You could say that Polio is an equal opportunity virus. It doesn’t discriminate between generation or gender so I painted subjects to fit within a broad demographic, with callipers and crutches, canes and a wheelchair. The exclusion of a subject in an iron lung is more due to my own artistic limitations than lacking consideration for those souls.
Identifying with my own situation, I included the image of a woman who generally has no obvious outward signs of the disease, though a polio survivor daily coping with the challenges of a tiring, painful body that doesn’t always function as God originally intended – while raising and supporting an extended family.
For much of my life, I have been dealing with the fallout from various painful and debilitating health issues, including a severe occupational overuse injury some years ago. I had no idea until late last year that polio had entered the mix a long time ago and exacerbated every one of the symptoms that dictated each day of my life. This more recent knowledge has answered so many questions and introduced me to a new group of lovely people.
Oppressive fatigue and joint, muscle and nerve pain are the primary reasons my creative output has been severely limited over the years. I heard once that an award winning artist said that it’s all very well having talent but, in the scheme of things, talent is not enough if you don’t practise every day. And I don’t. Until I did this piece for Polio Australia, the last time I picked up a paint brush was four months ago. Four months this time: there were years when I didn’t paint in the past. As with all my artworks, I would hope that this particular piece finds an appreciative home.
Click to read more of Roslyn’s polio story on the Polio Australia website.
Click to view a sample of Roslyn’s other art work (not part of the “Touched by Polio” Exhibition).
Please click on the picture below to see more photographs and a video of Roslyn’s “Touched by Polio” art work