Community Creatives: Zalie Copeland

Art is another form of communication for Zalie Copeland as she faces the challenges of life with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Zalie is also face blind (Prosopagnosia) so often chooses to present her artwork without a face, or the faces may be quite animated, as she cannot see the finer detail. Zalie paints, sculpts and often uses strong colour in her work. 

Zalie has been exhibiting and selling her art since she was 8-years-old, and has donated her work to charity auctions and hospitals.


An exhibition of her work is available for you to see at Diamond Valley Library throughout November 2019!

How do you describe your creative practice?
Art is communicating your thoughts and ideas without having to use words.

How did you get involved in this area of work?
A hobby that has turned into a passion. Art is my everyday activity, a break from our busy world.

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m using mixed media to make a family of people.

Do you have a studio or work space? What is it like?
I have a studio downstairs at my house, and an indoor/outdoor space for warmer months.

Has anyone or anything influenced your practice?
I’m a self-taught artist, and enjoy painting and sculpting the human body, particularly female at the moment.

What does a typical day involve for you?
School then off to an after school activity, art in the evening or straight after school if I have nothing else on.

What would be your dream project?
For someone to ring me and ask for me to paint a big mural on a wall where lots of people could see it, or a solo exhibition requested of me by someone. Rather than me having to source somewhere to display my work.

How do you define success in the arts? How do you celebrate your successes?
Success in Art is happiness with what you create, and appreciation from others of your work and ability. I love displaying my work and people purchasing it is a bonus.

Where would we find you on a typical Sunday afternoon?
Drawing, painting or sculpting outside if it was sunny, or my dining room table to not miss family conversation, or in my studio. Plus walking my dog!

What energises you?
Colour! New Places to visit and experience, where I can see other artists work is also a bonus.

What are you looking forward to?
My exhibition at the Yarra Plenty Library in November.

Do you have favourite author/ book/artist/artwork?
My favourite book at the moment is Art Without Boundaries - Living On The Spectrum.

Do you visit your local library? If yes, what do you love about libraries?
Yes I visit the Library in Eltham often to borrow book and look at magazines. It is a cosy space.

Where can we see more of your work?
On my Instagram and Facebook page. In a book recently released called
Art Without Boundaries - Living On The Spectrum, and at Dynamic Vegies and Café in Eltham.

Some of Zalie’s Previous Exhibitions:
Café Zen Den, Eltham – March/April 2014
Eltham South Fine Art Gallery – September/October 2014
Latrobe University – April/May 2015
Eltham South Fine Art Gallery – August/September 2015
Melbourne Convention Centre – May 2016
Volumes Café & Giftshop—April 2017
Northpark Private Hospital – August 2017, ongoing
Hoyts Cinemas – April 2018
Dynamic Vegies and Café – September 2018, ongoing
Eltham Central Veterinary - December 2018
The Art of Autism, California, USA – January 2019
Eltham East Primary School – January 2019, ongoing

For more on Zalie vist:

Zalie's artwork will be exhibited at Diamond Valley Library from the 1st to the 30th November 2019.

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