Mr MATT KEAN ( Hornsby ) ( 16:26 ): From 250 artists only 20 were chosen for their works to be displayed at Woolloomooloo's Firstdraft Gallery and no-one is more deserving of this than Pete Dudding. But that is not all, our Pete is breaking down barriers in becoming the first artist with an intellectual disability to be displayed at Firstdraft. Pete's first solo exhibition is entitled "Pig Dog" and has been curated by Paul Williams who has been working beside Pete at Studio A since 2015. "Pig Dog" was a remarkable success, with half of Pete's paintings sold by the close of the exhibition. As part of the challenge Pete also participated in the Artist Talk Program where he had the opportunity to present the artistic process in action to a very lucky audience. Pete says he "felt like a superstar" and Hornsby is very proud to have its very own Picasso.
For people who are unfamiliar with Studio A, it is an initiative of Studio ARTES Northside, which is an organisation that provides creative programs in the areas of arts, recreation, training, employment and equity, and social skills. Pete is an artist of Studio A, which is a studio space equipped with specialist materials and support staff to help tackle the barriers that artists with intellectual disability face in accessing conventional education, professional development pathways and opportunities required for becoming a renowned visual artist. It is an invaluable program and a pillar in our community. I congratulate Pete on the success of "Pig Dog" and thank all those who support him.
To view the full Hansard transcript, click here.