Young artist aims to raise $5000 for support service
An 11-year-old Point Clare girl who has benefited from a support service in Woy Woy for siblings of people with special needs is aiming to raise $5000 to help fund the program.
Courtney Cottle is big sister to Harmoni, who has autism.
Growing up as part of her sister's support network, Courtney has faced challenges other children do not have to face.
She has attended the siblings program offered by Coastwide Therapy Services in Woy Woy, and has raised money previously for the service.
The program connects siblings of special needs children with one another, providing them the opportunity to talk about some of the issues they face at home.
It also focuses on teaching these children coping mechanisms and other strategies for dealing with feelings of isolation, stress and resentment under the guidance of a psychologist.
"The sibling program helped me cope with some big changes in my life after Harmoni was diagnosed, and when I learnt it was stopping, I knew I wanted to help it get back up and running," Courtney said.
"We are all going through things and it's important that we all lift each other up, not bring each other down."
Art has always been a passion of Courtney's and she's now putting her creativity towards a cause as she prepares to hold a fundraising exhibition at The Entrance Gallery.
Courtney's exhibition, "The Girl", is an expanded version an exhibition which was held in Point Clare in April.
It will feature new paintings and sculptural pieces and will act as a multi-media installation where guests are given a sneak peek into the life of 'the girl'.
"My art is an expression of a time when I felt unsupported and I think many people can relate to that feeling," Courtney said.
Courtney is hoping to raise $5000 from the exhibition to donate to the Coastwide to directly fund the program and has already raised just under $2000 from the first exhibition.
As part of the exhibition, Courtney and her siblings have also created over 300 rocks which will be hidden around the Coast in the lead up to opening night.
The rocks have been decorated with different artworks and have information about 'the girl' on them.
"Anyone that finds a rock should bring it to the exhibition.
"It will help you discover the girl's secret," Courtney said.
The girl's secret is a hidden phrase that guests will be challenged to guess after viewing the exhibition.
Those who guess successfully will have a chance at winning prizes.
The exhibition will open at The Entrance Gallery at The Entrance Community Centre from 7pm on November 22 and will run until December 21.
Media release, 29 Oct 2019
Vanessa Cottle, Point Clare
Interview (Dilon Luke), 30 Oct 2019
Courtney Cottle, Point Clare