Gaining confidence through art

When Vlada first joined the OC Connections art program 3 years ago, her main goal was to find the confidence to express herself in her art and how to do it.

Today she proudly presents her beautiful pieces at art exhibitions, on the walls of her new home and enjoys explaining it to everyone who asks her about it.

When you enter the art room at OC Connections, you are greeted by beautiful art and warm hellos. Participants are chatting happily while they sit around the tables, finishing one piece or starting on another. The room is buzzing with pride and confidence from people who have decisively chosen what they want to express and how they want to express it.

participant art

With various, pastel water-colour pages laid out in front of her, we find Vlada outlining some shapes with a black fountain pen, chatting to the art teacher, Val Rowe.

She happily lays down her utensils to talk to us about her art and show us her favourite pieces.

Vlada’s favourite media are watercolour and fountain pen on paper. She loves forming shapes with light, pastel-toned colours and connecting those shapes with the stark black lines of a fountain pen. In order to challenge Vlada and encourage her to try new things, Val has been supporting Vlada in trying new media, including acrylic paint and mosaics. Some of Vlada’s most impressive artworks have been sold at exhibitions and hung on the walls of OC Connections and the homes in the community.

But Vlada was not always this confident. Initially, she relied heavily on guidance and direction from her art teacher. These days, she is happy to flick through pages of books on her own until she sees something that inspires her, and then she gets to work.

When asked what she would like to try out next she responds confidently:

Pencil. I would like to start making drawings with pencil… and give them to friends and family as a present.