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A Diploma of Fine Arts TAFE graduate is on the brink of launching her first solo exhibition after a "life changing" decision four years ago to follow her passion.

A Diploma of Visual Arts TAFE graduate is on the brink of launching her first solo exhibition after a "life changing" decision four years ago to follow her passion.

Silvana WiRepa had studied architecture and construction management and was already working in demolition. However, she said she found those career areas "soul destroying" and decided to explore her interest in art by enrolling in North Coast TAFE.

"I am essentially a creative person and measuring quantities of concrete just wasn't my thing," she told the Wauchope Gazette. Four years ago I made a life changing decision and went back to TAFE to do a Diploma of Fine Arts where I learnt about the use of organic oils from Peter Lankas. The methods he uses means that a painting can last up to 500 years before it may need any restoration work. There are no toxic chemicals or turps used."

Silvana is all set to open the Top Hat Art Gallery in Wauchope in mid-October. Her plan is for the gallery to function as a learning as well as exhibition space. She is encouraging local artists to use the space either to show their work or run evening classes in life drawing."The gallery is an amazing space with natural light and ample parking," she said.