Theresa Byrnes
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The Divine Mistake by Theresa Byrnes

Reviewed by Nita Kambouris

The Divine Mistake is a vibrant, insightful, fast-paced autobiography by a talented artist, diagnosed with a fatal degenerative disease, Freidrichs Ataxia, (FA) at seventeen. Theresa Byrnes’ high-speed saga of her wild life takes us from the northern beaches where she grew up, to Morocco, South America, New York, Northern Territory Arnhem Land and the Newtown grunge scene in Sydney. Unstoppable, in the thirteen years since her diagnosis, Byrnes exhibited at over twenty solo and group art shows, raised over-$200,000 for medical research to cure FA and was Young Australian of the Year and Australian Ambassador for Young People. The DivineMistake is a powerful account of her deteriorating health and her increasing determination to live life fully. At the core of her life story is the recognition of a profound contradiction, the Divine Mistake, that tragedy can be both a destructive and creative force. Lucid, fresh and disarmiig, Byrnes shares her experiences with a rare openness and energy, defiantly transforming tragedy into love, art and insight. Crystalising her challenge to the idea that disease is imperfection, a seductive photo of Byrnes lying naked on one of her paintings adorns the cover of her book. Inside, more wonderful photos of Byrnes, her family, friends and her extraordinary paintings complete an engaging read.

The Divine Mistake: An Autobiography
By Theresa Byrnes
Now out of print; Last copies available
$50 (shipping $5)

Available as an
Amazon Kindle Book


Back Jacket

November 6, 1999 - The Daily Telegraph - Wired For Life by Pamela Wilson

January 2, 2000 - The Sun Herald - Divine Inspiration by Matt Condon

January 24, 2000 - Who Magazine - Review by Louisa Ermelino

March 2000 - Australian Book Review - Review by Nita Kambouris


This story appeared in Big Night Out 3:

Click to view a larger image.

Published by Penguin Books 2002


Theresa Byrnes
a monograph
published by Charta books
OUT 2011

Memoir in progress (covering 2000-2009)

literary agent:
Fiona Inglis
Curtis Brown
Level 1, 2 Boundary Street
Paddington NSW 2021

Tel: (02) 9331 5301/9361 6161

Fax: (02) 9360 3935

Reviews by Theresa Byrnes

London Daily Mirror
Joyce Pensato’s Batman Returns

“. . the dark and powerful soul of what we deem innocent, haunts.”

London Daily Mirror
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

London Daily Mirror
Lynda Benglis

London Daily Mirror
Helen Frankenthaler

“Her . . painting shimmers like it is listening.”

London Daily Mirror
Ghada Amer

London Daily Mirror
Boris Lurie

London Daily Mirror

THERESA BYRNES    project space SUFFER    616 E 9th St (between B & C) NYC 10009    MAIL@THERESABYRNES.COM