For self-taught painter Milos Manojlovic, being an artist has been his passion since he was a young boy in Serbia.
“I have always had a creative side; I was into theatre when I was young,” Milos said.
“I wasn’t painting at that time, but I was always drawing and people around me would encourage me to start painting. Only when I arrived in Australia when I was 32 did I begin painting seriously.”
Since experiencing a stroke 10 years ago that impacted his mobility and speech, Milos is again proudly exhibiting his work, most recently at The Mark of Absence exhibition earlier this year.
Working with his Local Area Coordinator Heran to access NDIS funded and community supports has allowed Milos to stay focused on the positive and has opened some new opportunities.
“With my first contact with Heran I hoped that the plans and goals I set for the year ahead would come true,” Milos said.
Having exhibited his paintings at a number of galleries over the years, when the opportunity came about for Milos to exhibit his work once again, he knew this was an important step in re-connecting his art with the community.
Helena, one of Milos’s support workers funded through his NDIS plan, studied fine arts and has been a major motivator during his return to painting.
“Helena helped me to start painting seriously for the first time after my stroke,” Milos said.
“She also helped me to organise the opening of the exhibition, motivating me to get a move on and keep me on track with what needs to be done.”
Coordinating an art exhibition is no easy feat, and Milos was happy to have support in place to help with the logistics.
“Helena helped me a lot from organising and writing pamphlets to setting up the studio space in preparation for visitors. She also kept me focused and be positive.”
“After my stroke it takes a lot more mental energy to stay on the right path and remain focused throughout the day. The support I have had has helped me complete tasks as big as an art exhibition.”
Milos is grateful to have art as his outlet, using his personal experiences to evoke certain moods and ideas in his expressionist style paintings.
“Art allows you to convey yourself, to be able to externalise that which you are feeling within.”
Reflecting on his experiences over the past year, Milos is excited for what the future holds and hopes his recent exhibition is just the beginning.
“Doing this exhibition successfully made me confident and positive, it made me think that I am still alive,” Milos said.
“I believe that I can do another exhibition, maybe at the NGV! I would also like to publish a new book.”
“I feel very hopeful that I can continue to paint and share new projects with others.”
You can view a selection of Milos’s artworks on his website.