Art helps kids to connect

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Local contributing artist Terry Madgwick, Key Assets occupational therapist Linda Blyth and assistant director Brenda Yellend overlook the courtyard at BRAG where the artwork was collated.
Camera IconLocal contributing artist Terry Madgwick, Key Assets occupational therapist Linda Blyth and assistant director Brenda Yellend overlook the courtyard at BRAG where the artwork was collated. Credit: South Western Times, Callum Hunter

The next three days will be the community’s last chance to view and appreciate a unique piece of artwork at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries before it is taken down on Sunday.

Four artists from across WA came together in Bunbury recently to create a piece of artwork all in the name of inclusion and the appreciation of differences for foster care provider Key Assets.

Linda Blyth, Terry Madgwick, Christy Valli-Mad and Brooke Stepherdson all donated their time and skills to create ‘We are all connected,’ a collaborative piece that will be entered in the Key Assets National Art Competition later this year.

“The thinking behind it is to use art as a medium to help children that we look after engage in a cathartic experience,” Key Assets assistant director Brenda Yellend said.

“A lot of children in care lose connection with a lot of things, so this was a way to try and bring them together and connect with each other.”

The artists were helped in their endeavours by a small group of local children in Key Assets’ care who deserve as much credit for the piece as the artists.

Occupational therapist Linda Blyth said it was pivotal the children realised they were not separate from society and were a part of the community.

“Having it here at BRAG was a big thing because this is a public venue, open to anyone in the region... the art piece is on display for all to see,” she said.

Leschenault artist Terry Madgwick was one of the first contributors to volunteer his time to the initiative and said he enjoyed the project, having worked with Ms Blyth before.

“The kids felt part of it, they felt connected... it was incredible,” he said.

“They started off in the areas they wanted to be but by the second day they were starting to move from piece to piece.”

We Are All Connected is comprised of four separate pieces that have been mounted onto an easel-like frame, each addressing usages of the elements – air, water, earth and fire – and how they are connected.

The project was initiated by Key Assets support worker Helen Petherick, who was grateful for the artists’ contribution.

“We’re extremely grateful for their guidance and genuine passion towards the project,” she said.

We Are All Connected along with behind the scenes snapshots will remain on display at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries until Sunday.

Judging and the finals for the national competition will be held in Brisbane later this year.

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