Community gratitude on display in Kensington cafe

First Avenue café owner Marilyn Lewis with the two hearts made from notes of gratitude written by Kensington residents. Picture: Bruce Hunt
First Avenue café owner Marilyn Lewis with the two hearts made from notes of gratitude written by Kensington residents. Picture: Bruce Hunt

GIANT hearts made from notes of gratitude made up the first of a potential annual community art display on the windows of a hidden Kensington cafe.

Two cardboard hearts with post-it notes revealing what customers were thankful for were displayed at First Avenue cafe in December.

Cafe owner Marilyn Lewis said the hearts would be taken down from the windows but she planned for the gratitude notes to be an annual thing.

“In that lead-up to Christmas, other than focus on the things we don’t have, we shift our focus on what we do have and enjoy together,” she said.

“Once people started, they got straight into it.

“The most common ones written were family, community, pets and nature.”

The post-it notes covered both sides of the giant hearts and Ms Lewis said the participants ranged from kids to a 94-year-old.

First Avenue cafe opened in February last year after Ms Lewis returned to Perth from Melbourne.

Ms Lewis said the building had been closed since 1996 and was once a deli.

She said she wanted to set up a ‘soul space’ based on community connection and did not promote the cafe online.

“I’m not on social media and I wanted to see if people can connect in different ways,” she said.

“I moved here from Melbourne and didn’t know anyone and now I have two full hearts on the windows.”