COULD you imagine being both blind and deaf?
It is reality for artist Brenden Borellini but he refuses to let it get in his way, including being named Young Australian of the Year in 1989.
Recently Mr Borellini returned from an art tour in Japan where he showcased his artwork, including 3D photos of trees.
He has a unique way of communicating using a keyboard, braille board and iPhone.
How long did it take you to learn how to touch type? You type better than me!
I have learnt to type when I was in Year 9 at Cavendish Road High School in Brisbane where I used to live for 33 years.
Were you born both blind and deaf?
Yes, I was born congenitally blind and profoundly deaf but I have a cochlear implant which helps me to hear. I had it done surgically in 2001.
So can you hear me laugh?
Yes, I can hear you laugh and you have a lovely voice.
I bet you would love to see your beautiful art though; it must be good to at least be able to touch it?
It has changed my life a lot because I had struggled to overcome my disability and the difficulties to learn about the world. I have opened up as well as I have been meeting lots of people by using the communication skill. I have been using this since I moved here to Mackay and it gave me the opportunity.
What would you say to other people who can't see or hear to help them?
I would tell them that they should learn everything from me because I think they should see how good I am at doing everything.
If you could get one of your senses back which would it be?
Well I have a sense of humour as well as a sense of smell, taste, feel and touch.
When did you first start taking photos? And why?
I first started taking photos in March last year because I knew it would give me the opportunity to learn about the environment by feeling the images of photos and showing people what the environment looks like.
Why did you choose to photo trees?
Because it shows people how the trees can survive through the environment and I also wrote a story about Mangolin who survived his life through the problems.
Why do you love the environment so much?
Because I have struggled to overcome my disability by learning many things about the environment as well as learning to communicate through working with Steve (Mayer Miller) and Kyla (Ranger - both from Crossroad Arts).
How long have you worked with Crossroad Arts?
I have worked with Crossroad Arts since 2011 which gave me the opportunity to meet many people and help out in the community as well. I really enjoyed doing activities such as performances, art and research and I also travelled to Japan.
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