working in aged care
go for a collective artist date?
Why. To a cemetery, of course.
Not just any cemetery.
commemorates 150 years of ‘the Sleeping City’.
‘HIDDEN is an outdoor sculpture exhibition that takes place amongst the gardens and graves in one of the oldest sections of the Cemetery. The exhibition invites artists to ponder the notion of history, culture, remembrance and love and allows audiences to witness creative expression hidden throughout Australia’s largest and most historic cemetery’,
says the website.
Was it morbid? This art expedition to a place where members of my very own family are buried? Was it creepy? Melancholic? No. None of the above. It was actually lovely to go to Rookwood NOT for a funeral.
(The exhibition is viewable til 24th September.)
We are a group of seven Art Therapists working in aged care. We work separately in our various nursing homes and hostels and come together periodically for mutual support.
I think that to do the work of art therapy in aged care, particularly in a serious nursing home, you have to have an open, yet strong heart.
Not a fearless heart. I wouldn’t know what fearless is, being a Frequent Fear-er myself, but yes – an open, strong heart.
We call ourselves EAT. Elder Art Therapy.
And indeed we like to eat. After the art, we found a peaceful spot for a good old-fashioned cake and thermos tea party.
The sculptures? A delightful range of creations, mostly on a human, accessible scale. It’s worth reading the artist statements. You get the story behind the art.
For example, when he was in hospital for chemotherapy, Peter Hardy’s Meditation Forest appeared as a vision of a grove of light. Once out of hospital, Peter assembled holly trees for the installation. Three goats called Boris, Benny and Ziggy contributed to the artwork by eating intricate patterns into the tree bark.
How cool is that?
Art made by human and other animals.
Altogether, it was a soulfully, artfully, heartfully, treatfully nourishing afternoon.
To me, the exhibition spoke of peacefulness, respect, sorrow and depth as well as humour, joy and life.
Before we say farewell until next Friday, I have just one message for you:
Beware of the God