Art captures the disability journey

AN ART exhibition was launched at the Monaro regional

library on Monday to celebrate international day of people with

disability (IDPWD).

Cooma Monaro Shire Council and Community Services and

local service providers supported the event to showcase the work of

a disabled artist Giselle Burningham. 

Mrs Burningham worked in Cooma at Centrelink as a social worker until about a year ago and said this exhibition was a way of saying thank you to the community for the support she has been given over the years.

Mrs Burningham said Marilyn Watt from Cooma Monaro Shire Council community services convinced her to have her first solo exhibition in Cooma.

“Marilyn knew my work but said we have never seen it,” Mrs Burningham said.

“So I agreed to have the exhibition here, she is an asset to the community.”

The works are a colourful collection of mixed media on canvas and explore the artist’s emotional response to her disability, covering the stages of grief including denial, anger, depression and acceptance.

Mrs Burningham said her exhibition tries to show people what it is like to have a disability.

“There are good times and bad times. Unfortunately with a disability it goes round and round, things happen and hopefully the exhibition shows that.”

Mrs Burningham has neurological disorder and is a paraplegic but her condition has stumped doctors.

“Doctors don’t know what is wrong with me,” she said.

“I don’t have a label.

“My condition started 20 years ago and there has been a slow deterioration over that time.”

Mrs Burningham lives in Canberra now and works for the Department of Human Services in Canberra as a social worker three days a week.

The ‘Circles of Life’ exhibition continues until December 15.

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