Blindness is No Barrier as Shepparton Artist, Kody Bothwell, Launches Exhibition

Kody holding his artwork of a seal and Reggie standing next to him

Emerging Shepparton artist Kody Bothwell will be launching his first exhibition under his business name ‘KB Art & Design’ on June 22nd at the WDEA Works Shepparton office, 74 Wyndham Street, Shepparton.   

Kody is a mixed media artist who likes to explore many different forms of art and loves to try new things and to broaden his artwork skills.  

 “I learnt basic art techniques in school such as art layout and different types of paint. I also attended GOTAFE and did a design fundamentals course. I currently work with Julia Thomas who is a local support worker that I meet with each week to do art classes,” said Kody.  

 Kody lives with Neurofibromatosis (NF1) which is a genetic condition that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. This has impacted Kody’s balance, speech, eyesight and caused many other difficulties in his daily life. As a result, Kody is legally blind from an optic nerve glioma.  

“There is a lot to NF1. Throughout my life I have had many obstacles that I have had to overcome but I have persevered to find ways around them. My mum also has NF1 and my family have been a big support, helping me through my battles.  If you put your mind to it, anything is achievable,” said Kody.  

Kody is also a participant of WDEA Works School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) program where he is supported by his Employment Preparation and Engagement Consultant Reginna Vasi (Reggie). Together they work on developing his art business and getting his name out in the community. Kody has also been linked in with Frankie Opie, a Microenterprise Development Manager at Many Rivers to learn the ins and outs of running your own small business.  

“Kody is such a motivated and driven young man. During our first couple of sessions together we were able to put together a plan of what he wanted to achieve, and Kody has been consistently ticking things off the list. Linking in with Frankie from Many Rivers has been a big benefit from Kody in learning all business side of being self-employed and all the staff here love seeing what new artwork Kody has come up with when he comes in. I love that he’s forging his own path to employment,” said Reggie.  

Kody is looking forward to sharing his art with the wider community with this exhibition.   

“I do art to express my feelings and to prove to the people living with disabilities that anything is possible. Doing art gives me something fun to experiment with and helps get my creativeness out. As soon as I have a pen or brush in my hand, it’s impossible to stop.” 

Reggie is pleased WDEA Works could support Kody by providing him a space to display and share his art.  

“We welcome the whole community to come and view the art on display. The pieces on display will also be for sale and Kody is available for commission artwork requests.”  

Interested in learning more about WDEA Works School Leavers Employment Supports? Contact the team.

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