Saanich native, James Bardy, is passionate about his art and his love for the beauty of the West Coast.
A registered occupational therapist, he is also passionate about his desire to help unfortunate people suffering from neurological conditions such as strokes, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries in Nepal.
And while it may be difficult to imagine how Bardy could find a way to combine these disparate fervency, that’s precisely what he has done.
Between June 28 and July 23, Bardy will be featuring his paintings of the rugged and beautiful country he loves at the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre (3220 Cedar Hill Rd.) in the Arts Centre’s main gallery. His paintings well be for sale and all the proceeds of those sales will go to NepalAbility, a non-profit organization dedicated to building a sustainable program of education, service and research to support clinicians at Tansen Mission Hospital and Green Pastures Hospital and Rehabilitation, Centre in Nepal.
The charity also focuses on sustainability by developing local expertise and facilitating self-reliance through linkages with key stakeholders in the rehabilitation sector in Nepal. The group’s goal is to partner with Nepali health care providers who will have a direct impact on the development of a coordinated system of rehabilitation care in their communities.
“I’m raising funds for the group, but it’s also important to actually go there and do the work. Throwing money at some problems does little to solve them,” said Bardy.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with this incredible group on four occasions now. It’s a group of Canadians – and recently a few American friends–who collaborate and work with a group of remarkable Nepali physicians, therapists and nurses. NepalAbility sends teams twice a year to mentor health professionals in two hospitals in Tansen and Pokhara Nepal,” he explained
Bardy chuckled when asked about how his inspiration for painting intersects with his passionate support of NepalAbility.
“The scenes I paint are about as far divorced from the landscapes of Nepal that I suppose it’s a bit ironic that it’s these scenes being used to raise money for what is really a very vertical country with little water,” he noted.
“But the important thing is that all the money I make will go to help a group of people who have endured earthquakes, civil war, and abject poverty.”
Bardy has been painting his entire life and, although he doesn’t strive to make a living as a painter, he has, in the past, operated out of his own Chinatown studio and has never stopped working to hone his skills as an artist.
“I put on a show every year or so, but this time around I felt it would be great to donate the money I make to this other aspect of my life. I love painting and I love the work I do for these incredibly out-going and warm hearted people. They are survivors and we’re doing what we can to help them out. It’s great that I can use my art to help accomplish that.”
For more information on NepalAbility visit nepalability.org/.