A NOVEL project using art as a bridge will help children up-river in the Macleay Valley move on from the bushfires which ravaged the district.
The initiative is being driven by Mid North Coast-based community arts organisation Slippry Sirkus in tandem with the teachers at Willawarrin School.
The idea is that students will create media focussing on renewal and resilience as the bush and the local community bounce back from the devastation wrought by the Carrai East fire.
The 'Sprout' project has won some financial support from Regional Arts NSW, and Slippry Sirkus creative director Denni Scott Davis, who lives near Stuarts Point, has already held initial meetings at the school.
The older students will be loaned cameras to take photos of nature bouncing back and the like, while the younger ones will draw.
Denni said she plans to package the artworks into a digital exhibition which could be shown at Kempsey Library, while there are also plans for a physical exhibition at Willawarrin School for viewing by the community.
"Through a program of arts skill development workshops, artworks will be created that reflect the themes of regeneration and renewal and engender hope for the future," Denni told the Argus.
"Art is a powerful tool for well-being. We want to look at the positives, and look at hope. And it will give the children the chance to process what took place."
The Sprout project is underway and will run across March, and be finalised in April.
While the photos taken by the students will by substance be visual, the pupils will also be asked to pen a few words about the images to accompany those selected for exhibition.
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