A woman whose arms and legs have become unusable due to a spinal cord injury is building a new career as a painter.
Vanessa Harhoff, from Zimbabwe and now living in Bristol, was injured while studying in South Africa.
As part of her rehabilitation, the 40-year-old used her mouth instead of her hands to paint.
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Vanessa, who currently lives in Bristol, has been accepted by the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA), a partnership of more than 800 artists with disabilities. This means that you cannot paint with your hands or fingers.
And artists who tend to focus on Impressionist landscapes and landscapes are now encouraging the people of Bristol to support the country’s long history of hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
Vanessa’s stunning paintings can be purchased as regular works of art, but this year she made it on the roster of famous artists who have contributed to MFPA’s famous annual Christmas card collection. MFPA was first founded over 60 years ago in 1957 and has been creating Christmas cards for decades to showcase the work of its members.
And now, with many of our more organized people getting Christmas cards for next year right after Christmas or in the New Year, she encourages people to help artists with disabilities like her. I’m urging you.
“Sending Christmas cards is a wonderful British tradition that we started again during the pandemic,” she said. “It’s an activity that not only benefits recipients and spreads joy, but also supports artists with disabilities and is attentive to senders,” she added.
Vanessa grew up in Zimbabwe, but suffered a spinal cord injury and caused quadriplegia while earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Movement Sciences from South Africa.
During rehabilitation at the South African spine unit, Vanessa began painting with a brush in her mouth.
As she developed art, she returned to Rhodes University to study journalism and politics, living and working as a journalist in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Zambia, and enjoyed painting unique nature and landscapes.
After moving to the UK, Vanessa continued her studies, changing courses to earn a master’s degree in international development at the University of Bristol, and working with British mouth and foot painting artists.
She lives in Bristol with a caregiver and a cat and is absorbed in the art scene. He also participates in a charity BackUp fundraising campaign that allows people with SCI like her to recover. Become active again with sports.
As part of that, she gathered a team of 15 people twice and pushed and pulled her to the top of Wales’ highest mountain, Yr Wyddfa.
She saw the team fighting a terrible situation on the slopes of Snowdon to raise awareness and financial support for spinal cord injury in poor countries such as Zimbabwe, where she has top concerns. He said he made her aware that there was a range of health care and wheelchair access.
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