Ali began creating art in 2017 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – this was a fairly devastating diagnosis for someone with a passion for the outdoors and who spent much of her life in the pursuit of physical adventure. Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that most noticeably causes unintended or uncontrollable movements such as shaking, stiffness and difficulty with balance and coordination. Parkinson’s is progressive and there is currently no cure. After diagnosis Ali was referred to a physiotherapist to help improve the dexterity and fine motor control in her hands. Mindfulness Colouring was what was suggested however she was soon frustrated and bored so started doodling instead. The doodling led to drawing and the drawing led to painting and Ali soon realised she had discovered something far more important to her than just another form of physiotherapy.
Since she first picked up a pencil in 2017 Ali has used her artwork to raise over £3000 for Parkinson’s UK. In 2021 she was commissioned by Charles River Laboratories to paint a giant hare for Leuchie House as part of their Big Hare Trail that later sold at auction for just over £5000. That year she also had her first solo exhibition and since then has exhibited twice at the Oxo Gallery on London’s South Bank. Much of Ali’s artwork about Parkinson’s is still currently on display in the Aviemore Room at Leuchie House after being placed there for their tenth year anniversary celebrations. In 2022 Ali was a long list finalist for the Scottish Portrait Fine Art Award.