Flying in the face of prejudice

Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Eldercare Evanston Park will enter an eye-catching artwork that aims to encourage acceptance and combat prejudice in this week’s annual Gawler Show.

The mixed media piece titled ‘Free your mind’ features 44 hand-cut paper butterflies floating from a woman’s head.

Evanston Park Wellbeing Consultant Lee-Anne Chenoweth described the artwork as ‘a piece for our times’.

“It’s more important than ever to show consideration for yourself and the people around you,” said Lee-Anne.

“This artwork sends the message that it’s okay to be different and to not be afraid of others who are different from you.”

Volunteer Joy Usher led the project and worked with a group of 15 residents to apply the ink and carefully decorate the butterflies that feature in the artwork.

Joy chose blue – a colour synonymous with depression – as the background shade for the painting to portray ‘breaking free’ from sadness.

The butterflies, representing freedom, light and love, were printed on thick card and attached to the painting as pop outs to bring them to life and showcase their unique designs.

“It was so fantastic to see some residents who wouldn’t normally be involved in activities engaged like never before – there was something about the butterflies they really loved,” said Joy.

“We can make a conscious choice to be kind to others and I hope this piece will help people to focus on what brings us together rather than what separates us.”

The piece was inspired by Eldercare’s commitment to inclusion and diversity – a pledge that was formalised earlier this year when the organisation introduced its first Inclusion Policy.

Residents and volunteers are hoping to repeat their creative success at the Gawler Show after winning first prize last year with their artwork called ‘The Diversity Tree’ which has been reproduced as a print for display at all Eldercare residential care facilities.

‘Free your mind’ will be displayed at Evanston Park after the show for residents, staff, volunteers and visitors to enjoy.

Update: 'Free your mind' was awarded ‘Best Exhibit Group Article’ within the residential high care category at the Gawler Show over the weekend.