We have recently returned from a trip to Alice Springs to commission the paintings for the Circle of Hope Project and also to get 4 more dialysis machines painted. We were joined by Margot from Fresenius Medical Care, who sponsored the painting of the machines.
It was a hectic week of travelling between town camps and hostels, meeting artists and providing them with paint and canvases. The artists worked tirelessly to complete the paintings in a short time frame and the work they have produced is beautiful. We have 9 completed canvases in extremely different styles, all telling stories of survival and life in the desert.
The artists who completed canvases (Norah, Gregory, Runa, Rene, Monica, Kenny, Connie, Wilfred, Kathleen, Ida and Rex) as well as the artists who created incredible art on the dialysis machines (Trephina, Ida, Rex, Norah, Pamela and Rachel) did an incredible job under difficult circumstances (the weather in the desert is extremely cold at this time of year, often dropping to zero at night and most of the artists work outside) and we would like to thank them for their hard work.
The canvases will form an exhibition first due to head to Parliament House Canberra to facilitate a discussion around the issues of Indigenous health with Members of Parliament. The painted machines will join the 5 already completed machines and tour the country and the world, sharing the story of kidney failure amongst Indigeous Australians.
Several of our artists are dialysis patients and all of them have been personally affected when family members and friends have had to undertake dialysis. The stories they have shared with us both in their paintings and through conversation have inspired us and reminded us of the huge impact kidney failure, as well as other chronic health problems, such as diabetes, has on a disproportionately large number of Indigenous Australians. This is definitely an issue which needs more attention. If you are interested in getting involved, please get in touch with one of us (contact details on the Contact page).
The pictures below are a small sample of the experiences we had in Alice Springs and the wonderful art which was produced. More to come…