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December 18, 2019

Inter-Generational Exchange Portraiture Exhibition

Residents from Patrick Budgen VC Gardens Aged Care in collaboration with Year 9 & 10 Students from Byron Bay High School hold an Art Exhibition to show off the work from a 4 week art therapy program – instigated by one of the practicing artists Marek Zayler. The initiative was hugely successful and will result in ongoing programs in 2020.

These genuine connections across the generations and within our local community are just beginning and will continue to grow.

Sally Anne Roe, Art Therapist at Patrick Budgen VC Gardens Aged Care told us more about the initiative. She said “Relationships have been established between residents, students and teachers and are heartfelt and authentic. Our residents were totally energized by the experience and they looked forward to the weekly visits. Many have said they are keen to participate into the future.”

The program was held over the past four weeks and resulted in an exhibition by the students. The exhibition is being held at the RSL LifeCare Residential Aged Care Home this week and is open to family members and the public:

Inter-Generational Exchange Portraiture Exhibition 

17 – 24 December 2019

Open 10am – 6pm

184 Broken Head Road, Suffolk Park. 

Sally continued to tell us about the success of this program. “We celebrated the launch with a luncheon attended by some of the student’s families who were suitably impressed and pleased to meet the residents of whom they’d been hearing so much about. These genuine connections across the generations and within our local community are just beginning and will continue to grow.”

Intergenerational portrait exchange December 2019 Byron Bay high school students have collaborated with residents from RSL Lifecare Suffolk Park Patrick Bugden  VC Gardens aged care on this very special and powerful exchange an experience they have documented at this exhibition.

Students and residents met once a week for four weeks for two hours, we shared stories, interest’s encounters, narratives and our histories. We spoke and laughed and enjoyed and learnt. Age and differences were inconsequential.

After the first week we learnt how we have more similarities than differences. As relationships blossom students set out to capture personalities, identities and characteristics and commit them to paper.

We have enjoyed this experience and learned more about who we are both individually and as a collective. We have experienced empathy and challenged our perceptions and sometimes our assumptions. We have grown. We are grateful for the time we have shared.

We Hope you enjoy the exhibition”

  • Statement by Byron Bay High School

This has been great, inspirational and expansive for the heart and soul”

  • Jess Art Teacher Byron Bay High School

When we did the exhibition at Ballina I saw the portraits the Xavier College students had done. I thought it was a really worthwhile idea and thought so let’s do it here. I approached Willem and he rang Byron Bay high school who responded enthusiastically. The teacher decided to do this once a week for four weeks and we paired the students up with a resident each. While they chatted they completed some drawings and the initial sketches have been astonishing. Apart from the drawings and pencil portraits that stand on their own- there was a wonderful connection between residents and students. Residents who had been only mildly enthusiastic to begin with, had pleasure and excitement written all over their faces. They were being listen to and communicating with a very different generation. The teacher said that the students took their enthusiasm back to school and spent lunchtimes doing their artwork. Genuine connections have been made with some students promising to come back and visit and a resident being invited home for Christmas…. great results all round.”

  • Marek Zayler resident artist and “ideas man” RSL Lifecare PBVCG

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