Local artists plant the seeds for change

March 4, 2021 BY

2020 grant winner Caroline Hawkins with Linda Diggins who will be running the guided meditation during the workshop. Photo: REBECCA HOSKING

THE Surf Coast Shire is inviting creative solutions to help solve some of the community’s most pressing issues.

The Arts Development Seed Fund is a council-funded arts project which takes a creative approach to real issues within the region.

This year the project will be encouraging local artists to use their artistic talents to express connection during the pandemic era under the theme ‘Come Together: Sharing Space, Valuing Connection’.

From now until March 31, local artists can apply to the Surf Coast Shire for grants of up to $5,000 for projects that will provide positive outcomes for the community.

Last year’s theme, “Going, going, I am going to…’ created awareness for climate action and posed a challenge to the wider community to make proactive changes.

As one of the three 2020 grant recipients, artist Caroline Hawkins said she would never have been able to take on such a large-scale project without the support of the Seed fund.

“I have been practicing this type of art for quite a while but to take it to this level, it is a project I would never have considered without the seed fund,” she said.

“It allows artists to think big and make a contribution to our community.”

Ms Hawkins ephemeral artwork utilises natural materials exclusively, with her current project tackling the complexity of “eco-grief”.

“Ephemeral art is meditative and it is quite immediate, it really engages and appreciates nature,” she said.

“Climate change is very much a theme we are addressing.

“This time last year there was all the bushfires and certainly I felt heartbroken by what was happening with the loss of animals and habitat.

“You can’t do anything about it but feel at loss so what we are trying to do with this project is give people strategies to be able to manage the grief.”

The next part of Ms Hawkins’ project is a public workshop with guided meditation, guest speakers discussing the psychology of eco-grief and an educational element from a traditional landowner on the Indigenous way of thinking and connecting with nature.

“Eco grief never goes away; you see changes happening it is there permanently,” she said.

“The workshop will give you a strategy to accept that things change, that there are some things beyond our control and strategies to appreciate nature for what it is.”

Ms Hawkins’ public workshop titled ‘Natural Connections’ will be held on March 13 and 14 at the gardens of the Drolkar Buddhist Centre in Paraparap.

To secure your spot head to carolinehawkins.com.au

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