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Artist Sallie Culy Says Hello To Everybody In New Exhibition

Sallie Culy Black and White art

The new Courtenay Place light boxes exhibition Hello to Everybody by Sallie Culy shows how she sees Wellington and its people, and celebrates the joy and importance of friendship, family, colour and imagination.

Sallie was born in Wellington in 1980 with Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes developmental and learning disabilities – but she hasn’t let her disability define her.

As a mostly independent and active woman, she is a well-known figure in the city, often walking the familiar streets greeting her wide network of friends.

Sallie has received no formal training in art, although she has always loved to draw and she has developed a unique style of her own. She has been encouraged by her brother, photographer Harry Culy. Using felt pens she draws colourful compositions which act as a visual diary of the people, activities and things that interest her.

“I started drawing when I was younger, but I’ve started to do it a lot more lately – every week I meet up with my brother and we do drawing,” says Sallie.

“It makes me feel happy to draw, I draw people, and musicians that I love. I like to draw the things that make me happy. Art makes me feel a lot of joy, and it helps people be friends together.”

Sallie is a big fan of the city that she walks around regularly, getting inspired and documenting items that interest her.

“I love visiting all my friends around town. I love seeing all the familiar faces. I like walking around town saying hi to all my different friends, seeing what they’re up to. All my family live here, and I like living close to the sea. I like going to the skatepark and seeing all the skaters. I like seeing big bright colourful murals around the city. I like to take photos of them on my phone when I see them. Everyone’s very friendly to me.”

In her first public exhibition, Sallie is excited her work will be on show for everyone to see.

“I have never had an art show before, so I hope they like it and get to know me in a different way. I’ve never done anything like this before and I hope people will like the pictures that I’ve drawn of them. I’m looking forward to showing my friends.”

The exhibition will consist of a selection of Sallie’s drawings, including a mixture of cropped details of single images, to composites of multiple images in one lightbox.

The exhibition is planned in collaboration between Harry and Sallie.

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