able to explore islands out to sea and look for treasures, rummage through old abandoned huts and run from spiders as big as dinner plates.

Since then, I have had many trials. I moved to Sydney to have a chance to become a great artist. At the time though, I was working towards being an artist on the computer. I did a diploma of digital and interactive games, and a diploma of digital media technologies. I however, was not listening to my body. Coming from the quiet ocean, to a bustling, noisy city that seemed to always go at hyper speed didn’t do well with my epilepsy. I also wasn’t diagnosed with CPTSD then, so had no medication to stabilise what was happening to my brain.

Don’t burn the candle at both ends guys, it’s not worth it. My brain eventually fried it’s self and in 2016, my sight went bye bye.

I was devastated. I not only no longer knew how to live, but my passion, my dream, the very thing that makes me, me, went with it.

I was a husk. A blind, helpless, useless husk. I had a mental breakdown and stayed in psychiatric hospital for four months, each day the nurses and psychiatrists slowly bringing back my will to live.

Something changed in there though. I discovered that I could feel art. After I got out of psychiatric hospital, I wanted to chase the possibility of becoming an artist again. I tried a few places, but they just told me I was “too disabled” and my blindness made me a liability. The psychologist at the time wouldn’t let me give up though. She said she found a scholarship at Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School.

I told her “Scholarship? Pfft no chance they will accept me”.

The day came when I had an interview with Wendy Black, I made her a clay rose that fell apart, but she loved it.

That day will always be special to me, because talking to a fellow artist who really gets art, ignited my passion from a flame about to sputter out, to a raging inferno. I was so shocked and happy and not believing that I was finally in a place who saw past my disabilities, past my mental health, and saw me.

This is how I approach my art. Every stone has a story. Every stone, just like every person, has had good times and bad times. Every stone looks rough on the outside. But, stones, like people, it’s not what is on the outside that counts, it’s who and what they are on the inside.

Since coming to Tom Bass Sculpture Studio School, I myself have grown, not only in the ability to do sculptures, but in myself. Here, I’m not that blind, helpless, useless person I used to be, I can start to take pride in what I do, and know that I too have the gift of sight, I just see in a different light.” Elizabeth Peddell (pictured top left).

There are 3 special things about the flyer (pictured above), designed by Elizabeth:
1. Green is the easiest colour for the human eye to pick up.
2. The leaves up the top are in focus, which is what the normal eye can see.
3. The background is out of focus, which is very much like what I can see.

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