News & Events

Keeping coronavirus at bay one creative project at a time

August 25, 2020

During the last few months of lock-down, residents in every village have been keeping busy by creating.

So much so that artist Lou Anderson, who lives at Rushall Park has initiated a creative archive project which has captured the enthusiasm of many different people.

“There have been acts of kindness in many different forms, a wonderful display and history tour of Rushall Park housing development history, books being swapped at pop-up book stands, fruit is being collected across the villages for people to take and use, and of course, the smell of freshly baked goodies is very much with us as we find ways to persevere,” Lou said.

She has challenged residents to create a work – which could be their own or a joint project which captures an insight into their experience of 2020 when the coronavirus caused the community to be locked down.

“Already I have had expressions of interest from Rushall Park residents wanting to submit embroidery, paintings, photography, mosaics on paper through to writing poetry and short stories and a joint project on baking” Lou said.

Each village has its own creators: Currie Park has a creative arts program led by Gillian Coates. Braeside Park has residents who are poets, artists, home bakers and knitters. Leith Park residents include photographers, furniture restorers, artists and writers. Liscombe House residents continue to paint, create from Lego and take part in an important art therapy program designed to reduce social isolation and cognitive decline.

“It is amazing to find out how creative we are at the Old Colonists, and wonderful to think that we are following in the footsteps of the artists’ community which was established by our founder George Coppin who was a dramatist, philanthropist and entrepreneur – over 150 years ago,” Lou said.

“Just as Coppin created history so too can we as we offer an insight into what we did and how we felt during the pandemic lockdown,” she added.

Lou Anderson is hopeful that the results will be turned into a travelling exhibition before becoming a permanent part of OCAV’s archives.

Sanctuary is how artist Gillian Coates describes her home at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa. “When I go to Melbourne and I am heading back to Euroa, I can’t wait to get home to the peacefulness of this place. It is like a sanctuary for me."

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