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Parkinson’s visual art and poetry competition announced

Parkinson’s visual art and poetry competition announced.

19 September 2014

A nationwide art competition encouraging New Zealanders to think out loud about what it’s like to live with Parkinson’s disease has been launched today by Parkinson’s New Zealand in advance of Parkinson’s Awareness Week 1-7 November.

“People with Parkinson’s and those with an interest can express their ideas about living with this condition through visual media such as painting, photography, or digital arts and through poetry”, said PSNZ Chief Executive, Deirdre O’Sullivan.

Once people have created their artwork or poem they can post a photo of it on the website www.parkinsons.org.nz

Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan, renowned New Zealand painter Barbara Strathdee and Wellington photographer Mike Clare will be judging the competition. There will also be a people’s choice category.

“We are really excited to have such an impressive judging panel but also that the public can visit the site to view the works and to vote for their own favourites”

“We are laying down the gauntlet to school children, community art groups, arts students, established artists and anyone else who wants to participate in this ground-breaking initiative.

“We believe this is the time to start a national conversation about this condition which affects more than one in 500 New Zealanders directly, and their families and friends, and can break into anyone’s life, whatever their age, on any given day.”

For more information: Malcolm Aitken, Communications Advisor on 027 62 52 835 or Deirdre O’Sullivan 0275565760

Notes for the editor

• One in every 500 New Zealanders has Parkinson’s – around 10,000 people.
• Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition that occurs when insufficient quantities of the chemical dopamine are produced by the brain
•A large number of people with Parkinson’s are aged over 65, however the average age of diagnosis is 59, and many New Zealanders are diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s in their thirties and forties.
• The main motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are:
• Tremor (shaking)
• Stiffness and rigidity
• Slowness of movement (bradykinesia)
• Other symptoms can include changes in mood and anxiety, poor balance and altered speech
• Parkinson’s New Zealand is a national not-for-profit with 20 divisions and branches throughout the country and 32 Field Officers who work with people with Parkinson’s as part of multi-disciplinary teams
• People with Parkinson’s tend not to refer to themselves as ‘sufferers’, opting for a more positive ‘people living with Parkinson’s’.
• Parkinson’s Awareness Week is 1-7 November and the 2014 theme is ‘Creativity and Parkinson’s’

ENDS

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