He had been told he would never walk again but now artist Eamon McInerney takes his difficult background in his stride.
“Art was really what got me through that time,” McInerney said.
“Art is a tremendous source of life in an otherwise weak world.”
Five years ago he was living in Australia when he had a bad accident, rolling the ute he was driving and breaking his back.
In hospital the then 17-year-old began drawing more as something to pass the time.
Unable to skate or surf, art became his main outlet.
“The doctors said there was less that a 5% chance of walking again.”
Recovery had been a long process but he now walked without difficulty.
Moving on from drawing, graffiti art became his passion.
He then turned to painting, first with a brush and then a trowel.
Four years ago he signed up to a Tafe visual art course “like SIT in Australia” – but failed, twice.
“There was too much focus on theory,” he said.
He preferred learning by doing.
However it was this time that had given him the idea of applying paint with a trowel after seeing another student use that method.
The 1 x 1.2m portrait of a face which he had recently done in acrylic was achieved using this technique.
“It’s 95% done with a trowel.”
Complete experimentation was the phrase that best summed up his work.
“Sometimes you get an idea (first) and other times it just flows out.”
He used a lot of colour, his favourites being red and blue.
“It’s very psychedelic influenced.”
American Mike Giant was an inspiration because of his large graffiti art.
Van Gough was also an influence because of his textured brushwork.
He wanted to make a living from his work.
“I’ve never liked the idea of a nine till five.
“I’ve always been a free spirit.”
Following his passion was rewarding but also difficult.
The challenges included believing in himself and getting his work “out there” for people to see.
McInerney’s work was now being exhibited at Gore’s Fire Station Gallery.