Several colourful hand-crafted totems have been installed at Bellarine Community Health (BCH) sites around the Bellarine.
The three-metre-tall art installations are the final stage of a community art connection project originally funded by Bellarine Community Health.
The project aimed to improve social connectedness and wellbeing by engaging people with an illness or a disability through creative workshops with support from local professional artist, Kaz McGlynn, and psychologist Dr Glen Kelly.
While the core workshops of the project were completed some time ago, a small group of participants have spent the last two years creating beautiful detailed ceramic sculptures by hand.
“We are thrilled the totems are complete and have been installed at our Point Lonsdale, Drysdale and Portarlington sites,” said BCH CEO Garry Ellis. “The totems are very colourful and creative and it’s terrific to see such a great outcome through engaging people with chronic health conditions with an arts project.”
The totems were created under the guidance and mentorship of local award-winning artist Kaz McGlynn who also runs art’sKool in Ocean Grove.
Reflecting on the project, Kaz said, “As someone with lived experience of a disability, I feel great pride and privilege to have mentored this group of talented artists at art’sKool at Kazworks. Their sculptures showcase the unique experiences and perspectives of individuals who often face barriers in society. They also offer a glimpse into what’s possible when we embrace our differences and celebrate our unique abilities. By publicly showcasing these totems, we challenge stereotypes and promote inclusivity, acceptance and diversity to highlight that everyone can and is encouraged to contribute in our communities.”
Since the conclusion of the project, many of the participants have continued to pursue their artistic endeavours including selling their artworks.
Find out more about Kaz McGlynn’s inclusive art programs here.
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