The Port Macquarie ArtWalk is a highly anticipated event for St Agnes’ Care & Lifestyle residents and staff in our residential care services each year. The community event presents the opportunity for residents to express themselves creatively and exhibit their work on the broader community stage.
The genesis of this year’s exhibit was the restrictions and impact that residents felt as they entered into social distancing and restricted visitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, preparing for the ArtWalk meant residents would come together and work closely as a collective to design and craft the exhibit. This new environment, however, meant most of the preparatory work would need to be completed in one on one settings with staff or in small socially distanced groups. This was a significant disconnect to past experiences at a time when residents were feeling disconnected from so much.
As a result, the theme of the 2020 exhibit focused on what our residents were missing most, connection and touch. Hands represented connection and touch and were the focal piece in this year’s exhibit. Despite being unable to touch physically, in the artwork, the hands remained connected and touching, representing the residents remaining connected to each other. The hands were then shaped as birds to symbolise the residents’ strength to fly beyond the current restrictions.
With restrictions slowly lifting, residents have had the opportunity to participate in small bus trips to visit their ArtWalk display being exhibited and appreciated by the broader community in the town library.
Congratulations to all residents and staff involved in this year’s ArtWalk exhibit. Your display is a shining light, and the inspiration behind it a true testament to your spirit and strength. We are already eagerly anticipating what next year’s exhibit will be!