“Once-upon-a-time tens of thousands of Australian children contracted polio,
recovered, got on with their lives (some even became artists!),
and they all lived happily ever after.”
~ The End ~
Or not . . . This exhibition tells a myriad stories through 14 uniquely embellished plaster casts.
Following a very successful launch of the “Touched by Polio” art works in March 2013, Polio Australia is delighted to announce that the remaining fourteen pieces are available for viewing and purchase throughout September 2013 at the studio @ flinders Gallery, as part of their “Childhood Memories” exhibition.
The Studio @ Flinders Gallery is a unique art Gallery situated next to the park in the delightful village of Flinders. The Gallery was established in 2004 by a group of Ceramic Artists. Initially ceramics was their emphasis, but they soon introduced many other forms of creative art and craft and feel very priviliged to have the work of some of Australia’s finest crafts people. They have blown and slumped glass, textile artists, jewellery makers, wood workers, visual artists and sculptural and functional ceramics.
The Studio @ Flinders Gallery
Many polio survivors have vivid memories of wearing plaster casts to keep their limbs from becoming deformed during recovery and rehabilitation.
Twenty-four artists who have been ‘touched by polio’ in some way – survivors, family, friends – originally contributed thirty-five art works to our “Touched by Polio: from casts to catharsis” project. The art works have proven very popular and there are now just fourteen pieces remaining for sale (click the thumbnails below for a complete description of each piece). The artists’ creative expressions are many and varied, and the mediums used include textiles, paint, decoupage, and anything else they could think of!
The photographs below show the art pieces on display at the Gallery. Click on any thumbnail image to view the full-size photographs, either individually or as part of a slideshow. Photographs courtesy of Fran Henke.
Creating the “Touched by Polio” artworks was quite a ‘cathartic’ experience for some as they relived the pain of polio infection and a broken childhood.
Following decades of striving to be normal, these “polio children” are now in their 50’s or older, and experiencing the often debilitating Late Effects of Polio, plunging them back into a life filled with daily pain and increasing muscle weakness. A key problem is that there are very few health professionals who know about the Late Effects, leaving Australia’s polio survivors without appropriate diagnosis or management strategies. Rectifying this situation is the focus of Polio Australia.
As Polio Australia receives no government or any other recurrent funding, the “Touched by Polio” art works have been generously donated by the artists for sale, with all proceeds going to assist Polio Australia in continuing our work. Throughout this project, we have also been very grateful to receive pro bono support from a number of other individuals and organisations, as detailed on the Our Thanks page.
Please ring Mary-ann on 03 9016 7678 or email her if you have any questions