Art 4 Refugees
An "Art 4 Walls" Project
Contributors: Welcome to Eltham, Briar Hill PS and 'The Money' Theatre show
Artist Initiator: Fiona Haasz. Contributing Artists: Jess Lovell and Lisa Watson
Inspired by the Art 4 Walls concept, this project was initiated, almost by accident, upon attending a Melbourne Festival show called 'The Money'.
Participants were instructed to decided within the hour a worthy project for the group's money ($20 each). The group decided to give the $260 to my proposed project which was to make art with my son's school, for the houses that the refugees are going to be placed in, so that they're not just being provided provisions for their bodies, but also for their hearts!
The Principal at the time, suggested children write a letter expressing their interest (of course we included all of them in the project).
We set up a mock 'The Money' scenario - so the children got to have some input in to the process of how we might use the money and what we might make.
We began using materials that I had been playing with at the time - wool and sticks - and the children added tags with messages to them. We liked how the wool felt nurturing amidst the broken sticks, which were rough and rugged connecting in with the contrasts of life - for example, war and peace.
Lisa Watson (another school mum/artist) suggested we sell our art at our school market to continue to raise more money for the project, then Jess Lovell (another parent and artist) brought in inks, water and special shiny paper. We reflected on how the ink-scapes were a bit like landscapes - and how unpredictable the outcomes were - and how the refugees are coming to a new landscape and they have no idea what they are coming to. We combined the images with the sticks to make frames and in a way felt we were 'holding' them in their new homes, like the frames held the images - perhaps not perfectly, but still, something.
The next stage unfolded with workshops with the refugees... click here for more.