STEEL wool, power drills, mops and her own wheelchair treads are just a few of artist Catherine White’s preferred painting tools.
White, who has a physical disability and a mild intellectual disability and communicates non-verbally, is contributing a piece to the annual Creative Connections exhibition and Nulsen disability services facilitator and exhibition curator Kate Leslie said movement and sound were the driving forces behind White’s work.
The two have been working together at the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts to prepare for the exhibition.
“She’s a highly individual artist,” Leslie said.
“She likes to use the end of a paintbrush inserted into a drill so that it spatters out when you turn it on.
“She also uses steel wool to apply paint, or a mop – the hit and drag of a mop on the floor make her light up.”
The piece White is showing in the exhibition she created mainly using a mop on a canvas stretched across the floor.
The result is a big, warm-hued abstract acrylic on canvas and the parts not painted with the strands feature White’s wheelchair treads as her aide helped her move her wheelchair where she wanted.
“For me, the inspiration of working with Cathy is that it’s so out-of-the-box,” Leslie said.
“It’s not just the outcome that’s beautiful; this is almost performance art.”
The artworks in the exhibition, by artists supported by The Centre for Cerebral Palsy, Disability Services Commission and Nulsen, are accompanied by works by Poets Inc members.
Each poet received short artist biographies, and pictures of their artworks, to inspire a written piece.
Each artwork is shown with two of its corresponding poems, and the poetry accompanies each work sold.
“You form your own perspective from the painting, then you get closer and you see others’ perspectives,” Leslie said.
“The poems sit so well with the individual artists and their works, it’s uncanny.”
Art facilitator Kate Leslie with artist Catherine White.