Carol Taylor

02nd July, 2019
Two women, one in wheelchair, and one standing. Easels arranged behing showing watercolour artwork

 

The following is the result of an interview with Carol Taylor, the recipient of the 2018 Access Arts Achievement Award.

 

My name is Carol Taylor, and I won the 2018 Access Arts Achievement Award. To win an award for my artwork was humbling… and truly inspiring.

You see, in 2001 I was in a car accident that left me as a quadriplegic with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Before my injury, I had no interest in art. I had never even lifted a paintbrush, but my husband encouraged me to try painting as a tool for therapy and recovery. I had no idea that I would have this creativity in me!

Believe me, it took a lot of persistence and hard work, especially because I don’t have the ability to hold a paint brush or use it in a typical way. Initially I required a contraption fitted to my hand to hold a paintbrush, and I still need assistance but I no longer need the contraption and am able to hold light-weight, modified brushes. I worked my way through these challenges and now that I’ve discovered this about myself, I couldn’t imagine life without creating art.

When I was told about Access Arts, this exciting organisation that gives artists a platform to grow from, I got involved and decided to apply for the Achievement Award. I never expected to actually win!

Winning the Access Arts award changed my life. Access Arts has opened doors for me that would otherwise have been closed, and for that I am forever grateful.

I had been making adapted clothing for myself over the past 17 years, and wanted to shine a spotlight on the fact that people with disability have been left out of the fashion conversation. Access Arts gave me the confidence to follow my artistic path. I was given support and industry connections that were instrumental to my success so far, and I used the Award funding to assist with placing my art onto fabric and creating wearable art for people with physical disability.

I have since designed waistcoats, which were worn by the speakers at the Perry Cross Research Foundation Gala Ball in April. I was invited to showcase my designs at artisan’s Brisbane Art Design exhibition in May. Now, I have been invited to create a collection of wearable art for the upcoming Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival in August! This was all made possible by Access Arts.

 

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