Turn your disease into art ~

A Brisbane woman, at the age of 30, began experiencing tremors in her thumb.

A few years later she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

At the time she was taking an interest in photography, and being a strongly creative person, she began to wonder whether she could incorporate the effects of her debilitating disease into her photographic art.

She went to a fellow photographer who mentored her on the techniques involved, and slowly her own style developed, using the Parkinson’s tremors she experienced.

She called her style the “PD Effect,” or Parkinson’s Disease Effect.

Her name is Mary-Louise Levick, and her work is now being exhibited by a gallery in Brisbane. The Gallery is Maud Creative, and the exhibition is called “The Perquisite of Parkinson’s.”

Mary-Louise uses light, and long exposures, combined with the subtle movements of her tremors to create stunning abstract patterns. Here is a shot of Brisbane’s Story Bridge –


The exhibition has been the most successful in the gallery’s history.

Why am I posting this on this blog?

Well, I’m inspired by Mary-Louise’s determination to rise above her physical condition. Some people with Parkinson’s would regard their impairment as an obstacle, and restructure their life accordingly. They would give in to what they would see as being an inevitable decline.

This woman decided that she would use her disease to not only better her life, but to see things around her in a different way, and to allow the broader public to understand the nature of Parkinson’s through her photographic interpretations – through her art.

She is a wonderful example of how the creative force cannot be stopped.

One thing photography needs is a steady hand – because photography on one level is about the pursuit of the perfect shot, and the perfect shot is always clean and sharp.

Mary-Louise will now never have a steady hand. Yes she could have chosen to take photos on a tripod with a shutter release, so that her images were sharp and clear, as current convention requires.

But instead she’s chosen to use the very nature of her disease to create a unique visual language that speaks to us on a deeper level. It speaks to us about what she’s experiencing. What she’s feeling.

Mary-Louise obviously followed her intuition. It led her to this way of seeing the world, to this way of sharing what she’s experiencing. She’s a remarkable woman and a wonderful photographer.

Here is a link to the exhibition: https://www.maud-creative.com/perq-of-park/

Parkinson's image 2

3 thoughts on “Turn your disease into art ~

  1. What an amazing young woman Bill to see how someone not only bounce back but to be so creative at the same time. I am not sure if I see the Story Bridge but I like the patterns:)


  2. I love this – both Mary-Louise’s visionary art and, Bill, your profound insight into the truly transformational nature of her art. It really struck me when you observed that “photography needs a steady hand…” But, of course, that’s been a fundamental of photography drilled into us from the time any of us had ever picked up a camera as kids. Yet, here is this artist who has not only put that notion on its head, but has used its very antithesis as the basis of her art.

    I predicted at the turn of the millennium when a bunch of wire services correspondents called to interview me about what I saw were going to be the most important events of the beginning portion of the new millennium, that the most important was the influx of souls who are going to turn the world upside-down and blow people’s mind even as little children. One of those consciousness-shifting groups of children are those who are changing the way the world looks at what heretofore it has considered illnesses and disabilities. They may have physical disfunctions or serious illness conditions, but are living in a way completely differently than the way the world had previously determined they had to because of their conditions. Mary-Louise is certainly one of those souls who is doing that as a young woman.

    Thank you, Bill, for sharing her story and your insights here.


    • Hi Michael – thank you for this insightful post. I agree the world is changing when someone like Mary-Louise can break conventions, both technological but also social conventions, and use her disability to allow us to see the world differently – through what she’s experiencing. You were prescient all those years ago – but then again, you are a master mystic!! 🙂


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