Four year Australian Spirit art project culmination

Australian Spirit participants including veterans, artists and poets. Archive 2017

The four-year multidisciplinary art project, Australian Spirit, is now entering the final stage of its concluding year, with a gathering of the participants in the final phase at Art Studios Co-operative, North Gosford on October 29.
The project will culminate with a series of Exhibitions and a Book Launch in late March 2018, followed by a regional tour, beginning in Port Macquarie on April, 2018.
The highly successful project, which began on the Centenary of Gallipoli, seeks to commemorate and celebrate the service of Central Coast men and women who have spent time in defence forces, by raising awareness of the sacrifices made by veterans and their families, both during and after their services.
The project brings community volunteers, visual artists, poets, writers and photographers together with veterans and ex-service personnel to create artworks around the veterans.
A team made up of an artist, a writer/Poet, and a photographer, focus on a veteran’s service and create a poem and a visual work of art, inspired by the veterans’ stories and memories.
These artworks are presented in exhibitions in galleries and at RSL Clubs around the Coast.
There is also a companion high quality commemorative magazine containing the collection of creative works sold to assist with funding the project.
So far three commemorative magazines have been produced with a hardbound final edition due out at the end of this final phase.
Over the three years, 160 Central Coast residents have taken part, including 75 veterans, 37 artists, 29 poets, 11 photographers, and 10 volunteers.
The exhibitions have been seen by thousands of locals and the Australian Spirit books have nearly sold out.
In this creative phase, which goes through to Anzac Day 2018, 66 people are due to participate, including 20 veterans.
The aim of the Regional Tour of the 2018 Australian Spirit Exhibition is to share the veterans’ stories in as many locations as possible and to encourage artists across the state to perhaps emulate the project, to raise awareness of their own community’s veterans and to encourage local artists to consider the rich source of inspiration the veterans’ stories can be.

Media release, Oct 31
Leasha Craig, Australian Spirt