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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Artist Atley’s outstandng fundraising works drawing praise and attention

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Lawrence Atley OAM set out in October to raise funds and be a positive advocate for Parkinson’s Victoria.  

By the end of the month, his portfolio boasted works belying his amateur status and condition, with $2045 raised for research into the neurological condition.

An architect his whole life, Atley, 82, decided to experiment with a more creative style of work after his Parkinson’s condition reduced his technical abilities.

He says, on his fundraising blog, that he enjoyed the new challenge, which has given him a great sense of purpose.

“I can no longer write or sketch the technical details I previously did with such ease and pride … but painting is bringing a whole new experience to my life.

“It’s never too late to start something new.”  

Atley has been involved in charity work for much of his life, having been awarded the Order of Australia medal in 2015 for in excess of 50 years of charity work across organisations such as Rotary International, St Vincent De Paul and YMCA.

He served as President and District Governor of Footscray Rotary, as well as serving on the Western General Hospital board.

Most of his paintings are done in an abstract style, while others are realistic depictions of the subject matter, which include a variety of flora, boats and ocean waves and even some self-portraiture.

He told Aged Care News in September that his works are positive and that he employs a “strong brush stroke, representing a strong hand despite the effects of Parkinson’s.”

His works, with a small selection featured below, speak for themselves.  

Contortion, Atley’s favourite painting, depicting a face inside a torso.
On day nine, Atley painted ‘Dopamine Detox’, inspired by the lows experienced during lockdown, but with a sense of hope to push through and continue to inspire with his work.
Eye of the Storm’, Atley’s Day 4 painting.
‘Rose Garden Days’.
‘Simple Pleasures’.

To view the full gallery of Atley’s work, follow this link.

About Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s is the country’s second most common neurological condition, affecting at least 80,000 people across Australia.

The most common symptoms include stiffened muscles, slowing movement, changing posture and resting tremor.

Other symptoms can include cognitive change, pain, depression, anxiety, speech changes and loss of facial expression.

There is no known cause, and whilst medication and support from health care professionals can help to manage symptoms, there’s no known cure or means to slow the disease’s progression.

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