20 January 2021|Community News| Off Comments off on PAINTING A PICTURE OF CULTURE|

YOUTH at Karadi Aboriginal Corporation showcased a series of artwork that connected to the land and Country as the result of a six-week program.

The youth worked with Aboriginal artist Jaye Gangalidda as part of the Deadly Choices initiative to educate them about making healthy choices in drug and alcohol matters.

The Deadly Choices initiative was a partnership between Karadi Aboriginal Corporation and The Link Health Youth Service in Hobart, and was funded by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council Tasmania.

“The exhibition and program was about working with youth who are disadvantaged and had been struggling during COVID with isolation, mental health and substance misuse,” Ms Gangalidda said.

“There was a real focus on building confidence, giving the youth new skills, and building some knowledge around culture and their identity.

“We know that a good strong sense of self, particularly cultural sense, is good in building resilience to drugs, isolation and mental health issues.”

Ms Gangalidda has about 40 years of experience working with First Nations people across the area of mental health and wellbeing.

“I’ve always used art and storytelling to help with these issues,” Ms Gangalidda said.

“We went out into Country and looked at the patterns, textures, colours, forms and shapes.

“I then got them to reflect on their spiritual sense and connection to Country to find inspiration to create their prints.”

The youth engaged in a number of different forms of art, including oil pastels, collage, painting and pen design.

“It calmed a lot of people down that came in a bit crazy – when you come in and sit down you’re actually doing work so it’s quite peaceful and calms you down a lot more,” 15-year-old Ruby Millard said.

“It helped me come out of my shell a bit more and gave me some extra confidence.”

Fourteen-year-old Braddon Stacey said he enjoyed connecting with his Indigenous culture.

“It represents just how free our minds can be because society always tells us you can’t do that,” he said.

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