Tag Archives: Community Arts and Cultural Development

A Caring Portrait – 2015

Four artists. Ten carers.
 
Many stories. One exhibition.
 
 
 
Weight I’m trying to hold for you/
a gift I’m trying to save for you/
these words I try to tame for you//
poem by @lylyee
 
 
A Caring Portrait was a micro community arts and cultural development project bringing together individuals with a caring role as a collaborating partner with professional artists. Together the artists and participants created fantasy portraits, which celebrate and share the diversity and strength of what lays beneath the exterior of individuals in a caring role. The project was commissioned by Carer Support and proudly supported by the Australian Government HACC (Home and Community Care) Program.
 

As an artist and maker and as a person I’m particularly fascinated by the secret dreams everyone has for themselves and how these dreams influence our daily lives and stories. And the tension between who we are inside and who we sometimes need to be for others which is especially relevant when you have a caring role. And so with A Caring Portrait I really hoped that the project could be an invitation for the participating carers to share their stories and hopes with us and that in some small way the end product would celebrate and document the diversity and strength of the amazing carers that are part of the Carer Support community.

 

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(…)
 
“It reminded me of what is important and what I would like to achieve for myself,” she said.
 
By shifting the focus from her family to herself, Danielle felt the process began to motivate her to think about areas of her life that she may have previously not been able to make time for.
 
“It was empowering,” Danielle said.
 
(…)
 
 
 
 
My cake collection baked a fierce feminist/
I am she/
she is me/
I accept//
poem by @lylyee
 
 
Artist Team
L – R: Siobhan, Alysha, Vanessa, Brianna
*
A Caring Portrait
 
February to May 2015
 
Alysha Herrmann – Creative Producer and Poet (@lylyee)
 
Vanessa Kalderovskis –Body and Face Artist
 
Siobhan Fearon – Photographer
 
Brianna Obst – Assistant artist
 
Collaborating Carers:
Marissa Wilkinson
Jessica Scoble
Penelope Monk
Vanessa Kalderovskis
Danielle Crew
Jade Teigeler
Dianne Hill
Mark Woodhouse
Jacinta Woodhouse
Joshua Stokes
 
 
Thank you to all of the fantastic staff at Carer Support who supported this project and for their ongoing passion for the work they do of caring for carers.
 
In particular thank you to Carer Support staff Marg, Tina, Julie and Josh for initiating the project with Alysha and Vanessa and collaborating with the artists to see it come to life.
 
You can see the final exhibition of photography and poetry at the Southern Carer Support Centre, 241B Main South Road Morphett Vale during office hours.
 
Photographer Siobhan Fearon shared some beautiful blog thoughts into the process along the way, which you can find here: http://siobhanfearon.weebly.com/blog/category/acaringportrait

 

On the edge #freethearts

You have made yourself to stand/ out on the edges of forever/ outstanding/ excellent// a for and

I struggled to find the words. I struggled to even find any words.

But this is what I wrote to the Senate Inquiry into the Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget Decisions on the Arts.

It’s not too late to get yours in – you have until midnight to submit here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Legal_and_Constitutional_Affairs/Arts_Funding

11th July 2015

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts

I am an ex-highschool drop out and teenage parent who was caught, and saved in the net that excellent art weaves with and for communities and individuals.

I am now a writer, theatre-maker and cultural producer working for a small to medium organisation and independently. I was the recipient of the 2015 Australia Council Kirk Robson award which recognises outstanding leadership from young people working in community arts and cultural development, particularly in reconciliation and social justice.

Both emotionally and intellectually I am angry and disillusioned at the decision to divert funds from the Australia Council into setting up a new (non-peer reviewed) National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).

With funding to the 28 Major Performing Arts (MPA’s) organisations quarantined, the Australia Council cuts will come from funding previously allocated for small to medium organisations and independent artists. But the NPEA’s draft guidelines state that it will not fund individuals, resulting in less funding and fewer opportunities for independent practitioners. Small to medium organisations, while in theory able to apply to the NPEA will be in direct competition with MPA’s under the draft guidelines and will have a smaller pool available via Australia Council. As a result establishing the NPEA by removing/redirecting money from Australia Council directly risks the entire ecosystem of Australian Arts and Culture now and more importantly (to me) into the future.

Excellent art and excellent artists come from a healthy ecosystem. Our excellent independent artists and small to medium sector feed the excellence of our MPA’s. They are not just linked but entwined – you only need to look at the CV’s of our highest ‘achievers’ to see how each of the layers overlaps and crisscrosses.

My career would not exist without the work* of two organisations who came together in partnership to make a theatre production with teenage mothers in 2004. Both those organisations submitted EOI’s earlier this year to Australia Council’s 6year organisational funding category, which was suspended in the wake of these funding cuts/changes. Both those organisations are now at risk – if not immediately, most definitely in the future – and as a result, so are future artistic leaders from diverse backgrounds (not just people who have the resources to pay). Other young people in the future may never even have the chance to discover that the arts have a place for them. Because we are erasing their place before their journey can even begin. With these cuts, and others like them, heading our way.

I work with hundreds of young people who are only just learning how to tell their story. They aren’t ready yet to write submissions to an inquiry or work for an MPA. But their stories and their options in the future matter. Their artistic voices matter, right now. They are already excellent and will grow more excellent IF (and only if) the ecosystem is there to nurture them to do so.

Excellence is not expensive lights and flawless technical execution. Excellence is in the striving, for more, for better, for everyone.

Sincerely and with a small dash of hope

Alysha Herrmann

* https://griffithreview.com/articles/not-for-me/