Art programme aids stroke victims
Thonia Brooks never thought she would be an artist, let alone a successful one.
When the mother-of-three suffered from a series of strokes in October 2010, she lost the ability to walk, sit and stand.
After rehabilitation, she began attending programmes at the Spark Centre of Creative Development, a Mt Eden-based charity that focuses on enabling stroke victims and those with disabilities to express themselves through art.
‘‘It was quite an exciting discovery for me as I hadn’t painted before and I had no reason to believe I was artistic,’’ she says.
‘‘One of the greatest gains is definitely finding a way to express one’s self without having to rely on words. It is wonderful to have a medium to put colour and add texture to.
‘‘The art therapy programme was wonderful.
‘‘It just really worked through all the different emotions one had faced when you’re in the process of recovery from a stroke.
‘‘It’s a sort of directed kind of healing process and that’s painful at times but really beneficial.’’
Spark Centre director Suzanne Vesty says creativity is the cornerstone of living a meaningful and expressive life.
The centre offers a wide range of programmes for people of all ages.
Mt Eden’s Rotary Club and the New Zealand Fellowship of Artists will hold an auction in aid of the Spark Centre on May 22 at the Pah Homestead.
The fellowship has donated 20 to 30 artworks to be auctioned.
The auction is at Pah Homestead, 72 Hillsborough Rd on May 22 at 6.30pm.
Express yourself: Attending art classes at the Spark Centre of Creative Development helps stroke patients.