Nancy Tingey: Magic Happens – The Story of Painting with Parkinsons

Edited by Bernadette Hince
Self-published, Canberra Australia 2019

Artist Nancy Tingey OAM dedicates this book to her husband Robert John Tingey, diagnosed with Parkinsons at the age of 46 in 1987 and died aged 77 on 17 November 2017.

It was Bob who first became involved with the Parkinson’s Disease Society of the ACT, but it was in 1993 that Nancy decided to start an art group called Painting with Parkinsons.

Small grant funding helped get the program off the ground and in 1995 Nancy was awarded a Churchill Trust Fellowship to help her gain the experience and training she quickly realised she needed to deal with the complex issues that arose in her classes.

Magic Happens is in some senses a history of the development of the Painting with Parkinsons program, its spread internationally and the challenges and successes experienced by everyone involved.  Partnerships with ANU School of Music and more recently the Canberra Symphony Orchestra demonstrated the power of music in this equation.

In another way, however, I see the book as the story of the remarkable woman that is Nancy Tingey – of her intelligence, her perseverance, her dedication to this huge undertaking and her capacity to engage others and bring them in her wake.

Magic Happens – Painting with Parkinsons was launched in Canberra on Saturday 16 February 2019 and the esteem in which Nancy is held by The Churchill Trust speaks volumes – along with the sardine-crush of the crowd of supporters at Muse. Your purchase of this book will help continue the wonderful work of Painting with Parkinsons. It is available at Muse Kingston and through or by phoning (02) 6290 1984. 

Listen to Barbie’s interview with Nancy Tingey