Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 15 years ago but uses his passion for art to stay strong. Paul will be entering his latest piece into the Archibald Prize exhibition at the end of June and is also making a short documentary on the making of this works and the impact that Parkinson’s has had.
What drives your commitment to find a cure for Parkinson’s.
My lived experience of Parkinson’s drives my commitment. My art enables me to stay strong, bold and bull-headed in the face of it. I try to show the world that even with this condition one must push beyond one’s fear and despair. I hope that my passion and drive for my art practice demonstrates my strength and positive attitude in this regard. The short documentary I am making is speaking about passion, persistence and strength of will, and illuminates how Parkinson’s has affected not only the way I approach my art practice but my whole life. I want the film to raise public awareness of the need for Parkinson’s research funding. It is my attempt to give a voice and support to those who are suffering in silence.
Tell us what you are doing
Through this film, I am documenting the making of an artwork to be entered into the Archibald Prize exhibition at the end of June. The film is a way of communicating how Parkinson’s has affected my art practice and my life.
A great reward on one level is that this condition has allowed me to have a deeper understanding of myself and maybe the world around me. On another level over the years students, friends and even strangers have said that my courage and strength of will is inspiring. It’s odd to say but in its own way, I believe Parkinson’s has made me a better person, though there are times I wish I did not have to be brave or be an inspiration. The greatest reward is that I can more deeply understand the preciousness of my wife’s love, and understand that somehow my determined spirit can allow others to be brave and find their own inner strength to face their lives and the future.
Best advice for people looking to Shake It Up for Parkinson’s
For those who have Parkinson’s my advice is to stay strong and hopeful that research will help improve our lives.
Do you want to make a difference too? Learn more about how you can get involved and help shake things up for a cure.