THIS year’s Vision Australia calendar features two works by Bolton Point artist Enid King.
The calendar, an annual fundraiser for Vision Australia, showcases the works of blind and vision-impaired artists.
Mrs King, 77, was diagnosed with dry macular degeneration in 2000.
“It didn’t affect me much at first, but it gradually got worse and worse,” she said.
“It now affects everything I do. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like a grey fog right in my central vision.”
Mrs King’s peripheral image is, however, excellent.
“I can’t distinguish faces very well at all, unless I’m right up nose to nose with somebody,” she said.
“People who know me must think I’m very rude when I walk straight past them in the street, but I just can’t recognise them. And if I want to watch TV, I have to sit right up close to it.
“It’s horrible. But what can you do?”
The condition has also affected Mrs King’s ability to see colour, which makes her accomplished artworks even more impressive.
A former portrait artist, Mrs King then switched her focus to wildlife paintings, and birds, in particular.
She employs a collage technique, drawing the birds then cutting out the images and sticking them onto her canvas where she embellishes the scene.
“I’ll paint over the birds on the canvas because I’ve found it creates a slight 3D effect, and then I’ll finish it by sticking on leaves and sticks and things,” she said.
Her image of two blue fairy wrens adorns the cover of the calendar, while her painting of emus and cassowaries is displayed on the January 2017 page.
“I donated both of those paintings to the Vision Australia office at Hamilton,” Mrs King said.
Her interest in art began in childhood, but it wasn’t until she turned 50 that she became serious about it.
Mrs King said she was chuffed to have her works featured in the calendar, but she had to laugh when a friend said: “What a shame you’ve got to be three-quarters blind before your work gets recognised.”
- The calendar is available to order by calling 1300 847466, visiting visionaustralia.org/shop, or at Vision Australia centres. All proceeds go towards supporting thousands of children and adults who are blind or have low vision.