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'Our Story' Art Exhibition

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Quality art by artists who have experienced homelessness
'Bush Blue' by Claudio Duse
'Bush Blue' by Claudio Duse

The 'Our Story' exhibition in North Melbourne's Lulu Cafe and Gallery showcases artworks by approximately 20 artists who have experienced, are experiencing or might experience homelessness.

The paintings are for sale, with prices ranging from $20 to nearly $1000 - with 70 to 100 per cent of the profit going to the artist themselves.

Five or six artworks are downstairs, blending seamlessly into Lulu Cafe's decor, but the majority are upstairs in two separate rooms.

The room to your right as you ascend the stairs displays artwork produced during Wombat Housing and Support Services' workshops. It is mostly made up of stencil painting. Some pictures depict pop culture figures, such as Ice Cube, Kim K, 360 and Chewbacca.

Artworks within this room are quite affordable, starting at $20. And as artist Naba states on the panel accompanying their work: 'Giving a little help can make a big difference in someone's life'.

In the other upstairs room and in the cafe itself we have a broad range of styles: impressionistic landscapes, traditional indigenous dot paintings, vivid abstracted landscapes in pastels, lead-outlined watercolour plants and charcoal drawings of an active human figure on brown paper - as well as more stencil art.

untitled by Anna, art, artist, north melbourne, lulu cafe
Untitled by Anna

Some of the paintings are on cardboard, to represent the cardboard the artists have occasionally slept on or used as a blanket. Much of the art present has come out of art therapy sessions.

On the walls, underneath and around the paintings, cardboard squares inform us of various homelessness statistics: for example, 25,000 Victorians were counted as homeless on census night and 42 per cent of Victorians are homeless due to domestic and family violence.

The exhibition is part of Homelessness Week and is organised by Wombat Housing and Support Services, in conjunction with Open Canvas and of course Lulu Cafe.

It is a good opportunity to financially and morally support those experiencing homeless, but just as importantly, it is an opportunity to obtain quality art at reasonable prices whether you are a serious collector or simply wish to decorate your house.

The gallery opened on August 2 will run until August 12; it is open now every day (during cafe hours) until the closing date.

You can easily grab lunch or a coffee while you are at the cafe; I'd be getting around the Avo Smash with Smoked Salmon for $23 for brekky, or the Hand Rolled Gnocchi with Garlic Roasted Mushrooms for $23 for lunch.

'We are who we are' by Christinaray Weetra, art, artist, north melbourne, lulu cafe
'We are who we are' by Christinaray Weetra
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*Sam Richards was invited as a guest
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Why? Quality art for a good cause
When: Until August 12
Phone: 03 9326 4494
Where: Lulu Cafe, 506 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne
Cost: Free, or cost of artworks purchased
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by Nekoburro on 08/08/2018
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