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Art Without Borders exhibition

The Bland Shire Cultural Advisory Committee has landed an exciting coup by securing the rights to host the Art Without Borders exhibition this month.

Art Without Borders is a textile-based art program offered to newly arrived migrant women living in the City of Whitehorse.  This year nine women from several countries including Holland, Peru and El Salvador have participated in the program, telling their individual stories through art.

The Box Hill Community Arts Centre, which facilitates the program, has generously agreed to loan the works for exhibition at the Bland Shire library from July 22 until August 2 before being returned to their owners forever.

The exhibition consists of nine works of art, each telling a fascinating personal story of a migrants personal journey.

The idea behind Art Without Borders is to bring together a group of migrant women who live in the Box Hill region and enable each to explore their personal journey of migration through art.

The program builds self-confidence and a sense of self-worth, which are qualities that are often eroded in the migration upheaval. Artist in residence Judy Leong, who guided the women through the project, and her team of volunteers have helped the women to explore in a creative way their personal journey from country of birth to their new home in Melbourne.

Through a series of workshops, the women learnt how to use materials such as felt, fabric paints and patchwork to create an artwork to tell their stories. As well as acquiring new skills, the women met new people, formed friendships and discovered more about different cultures. The artworks reflect each woman’s journey to Australia through colour, texture and symbols and the exhibition provides an opportunity for them to tell their stories and share their experiences with the public.

Bland Shire is one of only two other communities, alongside Colac Otway Shire in Victoria, chosen to host the exhibition this year.

The exhibition will be open to the public free of charge from July 22 until August 2 during normal library opening hours. For further enquiries contact Council’s Community Relations Officer, Craig Sutton on 6972 2266.

Images from this exhibition can be viewed on the Box Hill Community Arts Centre website http://www.bhcac.com.au/Art-Without-Borders.html and Facebook Page www.facebook.com/boxhillcommunityartscentre