THE Niche art gallery in Nedlands is currently exhibiting amazing works by long-time teacher Sue Edge.
Since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Ms Edge has unlocked her creativity.
“My creative side has been ignited, not just in poetry, but now in painting,” said Ms Edge.
She also has a blog showcasing more of her artwork and poetry.
After working for 36 years as a primary school teacher, Ms Edge said her diagnosis seven years ago was a blow to her confidence.
“I felt like I lost my identity after I had to leave work,” she said.
“Suddenly, I wasn’t a teacher any more and I felt really useless, but art helped me rediscover some purpose.”
She said one of the side-effects of her treatment was a tendency towards compulsive behaviour, which she has channelled into a range of creative works, from painting to sculpture and poetry.
She struggles with limited mobility on the right side of her body, but feels a strong drive to keep creating.
“My hands work well for about 40 minutes every four or five hours, so I have to do everything in those moments,” she said.
“There are tough times and I’ve had meltdowns, but you’ve got to pick yourself up and get on with it.”
As well as her artwork, Ms Edge keeps an online blog detailing her struggle with the disease and plans to release a book about Parkinson’s disease written with the help of her grandchildren.
To mark the recent World Parkinson’s Day, Ms Edge donated a painting to Parkinson’s WA, which chief executive Brenda Matthews said had brightened the not-for-profit group’s hallways.
Due to popular demand, the exhibition at The Niche has been extended into August.
To follow Ms Edge’s blog or to see more of her artwork, visit bobbleheadnanna.wordpress.com.