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Artists with disabilities and poets working together
In 2007 a small art exhibition took place at a Perth shopping centre. Entitled Creative Connections, it featured 29 artworks and ran for three days. This art show was unusual for several reasons. All the artwork was produced by people with a disability, and each painting had poems linked to it, written by some of Perth's best-known poets. The exhibition is now an annual event with the 2014 Creative Connections Art and Poetry Exhibition and Sale taking place from 30 August to 11 September at the Perth Town Hall and featuring 58 works plus accompanying poems.
Creative Connections is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to raise awareness of the creative abilities of people with a disability. The artwork provides inspiration for the poet and in some cases the poet provides a voice for a non-verbal artist. The art is also for sale with the bulk of the proceeds going to the artist.
Creative Connections supports high-needs people with disabilities, as this group has the fewest opportunities to express themselves creatively and to connect with the community. Some of the challenges for the artists and carers are illustrated here, but the pleasure and feeling of achievement are equally evident and the paintings are unique and beautiful.
painting by Holly Gray (image:creativeconnectionsaape.net.au/index.html)
The Exhibition Launch will be held on Saturday 30 August and will feature artist talks and poetry readings.
All the artwork is for sale with the accompanying poetry freely included. An anthology featuring the art and poetry is also available. The website has a preview of this year's work as well as links to past exhibitions.