The VicHealth Project

This project sat on the back-burner for most of 2020, bubbling away throughout the year to evolve with the challenges of COVID. One great change was the Melting Pot – I created a pivot to virtual sessions via zoom to encourage art making as a way to build mental resilience during social lockdown. Some of you were able to be part of this really fun and encouraging experience – thanks for joining in!

Expressions of Interest

I’m really excited to be opening out the project for Expressions of Interest. We’re looking for artists who would like to be involved. We’re looking for community groups who have a story to tell. VicHealth has contributed funding to facilitate ten small art projects to begin an art-making process. I will be working closely with Karen Whitaker-Taylor, from Baw Baw Shire, to coordinate and mentor the groups as they evolve. What they create over that time will be captured in little artistic films. These will be shared online and via projections on and in venues around West Gippsland.

COVID-lockdown hesitation

The first of the ten projects is already underway as a pilot, to test the concept. This will inform how the rest of the ten will be embedded in the region. One thing I’m finding is that there is some hesitation for events, and regular group sessions. This can only be expected, after almost a year of cancelled shows, and cancelled social groups. Another thing – which is just a hunch – is that we have become used to staying at home. In some ways, the slower pace of lockdown was welcome. Do we want to return to that frenetic pace of life?

Lockdown in Melbourne!

Social isolation due to circumstance

However, there are people in our community whose life didn’t change a great deal with the lockdown events. Their isolation was due to circumstances: health issues, mobility issues, socioeconomic challenges, or different cultural or linguistic backgrounds. The main goal of the VicHealth funded program is to enable these sometimes hidden ones. The goal is to encourage and assist those who are socially isolated to become part of a creative social group. Perhaps you know of someone who could benefit from being part of a creative process? Could you share your love of making with others? If so, please fill out this contact form so I can chat about your ideas with you.

Happy making,

Bec Vandyk

Arts and Health Gippsland