Today’s Sunday studio visit is a visit outside the studio – I spent the day running clay workshops as part of the Scotsburn Fire Recovery Art project.
Scotsburn is a beautiful picturesque rural community on the outskirts of Ballarat in regional Australia.
The bushfire happened in December 2015, and burnt through 4,000 hectares, taking livestock, shedding, homes and precious memories.
I remember the day vividly . I live in Dunnstown – a stones throw away as the crow flys – and have friends living in the area, so we were very concerned and attentive to the situation on the day. In fact we watched the huge D10 waterbomber zigzag across the sky approaching the area to douse the flames. It was very scary and in the following days I visited the area and documented the scene in an artist capacity. I have not, as yet, developed these images in any way out of sensitivity to a community that is, and will be for quite some time, hurting on many levels.
It is in response to this hurt that an arts recovery program has been developed to engage with the local community – art being an important vehicle toward expression and healing. There are a variety of activities being offered to the community in a series of workshops – clay (that’s me), felting, drawing and jewellery making – which will culminate in an exhibition at the end of the year.
And today was the first session! And I had some some happy cheesy smiley people playing with clay!
The day was divided into a morning and afternoon session with a BBQ lunch in between – complete with vegetarian BBQ! lucky for me 🙂
Lots of fab work was made during the day, and I can’t wait for the future sessions and the exhibition in November!
And here are some pics from the day – enjoy!