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Creativity at the centre of our neighbourhood

WATERLOO: On May 15 the Orchard Gallery at South Sydney Uniting Church hosted its first in-person opening in more than 12 months. The COLLAB show in partnership with Counterpoint Community Services marked Neighbourhood Centre Week.

Curated by Catherine Skipper, the 16 works were produced by participants of South Sydney Uniting Church’s Saturday Art Workshop and the Poets Corner Art Group.

Artists received a small canvas (supplied by Counterpoint) and created the works in just seven days. The opening saw more than 30 in attendance, including Elle Brind and Bill Yan from Counterpoint.

Local music teacher Jonathan and violinist Grace provided a warm and welcoming soundtrack.

Tighter health and safety restrictions meant we needed to wear face masks and offer drinks and chocolates to guests on departure. The mood was celebratory.

Elle Brind said: “A project like this brings out the best of our local community spirit even amid a pandemic. Neighbourhood centres are the heart of our community.”

All exhibits were priced at $100, 15 per cent going to the Orchard Gallery, and 85 per cent to the artist. The show closed on May 30.

In her opening night speech Catherine again thanked the church council for generous support of the arts. “Distributing canvases of the same size was an effective means of encouraging creativity and collaboration,” she said.

Artist Rosalind Flatman, whose oil painting took a day to make and three days to dry, said: “I thought the diversity was wonderful, so many ways to depict the community theme.”

Margaret Vazey recounted working alongside her great-granddaughter Grace, aged 7. “Grace loves to draw and paint. Rabbits and dogs are her favourites, trees and gardens too. Her contribution to the show featured her pet rabbit Fluffy, with hibiscus flowers expertly observed.”

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@orchardgalleryau

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