Young Heart – Patricia Anderson


16yo Photography enthusiast Patricia Anderson may not be able to walk or speak, but Photography organisation, The Heart Project have provided her with the opportunity of a lifetime.

Award Winning Photographic Artist, Karen Alsop first met Patricia when she visited the Doveton RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) at Myuna Farm.

Wanting to create a special piece to represent the ability in others, I approached RDAV with my unique idea, said Karen. “An idea inspired by Mary Poppins – a movie from my childhood led me to want to create something magical for children with disabilities, a fantastical place where those who face challenges every day, can gallop free in their imaginations.”

The Pet & Animal AIPP National Photographer of the Year certainly achieved this, as seen in this simply stunning photograph, where four riders appear in various stages of ‘escaping’ the Luna Park Carousel while their horses come to life to take them riding free. Patricia Anderson rides proudly in the foreground of the artwork.

The other photographic element of her artwork includes photos of horses which were taken during jumping practice at the Ayr Hill Equestrian Centre (Clyde North). Karen wanted to take photos of just the horses in action so that they could be superimposed using Adobe Photoshop in the final piece carrying the RDAV riders.

Karen explained this technique took time and skill to judge perspectives so that the angles were completely accurate for the final photo.

“The cooperation of all the organisations and the assistance of volunteers meant I could produce a work of art that I believe helps all people emerge from their reality into their wildest dreams.”

Patricia Anderson was excited about being part of this photo project and her exuberance as she rides her horse can be seen as she features as the main star of the stunning artwork.

Karen discovered Patricia’s love of photography when talking with her parents. Together with the team from The Heart Project, they decided to name Patricia the next Young Heart and provide her with Photographic opportunities that might normally feel like an impossibility in Patricia’s situation.

At a surprise presentation at an RDA AGM on Monday the 22nd of October, Patricia Anderson was presented with her very own Nikon DSLR, generously donated by Nikon Australia. The 2017-2018 Young Heart, local Berwick girl, Brittany Long was there to share exciting the news with the family. The announcement certainly took Patricia’s family by surprise as many tears and hugs followed.

Karen explained that The Heart Project has been working behind the scenes with Nikon to find ways to support Patricia in her photographic passion. Patricia has an eye control device that attaches to her Surface Pro on her wheelchair. Together with their imaging partners, The Heart Project is going to enable Patricia to control the shutter of the Nikon using eye control. The camera will be tethered to the computer and anyone assisting her can be directed by Patricia on what to photograph and Patricia will be able to see the image in live view on her monitor. Up until now Patricia’s photographic potential has been limited, but she has shown a keen desire to pursue her Photographic passion. The team are excited to work with the Patricia’s software engineer to give her every possible opportunity.

As the new Young Heart, Patricia will be provided opportunities to expand her photography, to meet world class photographers, and to attend photographic events to further her love for the camera.

Tricia uses a Tobii Dynavox EyeMobile Mini which is a Surface Pro connected to an eye-tracking device that enables Tricia to initiate dialogue with her PODD language software program.

To find out more about the work of The Heart Project visit

To find out more about Karen Alsop visit:


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