Misfortune awakens a talent
Thursday, 6th October, 2011
By Erica Visser
Three years after a work accident left him confined to a wheelchair, ex-local Rodney Flight is about to hold an exhibition of paintings he has completed without the use of his arms.
The show opens today at the Legion Club Function Room at 5pm.
Mr Flight was a keen sketcher in his younger days but only took up painting at the encouragement of his wife Jan after the accident.
“At first I wasn’t in the right head space,” Mr Flight said.
“Now I paint about five hours a day. Once I painted for about twelve hours straight when I was really focussed.”
The process of completing the work once involved constant help from family and care workers who mixed paint and held canvasses.
But in the last fortnight a new innovation has given Mr Flight a large amount of “independence” and “more freedom” to continue.
A makeshift easel now attaches to the footrest of his wheelchair along with a tray which allows him to mix his own paints and complete the paintings on his own.
His exhibition features 40 paintings of subjects ranging from the bush to Semaphore beach as well as an award-winning self portrait.
Mr Flight said that although prints can be ordered, the main purpose of the event was to show the work.
“This is a big personal achievement after my accident,” Mr Flight said.
“There’s a few people around town who I haven’t seen for a while so it’s a nice chance to catch up with them and show that I’m still alive and what I’ve achieved.
“Locals and visitors are very welcome.”