A STROKE four years ago has Aboriginal artist Malcolm Jagamarra Maloney longing for the day he can once again pick up a paintbrush.
Today, as part of Stroke Awareness Week, he will join other sufferers and residents in an afternoon tea hosted by the Albury Wodonga Stroke Recovery Club.
Maloney is known for his many paintings depicting the Lander River in Central Australia and was the first Aboriginal artist known to use oils and the colours blue and purple in his works.
“These colours caught my attention and other artists weren’t using them,” he explained.
Today his artwork features in galleries all over the world, with some paintings fetching up to $30,000.
In 1993, he was commissioned by Telecom Australia to create the paintings that appeared on phone cards for the UN Year of the World’s Indigenous People.
But a stroke in 2009 left him in a wheelchair and with little strength in his hands.
His wife, Narelle, said they hoped his on-going therapy would have him painting again.
“It almost breaks his heart not to be able to paint the way he used to be able to,” she said.
“He is getting stronger and we hope to get him painting next year.”
The couple moved to Bethanga just six months after Maloney suffered the stroke and have no immediate family in the area.
They are both thankful for the support group.
“They are like my family,” Maloney said.
Today’s afternoon tea, from 2pm at Wodonga Community Rehab Centre, will include speakers who work in the stroke and cardiac field.
Signs of a stroke can include a numb or weak feeling in the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking or understanding, unexplained dizziness and blurred or poor vision in one or both eyes.