Claudia Kuper is a yoga instructor, qualified animal behaviourist, wildlife rescuer and rehabilitator, an animal activist and a women’s rights advocate. But what she has always found most healing is her art.
The Moriah College alumna who missed a year of school due to chronic pain when she was young, found that drawing and painting were a way of escaping the pain. Artistic expression became her therapy.
Explaining that she likes to experiment with different mediums and “just keep creating”, Kuper paints with acrylic, draws with pencil and charcoal, takes photographs and makes ceramics. But, she pointed out, it’s important that she uses products that have as minimal effect on the environment as possible.
Next week, Kuper will open a very personal exhibition called We Are Survivors which aims to raise awareness for the survivors of sexual assault and abuse. It’s something very close to Kuper’s heart.
“The inspiration for this exhibition came from my own experiences,” she shared.
“When I was 14 years old, I was sexually assaulted. Then, in 2019, I was kidnapped and sexually abused in Hawaii. I have been on a very deep journey to heal and find my self-worth again.”
As Kuper explained, the exhibition aims to liberate and highlight the self-worth of the woman who is trying to heal, and also raises money for Full Stop Australia, an organisation that provides support and education, advocating for putting a stop to sexual, domestic and family violence.
“People will see paintings consisting of different colours as the backgrounds, and black and white charcoal nude women. The charcoal represents the violated body and the trauma each survivor had to endure. The colourful aspect of the painting represents the healing process and the journey towards self-love, liberation and empowerment,” Kuper said.
“There will also be a series of photography taken of real and anonymous survivors who volunteered to be a part of this exhibition.
“The purpose of this project was to allow the survivors to feel a sense of liberation, owning their bodies. I aimed to capture the natural movements as we spoke deeply about our shared experiences.”
We Are Survivors is at 205 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst from December 14-20.