ROBERT runs an art group called “Creative Minds” twice a month at Flourish Australia’s Queanbeyan day-to-day living centre. He took his time out from helping budding artist to create masterpieces to discuss the details of his class.
PANORAMA: Were you the one who started this art group, Robert?
ROBERT: When it comes to new groups and programs we do things democratically. The staff will ask around to see what we want to do. These ideas then go to a general vote. If enough people vote yes, we can create a new group.
P: Do you have a lot of history with art?
ROBERT: Art was always among my favourite things. My age and health issues have narrowed down how often I do it, unfortunately.
P: What makes art special for you? What does it offer you?
ROBERT: I think it’s an activity my mind is suited to, as my brain has a visual orientation. Whether serious or not, doing art is compatible with the way my brain works. Flourish has also introduced me to the local art population in Queanbeyan.
P: What do you like to create, Robert?
ROBERT: I’m creating things on the computer at the moment. I do funny paintings and drawings, and I also take photos. All art is good.
P: What kinds of art are on offer in your group? Painting, drawing, sculpture, crafts?
ROBERT: We do painting and pencil things, as well as craft, such as snipping paper with scissors. I also like to run group discussions about art and inspiration and all that sort of stuff.
P: Do you have a dedicated art room? Or is it a shared area?
ROBERT: Our art room is a multi-purpose area. We also host the Mindfulness group and official meetings in the same space.
P: Does Flourish provide you with all the equipment you need?
ROBERT: Flourish provides us with all of our materials. Sometimes, the artists will bring things in to share.
P: Do many people attend your art group? Are there regulars who have been coming for years?
ROBERT: There are certainly regulars. A couple of familiar faces have been coming most of the time since the group was created. I prompt involvement in the class so people know when it is on.
P: What do your artists get out of attending the Creative Minds group? For instance, expressing themselves, being creative, encouraging each other with their creations?
ROBERT: I prompt involvement in the class. Some are quite like to listen and are happy to do so. Community settings are opportunities to show and tell.
P: Are your artists able to display their work? At Flourish Australia art exhibitions, for instance?
ROBERT: We have! We were included in one of the Flourish exhibitions a few years ago. Honestly, I’m not sure when we’ll do that again. Might be worth looking into.
P: Do you know Jane Miller, our Community Arts Coordinator? If so, has she been of any help?
ROBERT: Jane Miller turns up once in a while, and it’s a bit of an occasion. Jane Miller is well thought of.
Flourish Australia Queanbeyan,
Level 1, Suite 5, 7-9 Morisset Street
QUEANBEYAN NSW 2620
1300 779 270
Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.