Creative Connections: Atwell Gallery hosting special exhibition


Brentwood artist Lana Davey with poet Liana Joy Christensen and fellow artist Lindy Johnson. Picture: Jon Hewson
Brentwood artist Lana Davey with poet Liana Joy Christensen and fellow artist Lindy Johnson. Picture: Jon Hewson

A SPECIAL exhibition bringing together artists with complex needs and local poets is coming to Atwell Gallery next month.

Now in its ninth year, Creative Connections will feature 29 artists living with disability and 50 WA poets who have responded to their work.

The artworks and poetry are paired together for a weeklong exhibition from September 5-11 and are also catalogued in an extensive anthology that includes profiles of all the participants.

The Creative Connections project grew from a discussion between a disability worker and WA Poets member Maureen Sexton, who is also the parent of a daughter with a disability.

The pair wanted to provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to enhance their connection with the community and decided to organise combined art and poetry exhibition.

Poet Liana Joy Christensen has been involved with Creative Connections since its inception in 2007 and said she looked forward to the event every year.

“To me, the heart of Creative Connections is that the poets are playing and the artists are playing and the result is a beautiful expression of our humanity,” she said.

“Sometimes poets are inspired by events or ideas or themes but Creative Connections invites us into the space of an artwork and you have no idea how it is going to move you.

“I look forward to getting the artworks each year because they take me on adventures.

“Quite often more than one poet will be given the same image and what is fascinating is that sometimes the poets pick up on a similar theme and sometime they go in radically different directions.”

Fellow poet Tineke Van der Eecken said Creative Connections had established itself as a popular annual event with the majority of the artworks snapped up by each year.

“What is special about Creative Connections is the buzz it generates in terms of the artists being encouraged to create more art; some of them are faced with considerable physical challenges so it is a great motivator.

“I also think it is one of those community projects that is really heart-warming and everyone that comes along gets a touch of that warmth.”