Wellington-based artist Kate Kenworthy has proven a visual impairment does not have to hinder one's artistic journey.
Despite facing challenges in her ability to see the world, Ms Kenworthy's unique perspective and unwavering determination has propelled her towards creating captivating art pieces that have garnered recognition and awards.
Ms Kenworthy is currently showcasing her work 'Can you hear what I see?' at the Western Plains Cultural Centre.
Reflecting on the opportunity, she shared her gratitude for the exposure and the chance to exhibit her artwork.
"HomeGround Exhibitions choose a select few artists who are starting out, giving us an invaluable opportunity for exposure," she said.
"It's a great learning experience, and I'm fortunate to work closely with a curator who ensures I stay on track with their expectations."
Despite initially doubting her chances, Ms Kenworthy was thrilled to receive the news of her acceptance into the esteemed exhibition.
"When they called me a few days later, I was completely floored. I had already resigned myself to being more realistic, but it all worked out," she said.
Art has always been an integral part of Ms Kenworthy's life. She had to put her passion on hold while pursuing a teaching career, but the absence of her creative outlet left a void.
"I missed that creative side so much. I realised I was doing more art with my students than for myself," she said.
In 2015, she made the bold decision to pursue her lifelong dream and enrolled in a Bachelor of Visual and Fine Arts program.
The journey towards achieving her degree was a transformative experience for Ms Kenworthy. Along the way, she began winning local art competitions, which provided her with the confidence to pursue art full-time.
"I just knew in my soul that this is what I wanted to be doing - selling my art," she said.
Ms Kenworthy's visual impairment has granted her a unique perspective, which she expertly translates onto the canvas.
"I want people to look at the world differently, to see it through fresh eyes," she said.
"I don't just paint how people see. I paint how I see because of my visual impairment."
Her distinctive approach challenges conventional artistic representations and encourages viewers to explore different ways of perceiving the world.
Through her art, she also communicates the importance of embracing differences and breaking down barriers.
"I rely on my ears more than my eyes," she said.
"When I paint, I represent the sounds I hear and textures through thick paint and vibrant colours."
Her artwork not only captivates the senses but also provides a gateway for understanding and empathy.
The impact of Ms Kenworthy's art goes beyond aesthetics. Recently, a visually impaired child and his mother visited her exhibition, and they were both profoundly moved by the experience.
"He was just so excited to see art that aligned with how he perceived the world," she said.
"His mother was grateful for the opportunity to better understand her son's vision."
Ms Kenworthy's achievements extend beyond the Homeground Exhibitions. Simultaneously, her artwork "Hector," a realistic painting of a Hereford bull, won a prize at the Art Unlimited competition in Dunedoo.
Confident with her successes, Ms Kenworthy aspires to further establish her reputation in other states, and continue experimenting and evolving as an artist.
In addition to her artistic journey, Kate recognises the support she has received from the community. She gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance provided by Orana Arts and Wingerwarra Dental.
If any residents would like to commission Ms Kenworthy for an artwork, she would happily accept requests.
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