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  • Vanessa White

Virtual Painting Workshop - 'Paint a Budgie!' (video)

‘Paint a picture of a budgie’ online art workshop for Virtual Urban Campfire at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Collingwood. These online video workshops have been especially designed for kids at the Collingwood and Richmond housing estates during the CoVID19 restrictions.

Vanessa has been doing painting workshops over the last couple of years and keeps a small special team of budgies as models to take to her workshops, she keeps this team along side their other breeding and exhibition budgies. Vanessa took two of her painting workshop team in a show cage, with her paints and canvas board to the Neighbourhood Justice Centre. During the filming of the workshop Vanessa painted a small picture of a budgie, and spoke about budgies and the process of how to paint. The video of the workshop will be edited and put online in the coming weeks.

Urban Campfire also hold exhibitions and art programs at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre. The exhibitions are held twice a year and each exhibition runs for about 6 months. The art exhibitions give people a place to showcase their talents. In return the centre is transformed from a utilitarian government agency into a warm and welcoming hub, which is important for a place that's a court, treatment centre and community meeting place. Previously in 2018 Vanessa exhibited five of her budgie paintings at the Autumn Urban Campfire exhibition. As a result Vanessa sold all of her paintings to a Criminal lawyer working at the Centre at the time who was absolutely delighted by the fun and sense of humour the paintings imbued, these paintings now hang in the lawyers chambers in the CBD.

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre uses art as a conduit through which communities explore their aspirations, needs, identity, sense of place, to tackle broader social issues and to enhance the justice experience. Case workers use the art as the conversational bridge to reach vulnerable clients who are drawn to art that expresses many of the issues they're dealing with, such as mental illness, social isolation, and addiction. Art also gives the community a sense of ownership and connection to their local justice service and ensures the Centre is a welcoming space, fundamentally changing the very nature of what is, in effect, a statutory agency within a complex justice landscape.

Urban Campfire art programs and exhibitions are curated by Laila Costa, video by Kim Fuhrmann, photography credit Ching Ching Liang.

Neighbourhood Justice Centre

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