Under the Floorboards
UnitingCare Ballarat completed a unique artistic project, Under the Floorboards, with 12 artists in residence during 2012-2013. Under the Floorboards was a collaborative project where renowned Western District artists created works based on their experiences at one of the diverse programs provided by UnitingCare Ballarat.
UnitingCare Ballarat has a unique connection with so many parts of the local community and the project offers an insight into its operations and an understanding of the individuals, communities, many services it provides and the people it assists.
Cliff Barclay, former Executive Director of UnitingCare Ballarat said “We all see the world through different eyes and this project is a unique opportunity to have our services framed through the eyes of an artist”.
The project culminated in a gala event with an art auction and performance of the works with proceeds providing funding for the agency’s programs. “This wonderful project offers the opportunity to help on so many levels. The artists engaged with our programs enabling them to experience the issues we confront, the artworks speak to the public about our services and the people we assist and finally, the sale will help us to continue to provide these vital services” he said.
The disciplines of the twelve artists involved are as diverse as the programs they have captured:
Aldona Kmiec, a renowned photographer created four mosaic photographic portraits of the staff and volunteers across the agency. If you would like to read about Aldona’s experience through her blog, please click here or view and listen to Aldona’s ABC interview.
Grace Bailey painted stunning portraits of the Sudanese community within Ballarat Central Uniting Church’s congregation. View and listen to Grace’s ABC interview.
Kate Vivian joined with the clients of the BreezeWay Meals Program to make plates and bowls. View and listen to Kate’s ABC interview.
Tracy Bourne is a playwright who has created a play that tells the story of the characters she encountered at Reid’s Guest House. View and listen to Tracey’s ABC interview.
Linda Franklin has produced some paintings on recycled floorboards at Karrung Youth Foyer with the residents. View and listen to Linda’s ABC interview.
Rebecca McLean, a film maker has produced a short observational documentary Shining a Light Under the Floorboards that follows a ‘day in the life’ of UnitingCare Ballarat’s diverse programs. View and listen to Rebecca’s ABC interview.
Cath Johnston has produced 4 resin mirrors that incorporate cast elements particular to Rooming House residents. View and listen to Cath’s ABC interview.
Kim Anderson worked with clients of the Aged and disAbility Program to produce line drawings of their hands. View and listen to Kim’s ABC interview here.
Barry Wemyss engaged with young people within Tabor House Youth Withdrawal Unit to create one-off hand-made Artist Books and wall pieces. View and listen to Barry’s ABC interview.
Kat Barrand worked in conjunction with Karrung residents to create colourful artwork installations on their front doors. View and listen to Katherine’s ABC interview.
Kirsty Hawkes produced a children’s picture book written using the stories from parents and children from Yuille Park Children’s Centre. View and listen to Kirsty’s ABC interview.
With the residencies completed, a series of events beginning in October 2013 were conducted to further raise awareness of the project and its results. At those events the residency artworks were exhibited and performed, with resultant income from performances and associated auctions used to support the work of UnitingCare Ballarat.
Given the power and potential of art, it is impossible to imagine that UnitingCare Ballarat can achieve its mission without the use of art and what it can do for the human soul.
The City of Ballarat Arts & Cultural Development was a project partner with UnitingCare Ballarat, extending opportunities for quality arts experiences to all members of the community and providing significant professional development opportunities to local & regional artists.
ABC Ballarat was the project media partner.