By Sue Leitch
COTA Tasmania chief executive officer
RECENTLY, a dozen Hobartians ranging in age from 12 to 72-years channelled their inner street artist by jointly creating a “sport and leisure” streetscape on a drab, formerly graffiti-covered wall adjacent to the Derwent Bowls Club in North Hobart.
The street art project was a COTA TAS initiative, delivered with support from the City of Hobart via a ‘Creative Hobart’ grant.
The project was named Piecing It Together in recognition of its collaborative and inter-generational nature.
It was modelled on the successful Lata65 project in Portugal, which challenges stereotypes and ageism and brings older people together in street art.
Under the leadership of popular local artist and long-time MONA project collaborator Jamin, Piecing It Together participants spent three-days developing concepts and designs around the brief.
This brief included transforming the uninspiring wall into a colourful storyline about sport and leisure in the renowned sporting precinct, which is also home to the historic North Hobart Oval.
Each participant provided their own insights and interpretations during the workshops, learning mural, stencilling and spray-painting techniques that were applied in the second three-day onsite painting sessions.
The group encountered rainsqualls on the first day of painting, but had much kinder weather for the remainder, allowing them to complete the unique project by the deadline.
COTA was absolutely delighted with the way the project ran and were so lucky to have such an experienced and well-regarded person as Jamin to lead it.
The whole group loved working with him, from the 12-year-olds through to the 72-year-old.
We wanted it to be an inter-generational project and it was absolutely that.
There was a wonderful spirit and great camaraderie and it was heartening to see people with 60-year age differences – some who’d just met – working side-by-side creating this unique art, while developing genuine friendships.
We could not be happier with the result from an artistic viewpoint and for the way it brought generations together for a common purpose.
All participants were street art rookies before their Piecing it Together experience, but such was their enthusiasm that many were suggesting sites in and around Hobart for future projects.
COTA most certainly wishes to harness that enthusiasm and is currently examining future street art sites for further inter-generational projects if funding can be found.
Caption: Participants of COTA Tasmania’s ‘Piecing It Together’ initiative with local artist and MONA project collaborator Jamin, pictured front middle.