Resilience is a word Chloe Wigg uses frequently.
The local Logan City artist is an extraordinary person who has taken a personal obstacle and turned it into a professional triumph.
“In another life I was a paramedic,” Ms Wigg said. “I got injured and was medically retired, and that injury was just a sign of something bigger. I have a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and that was the start of me finding out about all of that, which is life-changing.”
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is an inherited condition that affects the connective tissues in the body, responsible for supporting and structuring the skin, blood vessels, bones, and organs.
“It was through art therapy at the rehabilitation hospital that I tried to learn how to deal with this new life I was sucked into,” Ms Wigg said. “They had art therapy classes and it was a way that the world made sense and I could do something that the previous able-bodied version of me actually wasn’t able to do.
“It turned it from me being broken, to finding this beautiful superpower that I had, and I wouldn’t have found it unless these hard, awful things had happened.”
Choosing to be positive in the face of adversity, Ms Wigg said ‘finding the silver lining’ is what her work has been about and what her life is about.
“Finding the silver linings and celebrating the little unseen triumphs that you wouldn’t otherwise stop and look at,” she said. “That is what my work is about, that is what my collection is about.”
On a technical scale, Ms Wigg’s artwork is the abstract landscape done in a fluid impressionistic style.
“I take a landscape I love, and I break it down into all its different colours and tones,” she said. “Then I hand mix all those colours and I layer them into a cup, and pour them out so that through gravity and the fluidity of the paint a picture emerges, and I don’t really touch it after that.
“It’s all really organic and flowing, and it’s a really beautiful art form and I hope everyone really loves them.”
Recently Ms Wigg was named as one of four local Logan artists featuring in Logan Art Gallery’s exhibition ‘Urban Menagerie’.
“I am feeling so excited,” Ms Wigg said of being part of the exhibition. “It’s been a lot of work, and a very bizarre year to get this collection out with everything that’s going on so it’s a huge culmination of really hard work, and I’m excited to see it all up there.
“It’s really validating to have my art hung with all these other amazing artists in such an amazing venue like the Logan Art gallery.”
The collection, Natural resilience: inner feelings, outward reflections draws on her own experience of living with an invisible disability.
“It was supposed to be a recovery story,” Ms Wigg said. “At the start of last year, I had my third neuro-surgery and…this collection was meant to be about this story of resilience for me and how I recovered from that surgery.
“I was taking cues from everywhere about how resilient the landscape is and the resilience of the people who inhabited it, but what it turned out to be was still this awesome resilience story but there wasn’t really a recovery.
“I recovered from the surgery, but life got in the way. My body started failing, muscle fatigue and disability. I started the year walking around, and ended the year in a wheelchair, and it’s all been really dramatic.
“But this collection has evolved and become this tribute to people who have gone through stuff that they didn’t think they could survive, and it’s a real testament to face the challenges you can withstand and be resilient because of those challenges.”
You can view Ms Wigg’s artwork and other Logan City artists artwork at the Logan Art Gallery in Logan Central. Entry is free and the gallery is open from 10am to 5pm between Tuesday and Saturday.
- Chloe was nominated to be My News Feed’s Local Logan Hero for this week. You can nominate someone you think deserves to be featured as a Local Logan Hero on our Facebook page.