Special thanks to Helen Crawford, opening speaker, for her eloquent and heartfelt talk and the Superstar dancers with their graceful perfomance of ‘This Moves Me’.
The WINGS exhibition was created by a group of people who attend and work at “the Port Pirie Hub” run by Spastic Centres of SA (scosa). Many of the works are created collaboratively, some are independently created. Some of the artists have a daily practice of creative expression, and they have worked towards this exhibition, developing and furthering their practice. Many would not have called themselves artists, yet art has become an everyday part of their lives. New talents and pleasures have been discovered through allowing arts practice to become a focus.
My role has been to work collaboratively with scosa clients and staff to run a series of short workshops to assist with the creation of, and curation of this exhibition. I am an artist who regularly works with community, but it has been a very special privilege to share many moments of pure creative joy with the clients and staff of scosa. I have been humbled by the willingness of people to engage in new ways of thinking and working within visual arts. The raw joy of these artists to explore that most elemental expression – mark making with art media – has been moving and inspiring. I have been challenged, but I appreciate this opportunity to review my own arts practice and philosophy, and to examine what is at the core and essence of creative practice.
All of the clients at scosa have significant barriers to their personal activity and community opportunities. Sharing thoughts, skills, and interests with the others can be highly complex given a range of conditions such as down syndrome, cerebral palsy etc. Many simple physical skills taken for granted by so many in our community are not options for scosa clients. None the less, at “The Hub”, each and every persons abilities and creative expressions have been supported and encouraged to become part of the exhibition before you today.
To be an artist requires resilience and strength and the artists and staff of scosa exhibiting here have lots. When an artist exhibits, they open themselves to public criticism. Through sharing their artwork they share intimate aspects of life, thoughts and feelings.
I hope that like me, you the viewer, can appreciate and enjoy these works that allow an opportunity to visit and share some of the insights and gifts that these artists bring to us. I congratulate all involved for their works and for the work that has resulted in the culmination of the exciting exhibition before us.