ARTIST Deborah Ralph-Kafarela is hoping to challenge cultural values of homelessness and rough sleeping in an upcoming exhibition.
Her installations include donated sleeping bags, doonas and blankets, a chance to fill empty bags with donated hygiene products, cardboard houses made by schools, and objects and archival images reflective of her time spent at an infants orphanage.
Multa Plenty also portrays a response to the WA Strategy to End Homelessness 2018-2028.
Ralph-Kafarela, who was homeless, said the idea came about from her volunteer work with Street Friends.
“I really felt like I wanted to make a difference,” she said.
“There is a practice of art called pragmatic art practice where the gallery space becomes a social activist space.
“The community become the artist and the artist co-creates or engages community to create artworks that relate to local human rights or local social issues.
“Then it becomes a non-confrontational way to engage in an issue that people wouldn’t normally be engaged with.”
She said her goals were to get not-for-profit businesses interested in the exhibition and attract the corporate sector to work towards permanent housing for homeless people.
Street Friends chairman Michael Kiernan said Ralph-Kafarela’s effort to bring community awareness to homelessness was “outstanding”.
Dreambuilders Care director Ursula Dixon said the exhibition would create a second thought process among the community, where people could think about where homeless people accessed water and bathroom facilities.
A closing event will be held on August 9 from 6pm to 7.30pm.
For information, visit midlandjunctionartscentre.com.au