Art pro­gramme aids stroke vic­tims

Central Leader - - NEWS - By CA­TRIN OWEN

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.


to ro­tar­yartauc­tion@

Ex­press yourself: At­tend­ing art classes at the Spark Cen­tre of Cre­ative De­vel­op­ment helps stroke pa­tients.


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